Crippled cruise ship slowly makes its way to land

February 14, 2013 • Business

Passengers congregate on an upper deck of the disabled Carnival Lines cruise ship Triumph as it is towed to harbor off Mobile Bay, Ala., Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013. The ship with more than 4,200 passengers and crew members has been idled for nearly a week in the Gulf of Mexico following an engine room fire. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — This is not at all how it looked in the brochure: Pulled by a tugboat at a maddeningly slow pace, the cruise ship Carnival Triumph finally drew nearer to port Thursday as miserable passengers told stories of overflowing toilets, food shortages, foul odors and dangerously dark passageways.

The ship was expected to arrive about midnight, and officials said it would take passengers — carrying their own luggage, with only one functioning elevator on the ship — up to five hours to disembark.

Once off the ship, most passengers will head on another journey, this time via bus. Carnival said passengers had the option of a seven-hour bus ride to the Texas cities of Galveston or Houston or a two-hour trip to New Orleans. The company said it had booked 1,500 hotel rooms in the Louisiana city, and passengers staying there would be flown Friday to Houston.

“I can’t imagine being on that ship this morning and then getting on a bus,” said Kirk Hill, whose 30-year-old daughter, Kalin Christine Hill, is on the cruise. “If I hit land in Mobile, you’d have a hard time getting me on a bus.”

On Thursday night, dozens of chartered buses — with markings from Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas — had gathered in Mobile.

Carnival said it will cover transportation costs.

Earlier Thursday — four days after the 893-foot ship was Login to read more

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