Crippled Carnival Cruise Ship Finally Docks

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Thousands of passengers stranded on a crippled cruise ship for nearly a week have finally docked in Alabama.

 

 
Thousands of passengers stranded on a crippled cruise ship for nearly a week have finally docked in Alabama.
 
There were cheers as the Carnival Triumph finally docked at Mobile, Alabama, after its first attempt failed when the towline being used to manoeuvre it into position snapped.
 
Passengers were slowly disembarking from the ship in a process that Carnival officials said could take as long as five hours.
 
Many then face a long journeys home after days enduring what the company's Chief Executive admitted were "poor conditions".
 
What began as a four-day voyage in the Gulf of Mexico last Thursday has turned into a holiday nightmare. Passengers have described overflowing toilets and say food has been scarce and some of those on board have become unwell.
 
Speaking as the 14-storey ship docked, Carnival Chief Executive, Gerry Cahill, said that his priority was to go on board to apologise and to help passengers disembark as quickly as possible.
 
He said: "I know that the conditions on board were very poor. I know it was very difficult and I want to apologise again for subjecting our passengers to that.
 
"We pride ourselves on providing our guests with a great vacation experience but clearly we failed in this particulary case."
 
The ship left Galveston, Texas, for a four-day cruise last Thursday. It was about 150 miles (240 km) off Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula when an engine room fire knocked out its primary power source, crippling its water and plumbing systems and leaving it adrift on only backup power.
 
Frustrations with the cruise line were simmering on and off the ship, as passengers and their relatives questioned why it has taken so long to get back to dry land.
 
Renee Shanar, of Houston, said from her mobile phone: "There's poop and urine all along the floor. The floor is flooded with sewer water ... and we had to poop in bags."
 
Ms Shanar, who is on the ship with her husband, said the couple had a cabin with no windows, so they have been sleeping outside for days. She said food has been distributed on the ninth floor, and some of the elderly have needed younger people to bring it to them.
 
They were initially only given cold cuts, like turkey and vegetable sandwiches. Then another cruise line dropped off hamburgers and chicken sandwiches, but the line for that fare was nearly four hours long.
 
"And then people started getting sick from the food," she said.
 
 The company has disputed the accounts of passengers who describe the ship as filthy, saying employees are doing everything to ensure people were comfortable.
 
Carnival said that passengers would receive a full refund, discounts on future cruises and a compensation sum of $500 (£322).
 
Carnival Corp Chairman and CEO Micky Arison faced criticism in January 2012 for failing to travel to Italy and take personal charge of the Costa Concordia crisis after the luxury cruise shop operated by Carnival's Costa Cruises brand grounded on rocks off the Tuscan island of Giglio. The tragedy unleashed numerous lawsuits against his company.