Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love and family, but for many onboard the damaged Carnival Triumph, including one Texas newly-wed couple, it seems as though their “Love Boat” fantasies have become more of a nightmare on the high seas.
A Texas couple’s fantasy wedding onboard the Triumph quickly turned into a hellish honeymoon after a fire in the engine room left the vessel without power or propulsion. Stranded in the Gulf of Mexico, newly-weds Rob Mowlam, 37, and Stephanie Stevenson, 27, of Nederland, Texas, have not had the smooth start to their marriage they were expecting when they got hitched onboard the vessel on Saturday.
The four-day cruise was meant to be a honeymoon for the love birds, but instead of returning home on Monday as scheduled, the vessel has been slowly making its way through the Gulf via tug boat tow, and will dock in Mobile, Alabama instead of Galveston, Texas.
The ship is expected to dock today if weather permits, leaving at least a few hours of Valentine’s Day romance for the couple to salvage. Unfortunately, even as Carnival has offered compensation to passengers aboard the Triumph, Mowlam and Stevenson’s honeymoon memories will forever be tainted by the recollection of scarce provisions, overflowing and non-working toilets, and staggering heat throughout the vessel.
James Mowlam, Rob’s brother, said he was shocked to hear about the cruise ship fire accident and the dire conditions aboard the Triumph.
“It is an atrocious scene to be subjected to,” he said.
While James Mowlam has not been able to communicate with his brother, he said their father has had sporadic communication with him but highly doubts that their cruise ship wedding will be remembered for its magic and romance.
“It would be my guess that this would probably not be on anyone’s great list of memorable wedding experiences,” said Mowlam with a laugh. “Although, my mom told him that she was hoping they had a memorable wedding and I think this would classify as a memorable wedding experience.”
The bride’s brother, Justin Davis, hasn’t been able to communicate with her yet, but said his sister is tough and is likely making the best out of a very grim situation.
“She might be a little aggravated at the situation, but I’d say she’s [probably] handling it really well,” he said.
Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for other passengers on the ship.
Many have complained about being handed out plastic bags to “do their business in” or being given condiment-only sandwiches, and as sewage begins to leak, many are scared that disease will break out due to the unsanitary conditions onboard the Carnival Triumph.
Carnival CEO and President Gerry Cahill publicly apologized for the conditions passengers have been forced to endure, offering a full refund, future cruise credit and an additional $500 dollars per passenger for their pain and suffering. However, if conditions onboard do cause passengers to become ill, they may be able to obtain a lot more than $500 with the help of a cruise ship accident lawyer, such as the experienced attorneys here at Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A.
This hasn’t been the best start to the 2013 cruise season for Carnival, and with last year’s Costa Concordia capsizing accident, which killed 32 people, it seems as though Cupid will have to work his magic in order to help cruise travelers fall back in love with the “Fun Ship” liner.
Top Right: Carnival Triumph Cruise Fire Accident Report – abcnews.go.com
Middle Left: Rob Mowlam & Stephanie Stevenson dailymail.co.uk
Bottom Right: Carnival Triumph Being Towed To Mobile, AL – abcnews.go.com