Local man's mother onboard Carnival Triumph

Posted at: 02/14/2013 10:22 PM
Updated at: 02/14/2013 11:58 PM

A local man says his 84-year-old mother was on the Carnival Triumph with 20 friends, on vacation they decided to take at the last minute.

It's been one thing after another for the cruise ship. Starting with a  fire in the engine room Sunday that knocked out power. Since then, passengers say conditions on board have been deteriorating and Edward Buell, of Greece, has been worried sick about his mom.

Edward Buell said, “I can't help, but worry.”

Seeing pictures of people sleeping in hallways and hearing reports that passengers have been going to the bathroom in plastic bags makes him worry even more.

Buell said, “I just want to hear her voice.”

And a lot of people did finally get to hear from their loved ones when the ship got close enough to land for cell phone service, but they didn't like what they were hearing.

Donna Gutzmann, Carnival Triumph passenger, said, “There's sewage on the floor, we're peeing and pooping in buckets, putting the bags outside the door.”

And there was another setback Thursday as the ship was slowly making its way towards shore, dragged by four tugboats. One of the tow ropes snapped. It took an hour to repair that.

Officials say the passengers will at last be able to get off the boat in Mobile, Alabama, a process that's expected to take hours.

One thing that give Buell comfort, knowing how strong his mother has always been.

Buell said, “She's a very positive person and I'm sure she's been holding it together for everyone.”

When passengers get off the ship, their stay in Alabama will likely be short. Carnival says passengers will have the option of boarding buses directly to Texas about 7 hour drive or taking a 2 hour bus ride to New Orleans.
Carnival is also giving passengers a full refund plus 500-dollars and other credits.