During CNN’s live coverage via helicopter this evening, a medical expert opined that health risks to those onboard are likely minimal. Passengers report that they are able to cleanse their hands with waterless sanitizer and are more aware of the need to do so than they otherwise would have been.
Reports of passengers taking a lot of food after waiting in line for hours have been tempered by other reports that the “hoarders” were simply getting food for themselves and family members.
Spirits seem to be high as Carnival Triumph approaches land and passengers say that they are able to charge multiple cell phones at a time by using extension cords brought onto the ship by fellow cruisers. It’s a passenger initiative that demonstrates the camaraderie of those on board. Additionally, passengers in outside cabins have shared their space—and daylight—with those in inside cabins.
By all accounts, the crewmembers have performed on an amazing level. Carnival Triumph will be the largest cruise ship ever to dock in Mobile and reportedly is only being allowed to do so due to the plight of passengers on board. A “luggage brigade” of crewmembers will assist their debarkation in Mobile because there’s only one working elevator on Carnival Triumph (although we cannot confirm that).
The ship, which is 116 feet wide is making its way down the 400 foot wide channel in darkness—a challenging feat. Lights seen on the ship during CNN's evening coverage are powered by the emergency generators. Tugboats continue to keep the vessel on course despite the wind.
“Cruise industry expert” Ross Klein was interviewed by CNN's Wolf Blitzer, but you have to keep in mind that Klein's well-known agenda is to depict the entire cruise industry in the worst light possible. He began that quest after his wife was “disrespected” by a bartender who was unable to lower the volume of music on a pool deck as she requested.
While in cell phone contact with CNN, Julie, a passenger on Carnival Triumph, says that she and her fellow cruisers from Louisiana, Mississippi, and Indiana have been miserable, but have been getting by with their faith in God.
Kudos to CNN for connecting family members ashore with their loved ones on board via cell phone while interviewing them on the air! That said, one of the dumbest interviews I heard today was with a 16-year old whose major concern was her inability to text her friends. She also said she felt sorry for the "elderly" on board who were breaking their ankles. Huh?
On a brighter note, Carnival Triumph passenger Ed Buck tells Fox News that he's happy about the compensation offered by Carnival Cruise Lines and will take advantage of the free cruise they have offered as part of the compensation package.
U.S. Coast Guard Photo/Ensign Chris Shivock