The Carnival Triumph, the 893-foot passenger cruise ship owned and operated by the Carnival Corporation, is without power and is being towed slowly back to port by tugboats. There was a fire in the engine room on the third day of a planned four-day cruise in the Gulf of Mexico that left the ship without electrical power. No electricity means no running water or working toilets. It also means no air conditioning. No air conditioning means no ventilation for the rooms, or as they are called on cruise ships, cabins.
Since the cruise was scheduled to end on Monday, food and water are running out for the 3,143 passengers and 1,086 crew on board. Passengers have been told to urinate in their showers and to defecate into plastic bags.
The stench is reported to be unbearable.
Because the ship is without its power, the massive stabilization system that normally keeps the ship from swaying in rough seas is out-of-order. Passengers have been dealing with seasickness, something compounded by the extreme heat and the smell of human waste.
This is precisely the reason I will never take a cruise. These cruise companies operate on the extremely cheap side of things. Even though Carnival Corporation is an American-British company, the Carnival Triumph flies the flag not of the United States or the United Kingdom, but of the Bahamas. The reason? Since the Carnival Triumph is registered to a foreign country, it is exempt from U.S. safety regulations and labor laws. Oh, and they also don’t have to pay U.S. taxes. Because they are exempt from U.S. labor laws, they can hire people from the third-word and pay them slave wages.
As the Carnival Triumph inches back to port without power and its passengers pooping into plastic bags, Carnival Corporation CEO and NBA Heat owner Micky Arison has been taking in basketball games. Perhaps if Arison spent more of Carnival’s profits on maintaining its ships and hiring competent workers, and less money on basketball, the disaster aboard the Carnival Triumph wouldn’t have happened.