Even most of the well-known cruise lawyers are saying 'get over it' and 'just take the offer Carnival is making'. They are smart enough to see this won't go far. The poor little darling who has filed already is 25 yrs old, and has no idea what a really bad situation can be. Reading the lawsuit, you'd think she was forced to tread water in a septic tank for 5 days while fishbait was tossed to her.
That is what one of the biggest tort lawyers said after the Splendor fire. He looked at what Carnival was offering the passengers and told them not to waist his time.
Secondly, if the Triumph is in as bad shape as some say with sewage spilling all over the place, why not take this opportunity to gut the ship and do the Funship 2.0 makeover that is scheduled next year.
Aside from all the negative views from the media, here's one positive one about passengers helping each other, including a passenger that had a balcony on a higher deck, and took others in.
2007 - Majesty of the Seas (Bahamas)
2009 - Enchantment of the Seas (Western Caribbean)
2010 - Freedom of the Seas (Western Caribbean)
2013 - Golden Princess (Alaska, roundtrip from Seattle)
First off let me apologize for not coming in and posting sooner. I spent most of the weekend recouping and getting the house back in order. I also had gave my report through Dave so I thought that would give me some time.
I did read through the thread and a couple of points I want to make is that they have not sent any checks yet. I assume there will be a clause attached saying something to the effect of "cashing this check relieves Carnival from future litigation" or something to that nature. I am not a lawyer so I am not sure if that would even be applicable so who knows?
I am going to now post a writeup I did for my Facebook group. It comes from a journal I was keeping on the cruise. feel free to read through and ask any questions. I will be happy to answer them. Also realize that my experiences coul be vastly different than passegners on a low deck (Like Main or Riviera as their cabins would probably not have been inhabitable during do to the inability to open any windows to let fresh air in. We were fortunate to be on the Lido deck with a balcony, so we were very comfortably throughout the tow to Mobile.
Thought I would post this all in one place since there are several of you that made comments and I don't want to have to go to several places to answer questions. So we can start here. I will answer any questions about the cruise and the experience you have. But first let me post the "timeline of events" and what we witnessed to help displace some of the rumors and untruths I have already heard in the media.
First off this was supposed to be a long weekend get-away 4 day cruise to Cozumel for my birthday and so that my eldest daughter could get a scuba dive in before her dive certification would need to be renewed. (They like you to have at least a dive a year in your log book) All was going as planned (I was winning money in the casino, the food was excellent and we got to Cozumel and had a great dive day. Then at 5:20 am on Sunday we were awaken to the calls of Alpha Team to the Engine Control Room! Which was a bit concerning but I have heard calls for Alpha Team before and nothing every major came of it. But then about 5 minutes later another announcement came to move the gather point from stairway 20 to the medical area. Then the power went out for about 30 seconds and then came back on. I was wide awake now. The ship was still moving so I was hoping the power outages was just a breaker flip or they needed to turn something off to fight the fire. Then the planner in me kicked in and I went over and opened the safe (not knowing if you needed power to open the safe). If we lost power or had to abandon the ship… I wanted my cash . They made a couple of more announcement to coordinate the fire team and to ask people to NOT go to their muster stations. They had to make this announcement a couple of times. Then the power went out completely and the engines stopped and we were adrift. So I just got dressed and figured I would go up on deck and see what was up. By the time I got out to the deck I heard the captain say the fire was out, but they had to close the bulk head doors to the engine room to engage the halon system to put out the fire. Now they had to wait until the temperature in the control room dropped enough to open the doors and enter to access the damage.
I figured I would go see if the continental breakfast was out. Well a line had already formed for the Danishes and fruit. About 20 people were in line and as we waited our turn I saw a couple who each had two of the big serving trays. The husband had a tray with about 10 cartons of milk on it and the other with several pieces of fruit and some more milk. The wife had two trays of Danishes piled high. It wasn't until they had walked away that we could see that they had cleared ALL of the remaining food from the continental breakfast buffet. I was speechless. I have never seen such an act of disregard for others in my life. Luckily there were a couple of milk containers left and a crew member brought out some cereal boxes so we were able to get some breakfast.
After breakfast, we went back to the cabin to check on Christa. She had taken ill after formal night (we think she ate something then or maybe it was something she drank). She was feeling okay enough to do her dive but Saturday night she got so much worse she was begging to be taken down to the doctor. I told her that with the fire we should not go down there, but would come back and check on her after the fire was out. Lisa ran down (from deck 9 to 3) the stairs since there were no elevators to ask guest services if the doctor was available and they said bring her down immediately. She came running back up to deck 9 and then took Christa all the way down to deck 0 to see the doctor. And then back up. So she got her aerobics in for the day.
