Carnival Triumph Stranded In Gulf of Mexico, Being Towed to Nearest Port

Carnival Triumph Stranded In Gulf of Mexico, Being Towed to Nearest Port

Latest Update from Carnival Press Site:

February 11, 2013, 8:30pm ET

The Carnival Triumph, while on a four-day cruise that departed Galveston last Thursday, experienced an engine room fire on Sunday morning and has been without propulsion in the Gulf of Mexico since that time. The ship’s automatic fire extinguishing systems activated and the fire was successfully extinguished. Fortunately, there were no injuries to guests or crew members.

Earlier this evening, the first of two tugboats arrived and is tied up to the ship with the second expected in the early hours of Tuesday morning. We had originally planned to tow the ship to Progreso, Mexico, the closest port to the ship’s location early Sunday. Since that time, the ship has drifted about 90 miles north due to strong currents. This now puts the ship nearly equidistant to Mobile, Alabama and given the strength of the currents, it is preferable to head north to Mobile, rather than attempt to tow against them. We now expect to arrive in Mobile sometime on Thursday, roughly the same time the ship would have arrived in Progreso given the distance the ship has traveled. From there, we will provide the necessary transportation to get our guests home. Mobile also provides simpler re-entry, particularly for the 900 guests onboard traveling without passports.

We have maintained constant contact with the ship’s officers. All of our guests are safe, and we’re doing everything we can to make them as comfortable as possible. The ship has maintained emergency generator power since the fire occurred and the technical team on board has been successful in gradually restoring auxiliary power to operate some basic hotel functions. Currently, public and cabin toilets are operational in certain sections of the ship, power has been restored to a limited number of elevators, and some power in the Lido dining area is providing for hot coffee and limited hot food service.

All guests on the current Carnival Triumph voyage will receive a full refund for the cruise, along with transportation expenses. In addition, they will receive a future cruise credit equal to the amount paid for this voyage, as well as reimbursement of all shipboard purchases during the voyage, with the exception of gift shop and casino charges.

We’re terribly sorry for the inconvenience, discomfort, and frustration our guests are feeling. We know they expected a fantastic vacation, and clearly that is not what they received. Our shipboard and shoreside teams are working around the clock to care for our guests and get them home safely.

February 11, 2013, 8:30pm ET

The Carnival Triumph, while on a four-day cruise that departed Galveston last Thursday, experienced an engine room fire on Sunday morning and has been without propulsion in the Gulf of Mexico since that time. The ship’s automatic fire extinguishing systems activated and the fire was successfully extinguished. Fortunately, there were no injuries to guests or crew members.

Earlier this evening, the first of two tugboats arrived and is tied up to the ship with the second expected in the early hours of Tuesday morning. We had originally planned to tow the ship to Progreso, Mexico, the closest port to the ship’s location early Sunday. Since that time, the ship has drifted about 90 miles north due to strong currents. This now puts the ship nearly equidistant to Mobile, Alabama and given the strength of the currents, it is preferable to head north to Mobile, rather than attempt to tow against them. We now expect to arrive in Mobile sometime on Thursday, roughly the same time the ship would have arrived in Progreso given the distance the ship has traveled. From there, we will provide the necessary transportation to get our guests home. Mobile also provides simpler re-entry, particularly for the 900 guests onboard traveling without passports.

We have maintained constant contact with the ship’s officers. All of our guests are safe, and we’re doing everything we can to make them as comfortable as possible. The ship has maintained emergency generator power since the fire occurred and the technical team on board has been successful in gradually restoring auxiliary power to operate some basic hotel functions. Currently, public and cabin toilets are operational in certain sections of the ship, power has been restored to a limited number of elevators, and some power in the Lido dining area is providing for hot coffee and limited hot food service.

All guests on the current Carnival Triumph voyage will receive a full refund for the cruise, along with transportation expenses. In addition, they will receive a future cruise credit equal to the amount paid for this voyage, as well as reimbursement of all shipboard purchases during the voyage, with the exception of gift shop and casino charges.

