* Exact arrival time still not clear
* Angry mother rejects cruise line executive's apology
By Kaija Wilkinson
MOBILE, Ala., Feb 14 Three tugboats were hauling
the disabled cruise ship Carnival Triumph cruise ship slowly
into port in Mobile, Alabama, on Thursday where its arrival with
more than 4,220 people aboard was expected later in the day,
The 893-foot (272 meter) vessel, notorious for reports that
it has been awash in raw sewage from overflowing toilets while
passengers suffer from food and water shortages, has been
without propulsion and running on emergency generator power
since Sunday. That was when an engine room fire left it adrift
in the Gulf of Mexico.
The ship is operated by Carnival Cruise Lines, the flagship
brand of global cruise ship giant Carnival Corp. It left
Galveston, Texas, last Thursday carrying 3,143 passengers and
1,086 crew and had originally been due to return there on Monday
There were conflicting reports about the Triumph's expected
arrival time in Mobile. But Petty Officer Bill Colclough, a U.S.
Coast Guard spokesman, said the Triumph was located about 25
nautical miles south of the sea buoy near the entrance to Mobile
Bay early on Thursday.
He said he was not sure exactly when the Triumph would make
its final entrance into the port but added that it was expected
to be sometime on Thursday afternoon.
A spokesman at Carnival Corp's headquarters in Miami had no
immediate comment on the ship's estimated time of arrival.
A Coast Guard cutter has been escorting the Triumph on its
slow moving journey into port since Monday and a Coast Guard
helicopter ferried about 3,000 pounds (1,360 kg) of equipment
including a generator to the stricken ship on Wednesday.
Earlier this week, some passengers who contacted relatives
and media before their cellphone batteries died reported on the
poor conditions on the Triumph.
They said people were getting sick from gut-wrenching odors
aboard the sweltering ship, which had no working air
conditioning, and said passengers had been told to use plastic
"biohazard" bags as makeshift toilets.
In a statement late on Wednesday, Carnival Cruise Lines
President and Chief Executive Gerry Cahill said the company had
decided to add further payment of $500 per person to help
compensate passengers for "very challenging circumstances"
aboard the ship.
"We are very sorry for what our guests have had to endure,"
Mary Poret, who spoke to her 12-year-old daughter aboard the
Triumph on Monday, rejected Cahill's apology out of hand in
comments to CNN on Thursday, as she waited anxiously in Mobile
with a friend for the Triumph's arrival.
"Seeing urine and feces sloshing in the halls, sleeping on
the floor, nothing to eat, people fighting over food, $500?
What's the emotional cost? You can't put money on that," Poret
The troubles on the Carnival Triumph occurred a little more
than a year after 32 people were killed when the Costa
Concordia, a luxury cruise ship operated by Carnival Corp's
Costa Cruises brand, was grounded on rocks off the Tuscan island
of Giglio in Italy.