The we waited. We had no running water, only emergency lighting, no toilets and an update announcement from Jen the cruise director every 15 minutes to a half hour. The announcements were always the same, keep calm the ship is safe, we are waiting for the temperature to drop so we can access the damages. Except for the nasty one. "Your cabin steward will be bringing you red plastic bags if you need to do a number 2, If you need to, you can use your showers for a number 1" We were officially camping.. which I hate. The updates went on until 11am and I realized if it was still too hot to enter 5 hours after the fire that it must have been a large fire and things were not going to be good. We found our cruise partners and decide to go play cards while we waited things out. We played cards on the Lido back by the buffet. As we played we watched the kitchen crew move provisions from deck 0 and the kitchen on deck 3 up to the Lido buffet staging area. They formed a bucket brigade and passed boxes and trays up the stairs. About 1PM the dinning buffet was opened and they had managed to put together some sandwiches and fruit and salads… SO we waited in line for food only to get to the sandwiches to find that people had been using the tongs to open up the sandwiches to get the single slice of meat and adding it to their sandwich. Then they left the bun a piece of lettuce and the slice of onion behind. You had to search through the empty buns to find a sandwich. There was only one left. Some people need a serious adjustment.
I don't remember the exact time but Sunday afternoon they finally came on to let us know they had been able to get into the engine room and it was bad news. The damage was too great to restore the main power. We were adrift. They also told us that the Elation was going to stop by and drop off provisions and that a tug from Progresso was on its way to bring us to Progresso but it probably would not be arriving until Tuesday noon. The US Coast Guard would arrive by 9PM The engineering team was working on getting the water and toilets back on and to sit tight. So we waited. We drifted a ways also.. I was able to use the GPS ap on my phone to find out we were drifting north at about 4 mph. The problem with a strong wind and no power and people urinating in their showers is that the wind makes the ship list to its side. This in turn makes the now urine/drain water flow out of the secondary bathroom drain on the side of the ship that the ship was listing to. Fortunately we were on the "good" side. We waited it out and entertained ourselves the best we could.
Both the Elation and the USCG arrived as told and the Elation stayed with us for several hours. This allowed us with cell phones to get a signal from their cellular system and make calls and texts home.
Monday morning came and we walked out onto the Lido deck to find all those on the lower decks (1 and 2 ) who could not open a balcony door for cool air had formed a camp on lido. They brought their bed linens and uses the sheets to tie to the rails to make sun shields. Some had brought up their mattresses and put them on the deck chairs and we preparing to live it out on lido. It was the worst case of Chair hogging I have ever seen!
Breakfast was good. They had time during the might to actually adjust the food prep to not being able to cook anything. We had cereal, milk and a variety of fruits. They had some Danishes (either left over from the day before or brought over from the Elation) and other foods that had already been prepared. I really could not complain about the breakfast.
After having given us many updates throughout the day Sunday, Jen came on about 10am and told us that unless there was a critical announcement she would not wake us before 10am and would come on at anytime she had any news. She kept us well informed of the situation with the tug boats and the other cruise ships that were going to stop by and drop off food. The Conquest and the Legend were expected to be by about noon and 3 o'clock and that a second tug was coming from Mobile and was to reach us by the time the Tug from Mexico had arrived. She also announced some activities (trivia games and entertainment) and that they had managed to get enough power to show movies in the aft lounge and entertainment at the casino bar area. She also said that the Carnival office was working out the logistics of getting us home from Progresso as that is where they expected us to be going.
They opened up the bars for free water, and soda. They still had ice so we were in good shape. I had Bon Voyage Alcohol in our cabin so I could make drinks as long as we had ice. I was happy.
Tuesday - Conquest and Legend pulled alongside to drop supplies and stayed for a few hours. This allowed us to use their cellular systems to contact family (and I am sure to send many news updates and photos.)
We had entertainment- Trivia games, movies in the lounge, the show band performed as well as the singer, the piano bar entertainer played a sing along… it was fun.
We also got free beer and wine at the bars until 8PM. Most people were sensible about it, but there were a few that just had too much and I think the crew realized that free booze was a bad idea and they didn't do it again.
They got more toilets running- Most of the public toilets on deck 3 , 4 and 5 were working. Our cabin toilet seemed to work for an hour or so a day. So you would constantly check it for flushing. When someone on our floor would get a flush, the news spread fast. It was almost comical to hear a "VHHOOOMPPPSSSSHHH" followed by 10 others in fast succession.
It was also Tuesday that they managed to get 3 coffee machines working on Lido. So we had coffee, Tea and Hot Chocolate if you didn't mind standing in line. Which for the most part you didn't since there wasn't much else to do.
