Carnival arranges for hotels, transportation for guests on disabled ship

By Tom Stieghorst

Carnival Cruise Lines has lined up hotels, buses and charter flights for the 3,143 guests aboard the Carnival Triumph, which is being towed to Mobile, Ala., after an engine fire.

The immobilized ship is expected to arrive sometime on Thursday, Feb. 14. When it does, Carnival has arranged 20 flights to Houston to begin returning passengers home.

In a press conference on Feb. 12, Carnival President Gerry Cahill said that Carnival has reserved 1,500 hotel rooms in Mobile and New Orleans for Thursday night.

It has also arranged transportation from Houston to Galveston for passengers who left their cars in Galveston, where the Triumph last departed on Feb. 7.

Alternatively, for passengers who want to return home immediately, Carnival is in the process of arranging coaches on Thursday night to Houston or Galveston.

Cahill began the press conference with an apology to guests. Some reports from relatives of passengers have focused on hot, uncomfortable conditions on the ship, which is without air conditioning and has a limited number of operable toilets.

"No one here is happy about conditions on the ship," Cahill said. "There's no question that conditions on the ship are very, very challenging."

Follow Tom Stieghorst on Twitter @tstravelweekly.

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