Carnival Knew of Danger Before ‘Poop Cruise’ Set Sail

Generator was almost a year overdue for maintenance

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Lt. Cmdr. Paul McConnell / U.S. Coast Guard / AP

A small boat belonging to the Coast Guard Cutter Vigorous patrols near the cruise ship Carnival Triumph in the Gulf of Mexico.

Updated 2:48 p.m. Dec. 18

The ill-fated Carnival Cruise that lost power at sea in February and stranded 4,000 passengers without working toilets was plagued with safety and technical problems before it set sail, according to newly-disclosed company documents.

The Carnival Triumph, dubbed the “Poop Cruise” after passengers were forced to live for almost a week amidst their own sewage, set sail Feb. 7 with only four of the six generators working, and the company knew about the fire hazard posed by the generators, CNN reports. The generator that caught fire and caused the outage had been overdue for maintenance for over a year, and was often not in compliance with the safety laws, according to the internal company documents. CNN obtained the documents as lawsuits are pending against the cruise line.

The documents also reveal that the company had been aware of the fuel line leaks that contributed to the fire, since similar problems had been plaguing other Carnival ships, CNN reports. The documents show that there had been 9 incidents with fuel lines in just 2 years.

The power outage caused the ship to drift for four days until it could be towed to Mobile, Ala. During that time, passengers had no air conditioning, and almost no lights, food, water, or working toilets.

CNN reports that Carnival said in a legal filing that the fine print on passengers’ tickets “makes absolutely no guarantee for safe passage, a seaworthy vessel, adequate and wholesome food, and sanitary and safe living conditions.” But in a statement following publication of this story, Carnival described CNN’s report as inaccurate.

“That is not at all true,” the company said. “And in fact, we agree that our guests did not receive what they paid for, and that is why we already provided compensation — a full refund, a voucher for a new cruise and $500.”

Carnival said the ship had passed inspections and that it was in full compliance with all relevant regulations.

“We already compensated everyone on the Triumph cruise because we did not meet our requirements,” the company added. “These 30 customers in the lawsuit are asking for major damages beyond what has been paid already for pain and suffering.”

This story has been updated to reflect more detailed comments from Carnival.