World overreacts to Carnival Triumph ordeal


On February 10, a fire in the engine room aboard Carnival Triumph disabled the ship’s propulsion systems leaving the ship and its 4,200 passengers and crew adrift in the Gulf of Mexico.

Carnival Triumph is the second in a class of three nearly identical ships, each about 893 feet long and 101,000 gross tons. She was built in 1999 and is middle-aged for a cruise ship, but still very luxurious. At the time of her construction, she was considered a relatively large cruise ship. Today, she is somewhat average compared to many newer ships.

The fire also knocked out many of the ship’s other systems which created uncomfortable and unsanitary conditions onboard. Many of the ship’s toilets were not working and were overflowing. Since Carnival Triumph was nearing the end
of its four-day cruise in the
Gulf of Mexico, the food supply was too low to last for the five days the ship was stranded. Carnival Legend arrived on the scene to deliver extra food to Carnival Triumph and take on a passenger from Triumph in need of medical care. Even with more food, however, most of it was not hot and passengers often had to wait in long lines to eat. The ship was filled with unpleasant odors (many people retreated to outside decks and hallways to sleep). At one point, sewage water was running down some of the inside walls of the ship.

Despite the discomfort, nobody onboard was ever in danger as evidenced by the fact that the lifeboats were never launched. It was determined that the safest course of action was for everyone to remain on the ship while it was towed back to shore.

Many passengers expressed their discomfort to their friends and family and the media. Many passengers were angry and expressed strong feelings against Carnival but many others have said that Carnival Triumph’s crew performed exceptionally during the pseudo-emergency. Though everyone on the ship was safe, a class action lawsuit has been filed against Carnival.

According to Michael Winkleman (the lawyer who filed the lawsuit), passengers were exposed to unsanitary conditions for an unnecessary amount of time. He claims that Carnival had the ship sent to Mobile, Alabama instead of to a closer port in Mexico because it saved the company money. He says that the place where the ship’s repairs needed to be made is in Mobile (so sending the ship directly there would save the company some money) and that it was cheaper to have passengers flown out of Mobile to their destinations than it would have been to have them flown out of Mexico, probably because most of the passengers live in the United States.

While this claim is feasible, the negative publicity that Carnival—and the entire cruise industry—now has to endure is likely to cost the company more money than any money-saving venture would have been worth in the first place, which may lead some to believe that Carnival Triumph was sent to Mobile for different reasons.

Additionally, Mr. Winkleman says that Carnival should have known that the ship would face propulsion problems because of similar issues in the past. The use when talking about quality is the burgers here. I am a huge fan of burgers, but I had a few here and can honestly say they are not even half decent quality. I should be able to get the quality of meat that I could receive by going to a local Stop and Shop. Not some processed meat for a cheap price provided by the food company!

If Bryant were to at least bring a couple of diverse restaurants to campus, it would be a step in the right direction. And if they do plan on charging us to eat at the restaurants, because they wouldn’t be incorporated into our meal plan, at least at minimum make them work with our dining dollars. I love South and all, but the fact that it’s the only place that accepts dinning dollars and you can get a real meal is getting old. Food may not be the main deciding factor for students when choosing which school to go to, but if they were really torn between the two, I bet it could become the deciding factor; oh and maybe the 200K needed to go here, but that’s another story. incident that occurred in the Gulf, however, was unrelated to the issues that the ship has had in the past. In this case, a fuel line leading from the ship’s number-six engine to the fuel tanks leaked and caused the fire.

The reporting on the story of Carnival Triumph has been unfair at best and fraudulent at worst. At one point, it was reported that Carnival has had more accidents than any other cruise line. There are several things misleading (possibly intentionally) about this statement.

The Carnival fleet is larger (by ship count) than any other single fleet with a total of 24 ships and another on the way. With this many ships, there are bound to be more incidents than other cruise lines. Furthermore, the same report listed the sinking of Costa Concordia. Though, Carnival Corporation does own Costa Cruises, it is a separate line from Carnival Cruise Lines. The Carnival Corporation also owns Princess Cruises, Costa Cruises, Holland America Line, Cunard Line, among others.

The story was also blown out of proportion by the media for the purpose of ratings. After the fire was stopped by the crew and the ship’s fire-fighting systems, passengers were no longer in any danger. Yet, the story was constantly a top story on CNN. Additionally, the media’s focus was not on what caused the fire or potentially life-threatening situation that could have come from the fire if the ship’s crew had not acted so effectively, but on the mild discomfort of the passengers.

Despite Carnival’s strong performance throughout the ordeal—from the “amazing” work of the crew and officers to the company’s safety- conscious actions—it received more negative attention from the media than it deserved which, in turn, affects the entire cruise industry for the sake of entertaining news coverage and money for media companies.

The passengers of Carnival Triumph have been given $500 in compensation, credit for a Carnival cruise, and pre-paid transportation to their destinations. Carnival Cruise Lines has canceled all of the Carnival Triumph’s voyages through April of this year.

Meanwhile, the investigation of the events which took place aboard Carnival Triumph is underway.