Crippled Carnival ship had prior mechanical problems

HOUSTON (AP) — 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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114-a-10-(Jimmy Mowlam (MOH'-luhm), father of man on disabled cruise ship, in AP interview)-"places to sleep"-Jimmy Mowlam, whose son is on the disabled cruise ship, says he's heard the there's not enough heat, hot water, or comfortable accommodations. Updated: 02/13/2013-04:31:27 AM ET (13 Feb 2013)

<<CUT *114 (02/13/13)>> 00:10 "places to sleep"

111-a-17-(Gerry Cahill, president and CEO, Carnival Cruise Lines, at news conference)-"on that promise"-Carnival Cruise Lines President Gerry Cahill says he's sorry for the tough conditions on the "Carnival Triumph," stranded after a fire in the Gulf of Mexico. ((note length of cut)) (13 Feb 2013)

<<CUT *111 (02/13/13)>> 00:17 "on that promise"

GRAPHICSBANK: Carnival Triumph cruise ship stranded without power in the Gulf of Mexico as the Coast Guard Cutter Vigorous (bottom) patrols nearby, US Coast Guard photo on black (13 Feb 2013)

APPHOTO FLAN105: In this photo provided by Carnival Cruise Lines, Gerry Cahill, president and CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines, addresses media representatives during a news conference regarding the cruise ship Carnival Triumph Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013, at the company's headquarters in Miami. After a Sunday, Feb. 10, engine room fire that left the Triumph without propulsion in the Gulf of Mexico, the ship is being towed to Mobile, Ala., and is expected to arrive there Thursday, Feb. 14. There are no reported injuries. (AP Photo/Carnival Cruise Lines, Andy Newman) (12 Feb 2013)

<<APPHOTO FLAN105 (02/12/13)>>

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