Keeping a sanitary environment aboard all ships is one of the main requirements for the cruise industry. But following the Carnival Triumph cruise ship fire accident in February, which led to some of the most deplorable conditions ever suffered onboard a vessel, it has become blatantly clear that there is a lack of sanitation across the industry and an appalling overall lack of maritime safety fleet-wide.
One would think that after 4,200 Triumph passengers and crewmembers had to endure five days at sea amidst overflowing waste and sewage, that the industry would take a hint and work extra hard at improving safety features on their vessels. Yet, it seems as though a little bit of safety is too much to ask of cruise lines.
Just two months after the Triumph lost power in the Gulf of Mexico, passengers onboard another Carnival Corp.-owned vessel are indignant after hundreds of toilets stopped working on the Crown Princess.
“I will never, ever, ever, ever cruise with Princess again, ever,” said Sonya Flye, a passenger onboard the Crown Princess who had to endure conditions similar to what Triumph passengers suffered when toilets ceased to operate.
Although there has been a lot of hype in the cruise industry after several Carnival Corp. vessels have been involved in a series of cruise ship accidents this year, Flye still had hope in the industry, and was excited to embark on her vacation aboard the Princess Cruises ship Crown Princess.
Like most cruise travelers, Flye was expecting a relaxing, fun-filled getaway, but she quickly learned that what was in store for her and the thousands of other passengers on the ship would be far from the care-free vacation that was anticipated.
According to Princess officials, a blockage in the Crown Princess’ vacuum toilet system caused toilets in 410 staterooms in the aft part of the ship to stop working. Several passengers were unable to use the toilets in their rooms and across the affected area of the ship for a large portion of the cruise.
“It was quite an inconvenience,” said another passenger named Fonda Boyd. “If you had to get up in the middle of the night or even during the day, you had to go somewhere else to use the restroom…and that would entail taking an elevator and walking a bit.”
This isn’t exactly what travelers sign up for when they book a cruise vacation.
But if lack of toilet functionality was the only thing guests had to worry about, it wouldn’t have been so bad. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the worst of it.
Sewage and waste began to overflow, leaving passengers to suffer amidst disgusting conditions and be placed at risk for the dozens of potentially life-threatening illnesses that could be transmitted from the waste.
“By the bathroom, it was flooded, it was wet in the carpet,” explained an outraged Flye.
The Crown Princess has already been criticized after over 100 passengers contracted the infamous Norovirus in December, a stomach virus that can become potentially life-threatening. Unfortunately for those onboard the Crown Princess, they were stuck onboard a whopping 20-day transatlantic itinerary from Venice, Italy when the highly contagious outbreak occurred.
As far as Flye and Boyd are concerned, cruise travel is not something they will be looking forward to any time soon – if ever again.
“It was disappointing and a big inconvenience, it made me second think about cruising,” said Boyd.
But Flye and Boyd are not alone in their sentiments. A recent poll which surveyed 2,230 U.S. adults between Feb. 19 and 21 revealed that America’s trust in Carnival dropped 17% following the Triumph debacle. But the nation’s disappointment in cruising wasn’t just limited to Carnival; the Triumph fire accident and subsequent deplorable onboard conditions suffered when toilets stopped working, sewage overflowed and after passengers had little to eat aside from cucumber sandwiches.
The poll showed that the Triumph incident caused a domino effect in the industry, causing Americans to lose trust in other cruise lines as well, including Royal Caribbean and Norwegian.
Additionally, the poll revealed that the nation has lost faith the quality of cruise brands, especially Carnival. America’s perception of the quality of the “Fun Ship” cruise company fell 18%, according to the poll, and that was just in February.
Given all of the recent issues the cruise industry has suffered since the beginning of the year, many passengers have admitted that they won’t be back to see what other maritime disasters will be in store.
Meanwhile, Princess officials have issued statements explaining repairs to the ship are underway and that compensation will be provided for passengers.
Unfortunately, as each cruise ship accident attorney at our firm has seen happen time and time throughout the years, it may be a while before Princess passengers see any reimbursement for the conditions they had to endure.
Photo Credits: click2houston.com
Top Left: Crown Princess docks with upset passengers
Bottom Right: Passenger Sonya Flye recounts nightmarish experience onboard the Crown Princess to media