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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Carnival Cruise Triumph Disaster- A tale from a passenger

As I am sure many of you heard about, the Carnival Cruise ship, Triumph had a fire in their engine room and they were stuck floating out in the ocean for days. What you didn't know is that I had a client out there on a trip with a group of her girlfriends and she was due to go on a trip to Disneyland on Thursday (Valentine's Day.)  The Triumph was originally scheduled to be back on Monday but it turned out she didn't arrive back in the United States until Thursday night. When the fire first happened and there wasn't any power on the ship, she had no communication with her family members at all. So that left her family to come to me to determine the next step on what to do about their Disney trip.
Here is the Triumph being pulled back to shore by a tugboat. 

Together with her family, I problem solved what was best. I was having a hard time trying to make decisions without talking to Barbara, the one who I had dealt with while planning the entire vacation. I was really worried about making a decision that she wasn't happy with. I called to determine if it was possible to move their vacation back to the next week. Then we tried to discover when the next time their specific room type would be available. I did a lot of trying to figure out what would be best for them. Meanwhile, Barbara finally got some cell phone service and she told her family that she wanted to keep their Disney reservation the same. She said that she would just come later.
I asked Barbara to write about her experience on the ship for you guys to read. I can't even imagine how awful it was! 

"Ok...when they came on and told us about the fire..they said we would be home on Tuesday instead of Monday..I thought..no big deal. Then they said Wednesday..and I started to panic. Another cruise ship came by to drop off supplies Monday evening and we were able to get  a phone singnal out. I called home and my husband said we needed to cancel Disney because they were saying we would not get home till Friday..I said that was not what they were telling us..why would they lie to us..the media must be making that up..my kids all said to cancel but I said no..I would meet them there if I had to. That was on Monday. Tuesday they told us that it indeed would be thursday or Friday before we could get home..and I had a major melt-down..there was no more ships coming to drop stuff off. My last conversation with my daughter, Lauren, I gave her my pass word to contact Krystin..knowing she would take care of everything. I told her what to bring for me since I would most likely be meeting them at Disneyland. I actually took an anxiety medicine from one of my firends because I was just sick to my stomach and wanted it to all be over..sleep was my friend..and speaking of friends...I have an amazing group of girl friends that were with me..7 of them. We were able to be each others comfort..when one was up..the other could be down..when I cried they comforted me.
Not being able to be in touch with anyone was the worst!! My husband, Robert and I have been married 37 years and have never been apart this long. I had bought the grandbabies all little back packs to take on the plane and could not put those together,,Lauren had to do that for me. I was going to do a daily phone call count down...was going to get the Disney personal calls done..packing my own suitcase..paying bills, making sure my husband had everything he needed..seeing my in-laws..
The fact that we were on the 8th deck was a blessing and we had 3 balocny rooms side by side..so we were able to stay in our cabin at night..thefood was not the best...cheese and tomato sandwiches WITH mayonase..not too good..long lines for food..no ice..we had a few drinks in our room and sncaks we all brought from home.We had to urinate in the shower...not an easy feat with out taking half of your clothes off..also #2 had to be done in a "red" biohazard bag and then place it in the hall for the guys to take away. When the boat was listed to one side or the other..asit did both..the urine would spill out of the shower drain and stink up everything. Also one of the girls had to go to the clinic to get meds..we had just enough for the origingal 4 days..I just took alieve instead of my presciption meds...had to get Lauren to bring those with her to CA.
Krystin was able to make sure that it all went ok..I had to cancel a reserved character dinner because my little Kate was not feeling well..She also was able to give Lauren info in the case we did cancel...
There is no way to describe the two trips...one was great (Disney) one was not:(
I have decided that thenext trip will be with me and one or two of the grandkids.
Because of the ordeal..I lost a day with them..
Hope this covers it all. I think in addition to having Carnival re-inburse me for my flight to California..I"m going to request they pay at least 1/2 of my original cost for the trip due to the fact that I lost a day and was in such a duress that I did not get to do and see and ride everything I wanted to with the grandkids...it was fun..but I was not in the best frame of mind to enjoy it all.
Thanks for all your help!!"

Here is a news story about the ship:
http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-carnival-cruise-ship-20130212,0,1856952.story
I thought this was an interesting story to see the domino effect on how one cruise ship can bring affect so many people. Also, it shows you how having a travel agent is great because I was the one who was dealing with Disney trying to figure out the best option for them. By the way, they did not have insurance and I think this is a good story to tell you why vacation insurance can be a good idea. 

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