Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — There are ways for big corporations to handle very public disasters, and then there is the way that the Carnival Cruise Lines handled the Triumph disaster. For anyone who is not familiar with it, the Triumph was a cruise ship from Carnival that had mechanical failures, leaving it stranded out at sea. That would not have been so bad if it wasn’t for the fact that those mechanical failures also shut down a lot of the essential systems such as the toilets and power.
The ship experienced problems just off of the Yucatan Peninsula in the Gulf of Mexico. There was a fire in the engine room which caused the ship to stop suddenly and a majority of the essential systems to shut down. The huge cruise ship, with its 3,143 passengers and 1,086 crew members was drifting in the current of the Gulf of Mexico.
The first attempt to pull it to a port in the United States was cut short when the toe line snapped. Finally, after almost a week adrift at sea, the ship was brought to port by a couple of rescue tug boats.
When the fire happened, it knocked out the septic systems along with the power. Keep in mind that, when you have no power, you have no air conditioning. It gets hot on the Gulf of Mexico, especially when 4,200 people are crammed into a 14-story cruise ship. With the septic system not operating, the food running low and the air conditioning out of commission, things got ugly on the ship really fast.
This is where it gets dicey for Carnival. The company’s initial response to the problem was actually very commendable. The company is reimbursing every passenger the cost of its cruise, giving each passenger a voucher for a free cruise (preferably on a ship that works), is paying for all of the emergency transportation needs of each passenger and giving each passenger $500 in cash for their inconvenience.