Crippled cruise ship making its way to land

By Beau Ebenezer

February 13, 2013 Updated Feb 13, 2013 at 11:44 PM CDT

GULF OF MEXICO -- A cruise ship carrying thousands of passengers and crew has been without power since Sunday, leaving living conditions unbearable for some.

"It was more like an April Fools day joke than an actual Valentines Day adventure," said Christopher Ware, the son of a passenger. "You never book a cruise thinking something like this is going to happen."

For Christopher Ware's mother, Kim Ware, it was supposed to be a romantic Valentine's Day getaway with her fiance.

However, that all changed Sunday night after an engine fire left the ship adrift in the Gulf of Mexico. The Carnival cruise ship, Triumph, was near the end of its four night cruise to Mexico and back to its port in Galveston Texas, when a fire knocked out the power.

Family members like Ware, say they have had little contact with their loved ones aboard. However, the messages they do receive tell the tale of harsh living conditions and gut-wrenching smells.

"The worst thing is the toilets aren't working over there so they were telling them to urinate in the showers," said Ware. "The smells are getting bad. With people getting sick all over the place you start to get a little worried that there might be some norovirus outbreak that might be happening."

Brief messages from Christopher's mother show they seem to be doing fine. However, Kim explained their food situation with others seemed to be animalistic at times.

"It was almost like a buffet style. People were lining up for food," said Ware. "People at the front of it were kind of hoarding food, so they weren't really rationing it. By the time she got to the front of the line, all that was left was apples, bananas, bread and onions."

The Triumph is now being towed by tugboats to the closest destination, Mobile, Alabama. It is expected to arrive Thursday afternoon. No injuries have been reported.

Carnival representatives say they will refund all passengers along with a credit for a future cruise.

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