What started off as a relaxing and fun spring break trip with her Jazzercise group, was quickly turned into a tropical nightmare when The Triumph cruise ship experienced technical problems and left Senora Suellen Foxhall stranded in the Gulf of Mexico. This was not her first cruise ship, but unlike the others, she left this trip traumatized.
“I have been on cruises before with my family and never had problems,” Foxhall said.
With the fire, plumbing was somewhat damaged; toilets would not flush. People who worked on the ship managed to fix the plumbing for a short amount of time, allowing people to use the restroom. With only a few toilets working, lines were very long.
“I knew during the day lines would be long,” Foxhall said. “Me and my friends would wake up at two in the morning just to use the bathroom without waiting in line.”
With over four thousand aboard the ship, maintaining food was not an issue. The other Carnival ships passing The Triumph would provide food such as hamburgers, hot dogs, fruits, vegetables and sandwich making. Without electricity to make any of the food, only one grill worked. The problem still remaining was that the grill could only cook about five hamburgers. With that still being an issue, people would wait in line for about three hours just to eat a warm meal.
“There was a rumor going around that we ate onion sandwiches,” Foxhall said. “That wasn’t particularly true. With the lights out, people couldn’t really see the food being served.”
Without electricity, people still managed to have fun. The swimming pool was still open, many people played cards, read books (with flashlights), and crew members decided to entertain people. The singers from the shows provided free entertainment by singing in the main hall. While most people still complained of being stranded, Foxhall decided to use her time preparing for PAL applications.
“I wanted some peace and quiet from the negative attitudes,” Foxhall said. “So I decided to go up to the balcony and read the PAL applications turned in so I could get a head start.”
Finally, after spending almost a week without electricity, The Triumph was saved by two boats pulling the ship. The ship was pulled to the closest land mass, Alabama. The passengers got off the ship to safety, and were given the option of flying back to Galveston to pick up cars they left or taking a bus home.
“Unfortunately, I had to fly to Florida for a wedding my son was going to be in,” Foxhall said.
With the sudden catastrophe of the ship being stranded, passengers were given a full refund along with a free cruise, including an extra five hundred dollars.
“Things happen everywhere, you just have to stay positive throughout the situation,” Foxhall said. “But from now on I will definitely be more cautious.”