by Nigel Boys
Carnival corporation is being sued after their luxury cruise ship, the Carnival Triumph, was crippled last week forcing passengers to spend 5 days in miserable conditions on the ship. The ship was slowed by an engine fire that left no one injured.
The first case was lodged by Cassie Terry who says she feared for her life or that she might suffer serious injury or illness due to the presence of raw sewage and rotten food.
Terry said that the Triumph was a “a floating toilet, a floating Petri dish, a floating hell.”
Carnival have offered $500 in compensation to passengers but Terry’s attorney said she would decline the offer. The attorney also said Terry suffered from nausea and was running a fever while on the ship.
It is expected that more lawsuits are to follow from some of the 4,200 people aboard the Triumph. It was disabled Sunday by an engine fire and finally towed to shore Thursday.
Carnival promised to give refunds, offer passengers another trip and cover their transportation costs home.
The cruise company is also making a gift to the passengers of the bathrobes they were using on the ship.
The white bathrobe has become an unlikely symbol of the nightmare of the cruise-goers, who donned them to attract attention as they stood on the drifting ship. Others used the white terrycloth as a canvas to write messages, with one passenger proclaiming, “I survived Carnival’s triumph redbags” — a reference to the bags that substituted for toilets.
But what did the stranded passengers do while waiting for the ship to be brought into port? According to Joseph Alvarez about 45 people gathered in a public room on the lower deck for Bible study to pass the time. “It was awesome,” he said. “It lifted up our souls and gave us hope that we would get back.”
Passengers described a horrifying scene after the fire. Some said they smelled smoke and received conflicting instructions about every 15 minutes over the PA system. Others ran for lifeboats.
Investigators say they know roughly where the flames erupted in the engine room of the Carnival Triumph, but it could be a year before they learn what caused the fire.
Patrick Cuty, a senior marine investigator for the U.S. Coast Guard said, “We know that the fire originated in front of a generator. You can see the ignition marks on the wall.”