UPDATE: Monday, February 11, 2013
Bill Roy tells KAKE News his wife's stranded cruise ship is now headed for Mobile, Alabama.
Carnival says the shipped has drifted enough that the distance to Mobile and to Progreso, Mexico is now the same. Passengers are waiting for tugboats to arrive to tow the crippled ship to port.
From Mobile, passengers will be able to board planes back to their hometowns or back to Houston/Galveston-area, the ship's original return destination.
Monday, February 11, 2013
No hot food, no hot water, and for a time, no bathroom facilities forcing passengers to use plastic bags as a substitute.
That's been the experience as described by a Wichita woman and seven of her friends stranded on a Carnival cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Carnival Triumph has been adrift about 150 miles off the Yucatan Peninsula since there was a fire in the ship's engine room Sunday morning.
Wichita's Gretchen Roy has only been able to get a few text messages out to her husband, Bill, due to very limited service. But Roy says the few messages from his wife he's received have told of how cruise staff and passengers have had to be resourceful to handle the challenges.
Bill Roy says his wife has relayed that there is no air conditioning so it's very hot inside. Many passengers have dragged mattresses into the hallways, the theaters, or even out on the deck so they can cool off and get some sleep. Others have made makeshift tents out of sheets and lawn chairs on the ship's deck.
But Bill says his sense is that the most uncomfortable part has been the bathroom situation.
"They can deal with the heat, they can deal with trying to sleep out on the deck, but when you have something so personal as using the toilet, that's a different situation," Bill Roy said. "So, they were having to improvise. She (my wife) described using (plastic) bags."
There is some good news. Gretchen told Bill some of the bathrooms are back up and running. Also, two other Carnival cruise liners have brought much needed food and services.
Monday afternoon Carnival issued a statement through social media saying that two tug boats were on the way to tow the ship to the nearest port, which is Progreso, Mexico. The Triumph is expected to dock in Progreso by Wednesday night.
Bill says he's hopeful Gretchen will be back in Wichita by Thursday night.
Bill says his wife her friends are all turning 50 years old this year and this cruise is a part of their celebration.