- Paris Flash
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“We see land,” Karley Jackson, from Paris, Texas, stated over a radio phone to a live CNN broadcast.
The Carnival cruise ship that had left her and over 4000 other passengers stranded at sea was now nearing the Port of Mobile, Alabama — a destination that had taken five days to reach, and three days later than due, on a trip that was originally scheduled to be back on the 11th.
The CNN television broadcast stayed on air for a few minutes discussing Paris, Texas, while mentioning that there were eleven passengers from Paris on the boat and displaying Karley’s approaching statement across the bottom of the screen.
Karley’s father, Travis Jackson, who drove from Paris to Mobile on Thursday to pick her up, asked reporters with www.TimesFreePress.com*, ‘who would want to get back on a cruise?’1 His daughter had went on the cruise with several other Jazzercise members from Paris for a 4-day ‘Jazzercise Cruise’, from Galveston to Cozumel. Many Jazzercise instructors and students from across the region met for this annual business event.
Jackson went on to tell reporters that he’d thought about it on Thursday and he planned to tell Karley not to take Carnival’s reimbursement, and that he wasn’t sure there wouldn’t be any ‘catches’ or waivers with the it, despite what Carnival officials had said. According to the www.TimesFreePress.com article, other passengers weren’t sure either.
Doug Briscose, told CNN reporters that he had last spoken to his wife, Angie Briscoe, on Monday and she told him all she’d had to eat was an ‘onion sandwich’ and water to drink, but that they had been treated very good. Angie is also a part of the Jazzercise group from Paris.
People’s responses on arriving home and statements about the conditions and treatment certainly varied as information was gathered. Many are angry, most all relieved to be home, and some feel that the compensation offered to them is not near enough compared to what they’ve been through since that fire on Sunday.
One Dallas man told www.DallasNews.com* that a hot shower was the most missed, while another Dallas man said ‘we had to poop in bags for days…it was terrible.’3
According to reports* from both CNN.com* and www.DallasNews.com, in many areas of the ship, due to bad sewage issues, urine and feces ran down walls of cabins and soaked into the carpet. People were asked to use bags for toilets and then set them outside their cabin doors.2
The atmosphere of the Carnival Triumph began as that of a vacation cruise would: fun and relaxed. However, the tension began to rise immediately following the fire on Sunday, disabling the boat’s propulsion system, leaving it adrift out on the open sea. The smell, lack of power, long food lines, the heat, and so many more things only amounted to frustration for these passengers.
The ‘guest services’ line on the ship, which was to inform the over 4000 passengers of where they were to stay on Thursday night, averaged more than 200 people at any given time, making quite a wait.3
Although many of the passengers are angry, disgruntled, and now even weary of cruises, according to reports* from CNN.com, some are more forgiving, offering up praise to Carnival staff, crediting them for their lengthy shift hours, and despite the circumstances, their hard work to keep all the passengers comfortable and calm.
Passengers joined together to make phone-charging areas, due to the sporadic power issues, and according to reports*, a hot meal was served to them on Thursday morning.
Upon the arrival of the Triumph, the CEO of Carnival offered a formal apology to the passengers and their families. Carnival will give each passenger $500, a free flight home, a full refund for most expenses paid on the boat, and credit towards a future cruise, although it’s highly unlikely that these will get used for a long while, especially not on a Carnival ship.
Being on a boat of that size that is slowing being pulled in the middle of the ocean– without adequate electricity or a sufficient number of toilets for days, over 4000 people, and a limited food source — is bound to have made most all of those passengers feel agitated, and unless Carnival can go back in time — which I highly doubt — there is no complete reimbursement for this ‘Jazzercise Cruise’.
*This article was written referencing articles and reports from CNN.com, TheDallasNews.com and www.TimesFreePress.com (c. New York Times News Service) — listed and numbered below with details and links. These reports contributed to this article as a reference. A CNN Network television broadcast was also referenced.
1. This was in www.TimesFreepress.com article http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2013/feb/15/cruise-lines-woes-far-over/ - published Friday, February 15th, 2013
2. CNN.com article http://www.cnn.com/2013/02/15/travel/cruise-ship-fire/index.html?hpt=hp_inthenews - published/updated @ 10:22 AM EST, Fri February 15, 2013
3. www.DallasNews.com (The Dallas Morning News) article http://www.dallasnews.com/news/community-news/plano/headlines/20130214-dallas-fort-worth-passengers-on-carnival-triumph-eager-to-go-home.ece - Published: 14 February 2013 11:18 PM