Crippled Carnival Ship Had Prior Mechanical Problems

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A passenger who took a recent cruise on the now-crippled Carnival Cruise Lines ship says the Triumph had a mechanical problem last month.

Debbi Smedley says hours before the Triumph was to leave Galveston on Jan. 28 she received an email from Carnival stating the vessel would leave late because of a propulsion problem.

The email said the issue affected the ship's cruising speeds and the propulsion problem would prevent them from docking at two ports. Smedley says she's sailed many cruises and this was by far, the worst.

Carnival acknowledges there was an electrical problem with the ship's alternator on the previous voyage and repairs were completed Feb. 2.

Over the weekend, the Triumph was left powerless after an engine room fire in the Gulf of Mexico with 4,000 passengers aboard. It's being towed to Mobile where it's expected to arrive tomorrow afternoon.

Some passengers have complained to relatives that conditions on the ship are dismal. They report limited access to food and bathrooms.

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