We’re terribly sorry for the inconvenience, discomfort, and frustration our guests are feeling. We know they expected a fantastic vacation, and clearly that is not what they received. Our shipboard and shoreside teams are working around the clock to care for our guests and get them home safely.

February 11, 2013 – 11:25 am EST

Details on Initial Incident/Status of Tugboats
Yesterday morning, February 10, the cruise ship Carnival Triumph experienced a fire in the aft engine room while the vessel was sailing approximately 150 miles off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. The ship’s automatic fire extinguishing systems activated and the fire was successfully extinguished. There were no casualties or injuries to guests or crew.

The vessel is currently without propulsion in the Gulf of Mexico and awaiting the arrival of two tugboats which will tow the ship to Progreso, Mexico, which is the closest port to the ship’s current location. The ship is expected to arrive in Progreso late Wednesday and guests will be flown from Mexico back to the U.S. on chartered aircraft which the company is currently working to arrange.

Currently, a team consisting of additional technical crew and guest service personnel is en route to the vessel and is expected to arrive via boat later today. All appropriate authorities including U.S. Coast Guard have been notified and a U.S. Coast Guard cutter is presently on site next to the Carnival Triumph and in communication with the ship.

Update on Shipboard Services
The ship has maintained emergency generator power since the fire occurred and the technical team on board has been successful in gradually restoring auxiliary power to operate some basic hotel functions. Currently, public and cabin toilets are operational in certain sections of the ship, power has been restored to a limited number of elevators, and some power in the Lido dining area is providing for hot coffee and limited hot food service. Guests have been supplied with food and refreshments throughout yesterday and this morning and the ship has supplies on board to last until the vessel returns to port.

Yesterday afternoon, the Carnival Elation rendezvoused with the Carnival Triumph and supplied dinners for the guests on Carnival Triumph, along with additional provisions. Early this afternoon, the Carnival Legend will also be on site to do the same.

There are 3,143 guests and 1,086 crew on board.

We continue to update the designated emergency contacts for all guests presently on board Carnival Triumph. Concerned family and loved ones of guests and crew may call 888.290.5095 or 305.406.5534.

Upcoming Voyages and Compensation
All guests on the current Carnival Triumph voyage will receive a full refund of the cruise, along with transportation expenses. In addition, they will receive a future cruise credit equal to the amount paid for this voyage, as well as reimbursement of all shipboard purchases during the voyage, with the exception of gift shop and casino charges.

The next two voyages of Carnival Triumph, scheduled to depart Monday, February 11 and Saturday, February 16 are being cancelled. Guests scheduled to sail on either of those voyages will receive a full refund, reimbursement for non-refundable travel expenses and a 25 percent discount on a future three to five-day cruise. Carnival is in contact with impacted guests to advise them of the situation.

The current Carnival Triumph voyage departed Galveston, Texas, on Thursday, February 7 and was scheduled to return on Monday, Feb. 11.

If you’ve turned on the TV this morning, you probably saw the news that Carnival Triumph has experienced an engine fire and is currently stranded in the Gulf of Mexico. The Carnival pressroom website has been so busy this morning I have not been able to get the official release from Carnival. However, I do I follow the Facebook blog of Brand Ambassador and Head Cruise Director John Heald, and here is his post from this morning:

February 10, 2013 – 7.30PM EST

This morning the cruise ship Carnival Triumph experienced an engine room fire while the vessel was sailing approximately 150 miles off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. The ship’s automatic fire extinguishing systems activated and the fire was contained to the aft engine room. At this time, the fire is fully extinguished. There were no casualties or injuries to guests or crew. All appropriate authorities including U.S. Coast Guard have been notified.

The vessel is currently without propulsion and the ship is operating on emergency generator power. The ship’s technical crew has determined the vessel will need to be towed to port. A tugboat is en route to the ship’s location and will tow the vessel to Progreso, Mexico, which is the closest port to the ship’s current location. This will enable us to disembark guests and get them home as quickly as possible. The ship is expected to arrive in Progreso Wednesday afternoon and guests will be flown from there back to the U.S.

