A crippled cruise ship described by people on board as a nightmare of filth crawled Thursday toward port — and finally relief for passengers who say they are exhausted after days without sufficient food, power or working bathrooms.
The Carnival Triumph, with more than 4,000 people aboard, was being towed to Mobile, Ala., where it was expected to arrive between 9 p.m. and midnight ET, later than had been expected. Four tugboats were pulling the vessel, a Carnival spokeswoman said.
A fire in the engine room Sunday disabled the ship about 150 miles off the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. The flames were put out without any injuries, but passengers have described the conditions since as sweltering and unsanitary.
“Pipes are busting, I know the sewer is backing up, and water is in the cabins, and it’s just a nightmare,” Jamie Baker told TODAY on Thursday in a telephone interview from aboard the ship.
She said that there were lines of four hours for food — meals that are sometimes no more than a tomato slice on bread — and that passengers have to use vanity trash cans for toilets, emptying the contents into bags in the hall.
Baker said she and her friends slept with life vests one night because the ship was listing and they feared that it would capsize. Baker also said she saw one woman pass out.
“Like Katrina in the Dome, except it’s afloat,” Baker said.
Carnival has disputed passenger accounts and said that crews are doing the best they can, although Carnival has confirmed that fewer than two dozen public toilets are working. Baker told TODAY that the crew has been “phenomenal.”
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