GALVESTON — Passengers stranded on the Carnival Triumph may be as desperate to get off the cruise ship as a Houston couple and their 30-person wedding party is to get on it.
The couple, who had planned a Valentine’s Day wedding on the beaches of Cozumel, Mexico, received a text message from Carnival at 5 p.m. Sunday informing them the weeklong cruise out of the Port of Galveston had been canceled. The Triumph has been floating off the coast of the Yucatán Peninsula without electricity or propulsion since one of its engines caught fire Sunday.
The groom’s sister, League City resident Lisa Crowder, said the cruise line offered to refund the price of the tickets and reschedule the trip but lacked compassion for the bind it left them in.
“On Saturday, (Carnival) informed us there may be a problem but said not to cancel our travel plans,” Crowder said. “We had family fly in from everywhere, but the cruise was canceled by the time they all landed. The bride has been in tears all day.”
Crowder said Galveston beach would have been an option if the weather wasn’t so cold, since guests loaded their suitcases with shorts and swimsuits in preparation for Mexico.
Options are limited for a large party with such short notice, she said, and no other cruise ship is leaving from Galveston this week with room for 30 people.
“We’re going to bring laptops to the hotel tomorrow and go online to find a way to make this happen,” Crowder said.
Two tug boats were scheduled to connect with the Triumph Monday to pull the ship to Mobile, Al., according to a news release from the Carnival cruise line.
Passengers will then board a chartered aircraft Carnival is in the process of arranging and fly back to the United States.
A technical crew has restored auxiliary power to operate some basic hotel functions, but food service was so limited Sunday that the Carnival Elation connected with the ship to provide food and other provisions, according to the release.
Most of the toilets and showers on the ship are unusable.