Carnival passengers on both this cruise and prior ones talk about problems on the ship

February 15, 2013 4:21:14 PM PST
A lot happened has happened since Thursday night when the Carnival Triumph docked in Mobile, Alabama. An engine fire left it stranded in the Gulf. On Friday, passengers on board that crippled cruise ship finally reunited with their loved ones after one miserable journey.

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We've heard complaints from passengers who experienced problems on the same ship. The question on the minds of many right now is was there a problem with this ship before it even left port?

Carnival cruise lines wasn't talking Friday, but the passengers certainly were, still fuming over bad decisions by management.

"They sent the ship out knowing it had engine problems?" we asked Houston passenger Bethany Knut.

"That's what infuriates me, that aspect," she said. "The crew and the people on board were absolutely awesome. But the corporate part of it, I don't think was very nice."

The cruise ship Triumph, which was moved Friday morning to a shipyard, has had serious engine trouble on its two previous cruises. In fact, it even warned passengers about that trouble.

"The upper management obviously knew this cruise ship was in disrepair two cruises prior to this going out," said Chris Richardson of Galveston, who was on the last Triumph cruise. "So it was almost an accident waiting to happen."

Richardson and his wife were both on the previous cruise. They received an urgent email from Carnival the day before departure, saying, in part, "We have had a technical problem with the ship's propulsion system." Translation -- engine trouble.

"When I got the email, it worried me even more," said Richardson. "Our vacations were already planned. There was no going back."

The letter went on to warn the problem was "affecting the ship's maximum cruising speed."

Their cruise almost had to miss a port. And the cruise previous to that did miss a port.

Now it sits in a shipyard, a spectacle for tourists, like a retired couple we spoke with in Mobile. They've been on a dozen cruises together, but only once on Carnival.

"Being an engineer myself, not a maritime engineer, but I understand thnigs can go wrong, but I understand this cruise has had a whole history of problems," said Sam Alred. "Let's put it this way. I wouldn't want to get on an airplane that has had that kind of problem."

We've spoken with other passengers from prior cruises on the Triumph, who said that they were told by the crew there was problems on board.

One thing for sure. There will be many questions Carnival executives will face in the coming days and weeks.
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