There are 3,143 guests and 1,086 crew on board. Guests are being provided with food and refreshments. Another Carnival ship, the Carnival Elation, is currently on scene and transferring additional food and beverage provisions to the Carnival Triumph.

We have contacted the designated emergency contacts for all guests presently on board Carnival Triumph. Concerned family and loved ones of guests and crew may call 888.290.5095 or 305.406.5534.

All guests on the current Carnival Triumph voyage will receive a full refund of the cruise, along with transportation expenses. In addition, they will receive a future cruise credit equal to the amount paid for this voyage, as well as reimbursement of all shipboard purchases during the voyage, with the exception of gift shop and casino charges.

The next two voyages of Carnival Triumph, scheduled to depart Monday, February 11 and Saturday, February 16 are being cancelled. Guests scheduled to sail on either of those voyages will receive a full refund, reimbursement for non-refundable travel expenses and a 25 percent discount on a future three to five-day cruise. Carnival is in contact with impacted guests to advise them of the situation.

The current Carnival Triumph voyage departed Galveston, Texas on Thursday, February 7 and was scheduled to return on Monday, Feb. 11.

Now for a few of my thoughts about the situation:

Plumbing Design

This is a very unfortunate incident, and I hope that Carnival will review the conditions of their engines and engine rooms. Obviously this kind of thing can happen whenever an engine involved and this is the second engine room fire on a Carnival owned ship resulting in a loss of power, the other being the Carnival Splendor in 2010. Probably the most devastating part of having loss of power is the inability to have functioning toilets. Hopefully the emergency power will have the pressurized plumbing up and running shortly. I would also hope that future cruise ship designs would feature an emergency power system specifically to keep toilets functioning in an emergency. I had a backed-up septic one morning a few weeks ago, and so I know that non-functioning toilets are probably the most unpleasant things one can experience.

Travel Documents

Many of the passengers on this sailing will be traveling with-out a pass-port because one is not specifically required for a closed loop cruise from Galveston visiting Mexico and and Caribbean. However a passport is required for air travel from Mexico to the US. Their is speculation that there will be a special exception to this rule resolved by passengers answering questions and showing their picture ID and Birth Certificates. I always recommend that passengers sail with a passport, even when it is not specifically required. The more passengers who have actual passports, the fewer the people who will have to go through the tedious exception process of boarding the planes back to Texas. On all cruises, if you have a personal emergency, the passport will expedite your travel back to the United States by other means.

Cruising Again?

Surely, this is not the vacation experience for which the cruisers were looking, however Carnival is refunding passenger fares and offering a discount to these passengers for their next cruise. Passengers who are long time cruisers who have a sense of adventure and positive attitude will probably look back as this as an adventure and gladly book their next cruise with Carnival taking advantage of the discount. Others may not feel so good about either Carnival or cruising, and this will be, unfortunately their last cruise.

Cruise Ship Safety

While this situation is unfortunate, it is important to know that the cruise industry takes safety and security of passengers very seriously. Following last year’s Concordia disaster on Carnival’s sister line, Costa, the industry as a whole announced new safety measures which include life boat drill on departure days, and place of of life jackets on public spaces, not just in state rooms. According to the Cruise Line International Association’s (CLIA) web site, the cruise lines work closely with the Coast Guard in the areas of fire safety. Coast Guard “inspections focus on structural fire safety, proper functioning of all safety systems and equipment including fire fighting systems, lifesaving equipment and other safety systems such as the lifeboats, life rafts and lifejackets in addition to crew training and competence. Additionally, the U.S. Coast Guard observes fire and abandon ship drills conducted by the ships’ crew, and requires satisfactory operational tests of key equipment such as steering systems, fire pumps and bilge pumps.” Though vacations were obviously ruined by this incident, it is important to note that their was no loss of life in this incident. For more information on Cruise Ship safety measures and industry procedures, you can visit the CLIA web site of the There you can read the processes and measures that are designed to insure the safety and security of all cruise line passengers.