So, on Monday, we aired stories on both WBAP and KLIF about a Burleson couple who endured the hell that ended up being the Carnival Triumph cruise out of Galveston.
They left on Thursday, Feb. 7 and expected to be back in four days. Well, on that Sunday morning, after an excursion to Cozymel, a fire broke out on board, causing panic and smoke in many of the rooms. That began an ordeal that didn't end until the 32-hundred passengers disembarked on that next Thursday night.
Passengers were without power - which included working toilets. The ship would list on varying sides on different days, eventually, causing backed-up raw sewage to spill into the carpets and flood much of the ship. Passengers were told to urinate in the showers and poop in red, biohazard bags, which eventually stacked-up in hallways. The stench coupled with the heat from the lack of AC, was too much for people to bear, so most stayed on deck, using sheets to shield themselves from the sun.
Food was rough and not plentiful as is usually the case on cruises and lines to get what little there was were hours long.
People were depressed, angry, hoarding food, all while doing their best to mentally survive being adrift under those conditions.
Got the picture?
That Burleson couple are good friends of my husband and I. When I learned they were on the Triumph, I was so disturbed and distressed because they're such good, hard-working people and great parents to their three beloved kids.
When the stories about them aired on Monday, they knew they would get some attention, but neither they nor I were prepared for the negative backlash.
People were being cruel and mean to them, making the assumption that anyone was on a fancy cruise ship has nothing to complain about. Really!?!?
Not so, I say.
It's not like any of these people were on the Queen Mary. They were all on Carnival that left out of Galeveston. It's not like these people were on a 10-day, $10,000/person Mediterranean cruise. And even if they were, they didn't sign-up or pay for the hellish, extended trip they ended up getting. (No matter if it was a freak occurrence.)
These "haters" don't understand how bad conditions were on the ship. I don't even understand the mental anguish that the passengers must have endured while not only trying to "survive" the cess pool they were forced in, but also worrying about their families, their jobs and things that were unable to control.
Shame on them for being negative against those people - and crew - aboard that ship. Those people didn't bargain for what they got, which ended up being well beyond just an inconvenience or delay.
The woman in my story - my friend - has been "mildly traumatized" by her first cruise experience and on the Saturday after they finally got back to their children, she told me that she took three showers that day because of how filthy she felt - still. Think that's nothing?
For the people we've heard from, the pictures we've all seen from the ship and the pictures of the "red bags," it's pretty understandable if some of those passengers are left with some emotional trauma that they, like our friends, will have to deal with in the days, weeks and months to come.