Costs Mount as Carnival Triumph Investigation Continues

February 21, 2013
Update, 1:20 p.m. EST: The team of technical personnel and guest services staff that Carnival dispatched to the stricken Carnival Triumph on Monday, February 11 never made it to the ship, Seatrade Insider revealed.

According to the report, the boat the cruise line chartered from Mexico was unable to reach Triumph after it began rapidly drifting north.

"The smaller vessel ultimately had to return to shore based on fuel concerns," a Carnival spokeswoman told Seatrade Insider.

(10:32 a.m. EST) – The as-yet-undetermined cost of the Carnival Triumph engine room fire just ticked up a notch after the city of Mobile, Alabama, announced it will be charging Carnival Cruise Lines for personnel overtime and wharf use.

Mobile Mayor Sam Jones told Alabama Live, an Alabama-focused Web site powered by three local newspapers, the city will charge Carnival for the overtime costs of police, fire and public works employees who put in long hours the Thursday the ship arrived at the Mobile cruise terminal.

The city also plans to charge the cruise line a wharfing fee as well as a charge for each passenger who used the gangway that led off the ship and into the terminal. The total will be announced later this week.

It is not clear whether Carnival had anticipated these costs or not. When asked, a Carnival spokesman would only say the line had estimated "the total impact from voyage disruptions and related repair costs."

Though Jones said the city would not be out any money, he emphasized the fact that it won't be a large payout. "If you look at it from a one-day period, we will get more than what we've gotten in the past but it won't be an exorbitant amount," he told Alabama Live.

While Mobile expects to cover its costs, several Triumph passengers continue to seek reimbursement for their alleged pain and suffering. In addition to two single lawsuits filed, a proposed class-action lawsuit was filed this week by passengers Matt and Melissa Crusan. As reported by Reuters, the suit states Carnival should be held liable for the physical and emotional pain inflicted on passengers because the line knew or should have known Triumph was an unsafe ship. As a proposed class-action suit, the lawsuit seeks to represent all Triumph passengers.

Earlier this week a U.S. Coast Guard spokesperson said investigators have pinpointed the cause of the fire as a fuel line running between the No. 6 engine and the fuel tank. The full results of the investigation might not be determined for another six months.

--by Dori Saltzman, News Editor