Four months after an engine fire left it adrift in misery for days, Carnival Triumph is scheduled to return to sea on June 3. First, though, it’s going to have to be treated for a gash in its starboard aft side.
It’s as though this ship were cursed. A few weeks ago, hurricane-force winds hit Mobile, Ala., tearing the Triumph off its moorings and ripping its side. A rigging worker fell into the water and died.
Triumph, which first sailed in 1999, was in Mobile for a Carnival fleetwide comprehensive overhaul “bolstering these ships’ emergency generator power capabilities, strengthening protections surrounding key electrical systems and rerouting electrical cabling to provide greater protection and help ensure power redundancy,” according to Carnival spokeswoman Aly Bello.
The overhaul follows February’s Triumph episode — which left passengers without working toilets, lights, hot water, elevators, air conditioning and the usual vast array of food — and propulsion problems experienced by several other Carnival ships.
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Carnival, whose prices are among the industry’s lowest, has long been popular with budget travelers. Some travel agents say it still is, especially with discounts up to 40 percent following the recent misadventures.
Carnival wouldn’t talk about booking numbers but did forward a copy of its March first-quarter report, in which its chairman, Micky Arison, notes, “Despite considerable attention surrounding the Carnival Triumph, we had been encouraged to see booking volumes for Carnival Cruise Lines recover significantly in recent weeks,” crediting the bookings to “attractive pricing promotions, combined with strong support from the travel agent community and consumers. …”