Cruise Not The “Triumph” It Was Supposed To Be

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A Coast Guard helicopter crew delivers approximately 3,000 pounds of equipment, which included a generator and electrical cables to the Carnival Cruise Ship Triumph in the Gulf of Mexico, Feb. 13, 2013. Image: United States Coast Guard

A Coast Guard helicopter crew delivers approximately 3,000 pounds of equipment, which included a generator and electrical cables to the Carnival Cruise Ship Triumph in the Gulf of Mexico, Feb. 13, 2013. Image: United States Coast Guard

Everyone’s safe and sound now – and on dry land –but it’s a vacation that 4,000 people who took a Carnival cruise probably don’t consider a “triumph.”

It was supposed to be a four-day luxury cruise, from Texas to Mexico and back.

The Carnival Triumph cruise ship was in the Gulf of Mexico on Feb. 10 when a fire broke out in the engine room.

There were 3,143 passengers and 1,086 crew members on board.

The fire disabled the 14-story luxury liner’s engines and power generators.

That shut down the ship’s refrigeration, air conditioning and toilets.

The ship drifted at sea for five days, with no way to heat up food or flush the toilets. The ship was eventually towed to a dock in Mobile, Alabama.

A lack of fresh water, baby formula and clean washrooms were probably the biggest problems for the passengers. That, and boredom. Some of the passengers joined in on sing-a-longs and impromptu comedy shows to amuse themselves.

As the washrooms became dirtier and the un-air-conditioned cabins became stuffier, many passengers opted to sleep in the hallways or outside on the decks.

One passenger told the Washington Post it was like camping at sea.

Supply ships managed to deliver ice and food to the cruise ship while it was drifting.

While some passengers were on the phone to news reporters telling them how awful the situation was, other passengers were wondering what all the fuss was about.

Passenger Kirk Draut, and his wife, Patty, told the Washington Post they watched movies and live music shows and ate hot meals like cheeseburgers and sausages. They posted some pictures of their meals on Facebook.

Passengers have been offered their money back for the cruise, plus an extra $500 and a free flight home.

They were also offered credit for another cruise.

Some passengers are suing the cruise line, saying they knew the ship’s engines had problems. The passengers also say the company chose to tow the ship to a far-off port when a closer (but more expensive) one was available.

One expert told Reuters news agency that the $500 deal is probably the best passengers could expect to get, even if they win the lawsuit.

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS
By Kathleen Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
Some passengers said it was an awful cruise, but at least two others said it wasn’t so bad. What do you think accounts for these very different points of view?

Are there any other points of view that are missing from this article? For example, how do you think the crew members, the captain and the coast guard would have reacted during this situation?

Reading Prompt: Extending Understanding
Passengers were offered a credit for another cruise. If you had been on the Triumph, would you take another cruise? Why or why not?

Primary
Extend understanding of texts by connecting the ideas in them to their own knowledge and experience, to other familiar texts, and to the world around them (OME, Reading: 1.6).

Junior
Extend understanding of texts by connecting the ideas in them to their own knowledge, experience, and insights, to other familiar texts, and to the world around them (OME, Reading: 1.6).

Intermediate
Extend understanding of texts, including increasingly complex or difficult texts, by connecting the ideas in them to their own knowledge, experience, and insights, to other familiar texts, and to the world around them (OME, Reading: 1.6).

Grammar Feature: Italics
When titles are written in an article or story, they need to be italicized. One example from the article is The Washington Post. Since this is the title of a newspaper it needs to be written with italics. 

Did you know that the names of specific spacecrafts, aircrafts, ships, and trains are also treated like titles? For example, Carnival Triumph needs to be written in italics.

Read the following sentences and identify which words should be written in italics:
1. Jo and his family flew in an airplane to Mexico.
2. Dr. Seuss is a famous children’s author who wrote the book Green Eggs and Ham.
3. Commander Hadfield is currently doing work from The International Space Station.
4. A Ferrari is a very expensive, fancy car.
5. iCarly is a popular show on the station, YTV.