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Preparedness Doesn’t Take a Vacation

by ‘Above Average’ Joe

The Carnival Triumph is set to make a not so triumphant return in the early hours this morning.

The story of the engine fire that left more than 4000 passengers and crew-members adrift in the gulf of mexico has been all over the news this week.  With any luck the veritable voyage from hell will soon be over for all of those on board.

Unfortunately  I have a cruise scheduled to debark in just over two weeks and the messages coming from the passengers is not particularly helpful.

See these excerpts taken from the LA times and CNN.com respectively.

“The messages from passengers on the Carnival Triumph, drifting in the Gulf of Mexico after an engine fire Sunday, came from text messages sent to family and friends. No one was injured in the fire but it left the ship without propulsion.

A tug boat reached the ship Monday and a second boat is expected to arrive Tuesday, with plans to pull the ship to Mobile, Alabama by Thursday, the cruise line said. The ship, departed Galveston last week with about 3,000 passengers and more than 1,000 crew members on a four-day cruise to Cozumel, an island off the coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.

Several text messages relayed from friends or relatives of Triumph passengers were printed on Cruisecritic.com, a review site for cruise vacations.

The messages said the rooms are so hot without circulating air that some passengers were sleeping in tents on the deck.

The husband of a woman on the ship said he spoke to his wife Sunday by phone. “At the time I spoke to her, there were no toilets. They were using little red bags. And no running water, no lights, except emergency lighting.”

Others said family members reported that passengers were getting cranky and some were hoarding food.

Another text quoted a woman who joined three friends on the cruise. “She said it was already pretty miserable. No hot food and no alcohol being served. There was still ice being served in soft drinks. None of the shops were open.”

” Not being able to sail, though, is just one of the problems. Issues with running water, scarce electricity and more contributed to headaches big and small, according to passengers and their loved ones.

Toby Barlow’s wife Ann told him there was “sewage running down the walls and floors” with passengers being asked to defecate in bags and urinate in showers due to a lack of functioning toilets. Food lines ran 3½ hours long and some, like herself, slept outside to keep cool.

“Elderly and handicap(ped people) are struggling,” she texted her husband. “The smells are gross.”

Brent Nutt said his wife, Bethany — who is on board, and whom he talked to Sunday — reported similar problems.

“She said they had no power, no running water, and she said she hadn’t been able to eat anything yet. Then you call the Carnival phone number for families, and they tell you that everything is all right,” Nutt told CNN.

It is situations like these that force you to realize that just because you’re on vacation, does not mean that you can head out unprepared.

Do I think that the ship I am going to be on will have a fire or any other type of hazard that might cause issues like those above?

No, but then that’s why they are called unforeseen circumstances.

Needless to say In addition to sunscreen, flip flops, and swim trunks My bags will be packed with the maximum allowable bottles of water and a good amount of snacks… possibly even a few freeze dried meals and ration bars.

Just FYI for anyone else who might be sailing on carnival soon; you are allowed to bring at maximum 20 canned or bottled beverages ( non alcoholic)  at a maximum of 20 oz per person.

I haven’t been able to find any restrictions on snacks or food stuffs, so  I will pack as many as I can…. or as many as my wife will let me pack.

Does this sound paranoid to you?


  1. When I go on a vacation anywhere , I take a mini-mag light & a spare set of batteries always!

  2. It sounds like the kind of good common sense we would expect from you Joe and an example that we should follow.

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