The Tugboats arrived late in the day. We had drifted so far as to make it a better call to tow us to Mobile instead of Progresso. This was great news since it would have taken forever to get us home from Mexico. The big tug from Mobile hooked up quickly and looked fully capable of towing us by himself. The Mexican tug was too small. It tried to hook up to the front with the large tug but it seemed to be quickly realized that he was too small to do much good there. So they moved it to the aft of the ship and he was used as rudder to pull the back end of the ship in the correct direction as the wind kept wanting to turn the ship perpendicular to the course.
By now our room steward and begun having somewhat normal daily operations again. He would come in and clean our bathroom, remake the bed (there were no clean linens as most were being used on lido for sun shades.) He kept the hallway as clean as possible.
Much of the same happened on Wednesday except we got a USCG helicopter to deliver supplies. He made several trips. They had to clear off the tent city from the lido for fear of having one of the bed sheets break loose and get sucked up into the props of the helicopter. So many of the campers started the theory that Carnival had them clear off the sheets so the ship didn't look as bad. But since we started getting rain that night, they all mostly moved indoors anyway.
One of the things that the helicopter delivered was another generator. This made it possible for them to get the cooking equipment in the kitchen working which leads me to ---
Breakfast- Scrambled eggs and hot sausages… I never thought powdered eggs and minute links would taste so good. But it was not fruit or cereal… so I was IN!
Lunch -Grilled shrimp / lobster , beef and chicken plus the assorted salads and desserts.
Dinner Lobster and steak . Also had chicken…
We were supposed to dock by 4PM but the wind had shifted overnight to a headwind which slowed us down. Jen came on and told us the bad news that we were not going to dock until 11 or 12PM. Then shortly after that announcement, the towing bell of the big tug broke free and the entire tow cable nearly snapped . I was watching at the time. It was scary. So he disconnected and the biggest of the 4 other tugs became the towing tug. It seemed we actually moved faster.
Customs boarded the ship and cleared everyone on board so we could just get off the ship once we docked.
We were off the ship nearly first. We got a note in our cabin saying that Platinum members would still get priority disembarkation. We were supposed to meet in the dining room after customs clearance but that was when were supposed to be docking at 4PM. So instead we waited until we were in process of docking before we went down. Once in the lobby they checked us to be sure we were VIP and showed us to the lounge to wait. But we could not get through a huge group of 200+ Coke/McDonald employees waiting to get off. So we stood with them and once the opened the gangway, we walked off the ship with them. I think we were within the first 10 people off the ship.
We rushed through the terminal as Coke provided drinks and McDonalds provided food bags.. Went right outside and boarded a bus to Galveston. We were off the ship and on our way by 11PM. We made Galveston by 7PM and we got to our vehicle soon after. Then another 5 hour drive home.
I'm still checking the toilet to make sure it flushes before using it…
The Coast Guard is saying the fire was initiated by a broken fuel line for one of the diesels, and the fuel 'came in contact' with a 'hot surface.' I don't know what type of fuel they were using at that moment. It could have been diesel or lower grade fuel oil which is what they burn when not in ports and in same cases in the territorial waters of certain nations. But one thing I do know is the flash point for both diesel fuel and fuel oils is not that high, thus the 'hot surface' didn't need to be especially hot. 120-200 degree range would do it.
Yes, thanks Jim for taking the time to write down the facts for us. We are all glad that you and your family seemed to fare pretty well during the whole ordeal.
Your account of the events certainly sounds much more realistic than much of what the media was reporting. I know it couldn't have been easy and was quite distressing to everyone, but we all should remember that many many people around the world live in worse conditions every day of their lives.
Just curious...did there seem to be any sort of panic on board the ship? Were people really scared or did everyone take the initial fire in stride?
Well there were apparently some people that went to their muster stations as the crew was fighting the fire. They had to make several announcements for them to go back to their cabins. "The ship is safe, please DO NOT got to your muster stations, if you have gone to your muster station, please return to your cabin or to any public space." I don't think they listened though. I imagine that after the Coasta Concordia, there are those that are not going to trust the crew to tell them when they should be at their muster station. Although, there won't be any crew to man a lifeboat so I don't know what the point would be to be there. Other than that I didn't see any panic. I tried to go back to sleep after the first Alpha team call but that plan was shot in the head by the rapid succession of other announcements...
Dave, I was talking with someone after the fire (maybe it was Monday or Tuesday) who had been talking with a crew member that claimed that a fuel line had broke. I was dubious until I saw the USCG report. But that would definitely cause a problem. I bet they change the flexi fuel lines to rigid ones