Passengers have described the "disgusting" conditions onboard the stricken Carnival Triumph, which remains at sea three days after it lost power, with urine-soaked carpets from overflowing toilets.
The plight of the ship passengers has been contrasted with Carnival boss and Miami Heat owner Micky Arison's attendance at a basketball game, after he was pictured supporting his team at the match on Tuesday, as the stranded vessel continued to be towed to port at the rate of a few miles per hour.
Passengers have described sleeping on the decks because of a lack of air conditioning, said the Daily Mail, which also reported that guests have been asked to urinate in cabin showers and defecate into bags as there are only five working bathrooms.
Food supplies are said to be scarce, reducing guests to eating cold onion sandwiches, while one passenger, Debra Rightmire, told ABC that cabin carpets were “wet with urine and water” because toilets were overflowing.
The vessel lost power in the Gulf of Mexico following a fire in the engine on Sunday, and was supposed to reach port on Monday but this was pushed back to Thursday, when it is expected to reach Mobile, Alabama.
The Daily Mail reported that a 25-mph south-southeasterly wind had made it too difficult to tow the ship to its original destination of Progreso in Mexico, causing the vessel to change course and head north to Alabama.
Carnival Cruise Lines president Gerry Cahill said: "All guests on the current Carnival Triumph voyage will receive a full refund for the cruise, along with transportation expenses.
"In addition, they will receive a future cruise credit equal to the amount paid for this voyage, as well as reimbursement of all shipboard purchases during the voyage, with the exception of gift shop and casino charges.
He added: "We're terribly sorry for the inconvenience, discomfort, and frustration our guests are feeling.
"We know they expected a fantastic vacation, and clearly that is not what they received. Our shipboard and shoreside teams are working around the clock to care for our guests and get them home safely."
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