Tugs moving disabled Carnival cruise ship Triumph away from Mobile, Alabama to get repairs

MOBILE, Ala. - The disabled Carnival cruise ship Triumph is being moved from the Alabama dock where it discharged its weary passengers and crew after five days at sea paralyzed by an engine-room fire.

Tugs pulled the 14-story ship away from the dock in Mobile on Friday morning. The ship was being moved backward down a waterway in the direction of a shipyard where city officials said it will be repaired.

The ship started moving about the same time weary passengers were arriving by bus at the ship's departure port in South Texas.

Buses began arriving at the Port of Galveston after an eight-hour drive from Mobile, Ala.

Port of Galveston police say as many as 800 people will arrive Friday by bus to retrieve their vehicles or be shuttled onto other buses to reach home.

Elaine Roberts of Gainesville, Texas, and her family were among the first to arrive in Galveston. She told KHOU-TV the conditions on Triumph were a "cesspool."

The Triumph departed Galveston on Feb. 7 and was due to return Monday, but an engine room fire left the ship adrift in the Gulf Of Mexico. The ship was towed to Mobile, where it arrived Thursday night.

It took about four hours to get all the passengers off the crippled ship.

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.