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Disabled Cruise Ship Inching Toward Alabama Coastline

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Carnival Triumph (Source: CBS)

Carnival Triumph (Source: CBS)

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A four day luxury cruise has turned into a week of misery for passengers and crew aboard Carnival Cruise Lines’ “Triumph” in the Gulf of Mexico.

The ship left Galveston, Texas, for a four-day cruise last Thursday with 3,143 passengers and 1,086 crew members. The ship was about 150 miles off Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula when an engine room fire Sunday knocked out its primary power source, crippling its water and plumbing systems and leaving it adrift on only a backup power.

A pair tug boats are towing it to Mobile, Alabama; it should arrive there Thursday.

The Miami-base cruise line said passengers aboard the ship will receive a full refund.  Passengers on upcoming cancelled Triumph cruises we be refunded non-refundable transportation costs, pre-paid shore excursions, gratuities, and government fees and taxes.  Guests will also receive a 25 percent discount on a future three- to five-day Carnival cruise or a 15 percent discount on a six- to seven-day cruise.  Travel agent commissions will be protected.

For passengers and their families, it can’t dock soon enough.

Nick Ware’s mother Kimberly is on the ship. She’s kept in touch via text messages. She told her son she had to wait in line for hours just to get a burger.

“The people who did actually have meat on their burgers, it was cold and the remainder of the people once they ran out of the cooked meat. It was basically just onions and things like that on the sandwiches,” said Ware.

Passengers have also complained about everything from sweltering heat to sewage running down cabin walls.

“People are sleeping in hallways. I mean there’s just mattresses and people collected everywhere. And we’re obviously very, very sorry about what is taking place,” said Donnell King who is stuck on the ship.

Carnival apologized Tuesday and said Triumph had running water and most of its 23 public bathrooms were working.

“Let me assure you that no one here from Carnival is happy about the conditions on board the ship,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival Cruise Lines President and CEO.

The Coast Guard and the National Transportation Safety Board have launched an investigation into the cause of the fire.

“I absolutely think it should be investigated. I think if you have an event like this it strands that many people out there and it’s handled in this manner. Something needs to be done. This needs to be prevented,” said Ware.

Early Wednesday afternoon, Carnival Cruise Lines announced cancellations of 12 addition voyages of the Triumph.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The News Service of Florida and the Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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