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After an engine room fire last month resulted in a loss of power, the Carnival Triumph cruise ship was left adrift in the Gulf of Mexico.It took five days to tow the enormous vessel back to port, and its passengers were stuck on a ship without power and very few working toilets.
While some of the 4,229 passengers have already filed lawsuits (which they are unlikely to win), Christina Peaden of Galveston Texas, used the journal she kept while on board to write a book about the experience.
She self-published “Triumph Over Calamity: What Really Happened on the Carnival Triumph — A Memoir” on Amazon on February 27, less than two weeks after the Triumph reached land. (It is available on Amazon for $2.99 an an e-book, and for $8 as a paperback.)
While the short book focuses on the experiences of Peaden, her husband Mark, and her three young daughters, it reveals a good amount about the conditions and atmosphere onboard the Triumph.
Here are some passages that stand out:
On food and drink:
On February 11, the day after the fire:
The captain has decided to have an open bar. This is not a great idea.
Later that night:
Open bar has been closed due to safety.
The food seemed pretty good:
For dinner, we have salad, shrimp with cocktail sauce, smoked salmon sandwiches, and beef raps.
On passenger behaviour:
It’s all perspective. This is literally camping on the ocean except we don’t have to hunt for food. People are acting like savages, uncivilized, and closer to apes than humans.
After passengers were told they would receive a full refund, future credit on a cruise, and an extra $500:
It’s amazing how money changes everything. The ambiance has completely changed to one of celebration, chattering, and laughter in the dining room.
On going to the bathroom:
Soon after the engine fire knocks out power and most of the toilets on the Triumph:
Jen [a Carnival crew member] makes another announcement. If we have to go #1, we must use the shower. If we have to go #2, we must do this in red bags which will be provided. We must place the bags in the hallway, and a steward will come pick them up. Really??
On February 12:
Jen makes an announcement and requests that everyone refrain from throwing the poop bags overboard as it is a violation of international maritime laws.
The last line in the book:
How to poop in a bag: Put the bag in an empty trash can first! When done, tie it up and dispose of immediately.
The rough experience did not overly bother Peaden and her family: She told KHOU in Houston that they are already planning another Carnival cruise, in April.
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