SA residents describe dirty, hot conditions on Carnival cruise ship

Carnival cruise ship being towed in Gulf of Mexico

SAN ANTONIO - The head of Carnival Cruise Lines says his company is working hard to ensure passengers stranded on a disabled cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico are as comfortable as possible while the vessel is towed to port.

Carnival Cruise Lines President and CEO Gerry Cahill said at a news conference Tuesday that most public restrooms on the ship are working as are some bathrooms in guest cabins. He also said there's running water on the ship.

Cahill's comments are in contrast to what some passengers have told relatives. They described dirty and hot conditions aboard the ship, including overflowing toilets and limited access to food.

San Antonio resident Dustin Martinez said his mother is stuck on the ship. He last spoke to her on Sunday.

"I got a phone call from her. Very brief. Basically saying, I'm fine, We have food. No toilets," Martinez said.

Martinez said he is praying for his mother, but knows the situation is out of his control.

"They're trying their best. It's a business, it's an unfortunate situation I feel bad for them, but at the same time, that's my mom on it, so I will just have to deal with it as it comes along," Martinez said.

Another viewer, who has a sister on board, emailed KSAT detailing conditions. Erin Klingbeil said her sister told her, "the lower decks are flooded with sewage and waste, which has produced an overwhelming odor."

The email continues, "passengers have to go to the restroom in plastic bags. Passengers have to stay on the top deck with little shade, sleeping on pool chairs, which has left them badly sunburned, hot, tired, hungry and dirty."  

KSAT also received reports of passengers fighting over food. Many of the elderly are without their medications and small children are without formula or diapers.  

The ship is being towed to Alabama, and is expected to arrive Thursday.

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