Written by Phil Cerroni
By Phil Cerroni
On its way back from a pleasant trip to Cancun that sailed from Galveston, TX on Feb. 7, Carnival cruise liner Triumph found itself dead in the water after an onboard fire knocked out the ship’s power on Feb. 10, stranding all aboard. The Carnival cruise liner, which was scheduled to return to Galveston around 8 a.m. on Feb. 11, finished its voyage being towed to a port in Mobile, AL where it docked late Valentine’s Day.
Three Irving couples were aboard the ship: Danny and Stacie Smith, Sheila and Jerry Cox and Jerry and Marsha Newman. Despite dying cell phone batteries, they contacted their families informing them that, although shipboard conditions were harsh, the passengers were physically unharmed. Stacey Smith told her daughter during one of these phone conversations that at least some of the passengers were forced to sleep on the ship’s deck where a dwindling supply of food and almost unbearable sanitary conditions turned a winter vacation into a hellish ordeal.
As the ship prepared to make port, Carnival bought 1,500 hotel rooms for the over 3,000 returning passengers and chartered planes and buses to take them back to their homes around the country. Our local families will be taken by bus from Mobile to New Orleans and will spend Valentine’s night in a Hilton before being flown back to Texas on Feb. 15.