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Cruise Ships

February 14, 2013 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
MOBILE, Ala. -- The crippled Carnival cruise ship Triumph finally limped into port Thursday night, but the passengers' ordeal wasn't over yet: It could take up to five hours for everyone to disembark,  and only one elevator was working. Less than an hour after a news briefing in which a  Carnival spokesman said the ship was five miles away and would arrive between 9:30 and 10:30 p.m. Central, the Triumph was visible from shore a bit early. Passengers cheered, crowding the rails on at least three decks as the ship pulled into port.
February 13, 2013 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
MOBILE, Ala. - As tugboats towed a stranded Carnival cruise ship through the Gulf of Mexico and slowly back to shore Wednesday, relatives of the more than 4,200 passengers and crew trapped aboard appeared at this Alabama port, eager for news or a glimpse of the ship. Mary Poret, 46, of Lufkin, Texas, arrived early, having driven overnight with friend Kim McKerreghan, 40, also of Lufkin. Both hoped to see their daughters, who are trapped on the Carnival Triumph with their fathers and a friend since Sunday.
February 12, 2013 | By Hugo Martin
Passengers stranded on a cruise ship adrift in the Gulf of Mexico say they must stand in long lines to use working bathrooms and to get hot meals. The messages from passengers on the Carnival Triumph, drifting in the Gulf of Mexico after an engine fire Sunday, came from text messages sent to family and friends. No one was injured in the fire but it left the ship without propulsion. Miami-based Carnival Cruise Line said some of the public and cabin toilets are not operating and only limited power is available to run elevators and heat food.
February 12, 2013 | By Hugo Martín and Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Los Angeles Times
A cruise ship that lost power because of an engine fire is being towed from the Gulf of Mexico, with many passengers sleeping on the deck to stay cool and standing in lines to get hot meals and use toilets. The Carnival Triumph, carrying more than 3,000 passengers and more than 1,000 crew members, could reach Mobile, Ala., by Wednesday or Thursday, depending on sea conditions, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. It is the latest cruise mishap for an industry that was hoping to rebound from last year's disastrous wreck of the Costa Concordia off the Italian coast.
February 11, 2013 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
The Carnival Triumph cruise ship is adrift about 150 miles off Mexico 's Yucatan Peninsula after a fire in the engine room Sunday left the ship disabled, according to a Carnival Cruise Lines statement posted Monday on its Facebook page. The ship carrying 3,143 guests and 1,086 crew members will be towed to a port in Mexico by late Wednesday, Carnival says. The fire was extinguished and no one was injured in the incident. The U.S. Coast Guard sent a cutter to the site, and Carnival is sending "technical crew and guest service personnel" to the ship Monday (today)
February 9, 2013 | By Tracy Wilkinson, Los Angeles Times
MEXICO CITY - You might be hard-pressed to find the word "Mexico" in some of the advertising for tourist resorts in Mexico. Brands like "Riviera Maya" often eclipse the name of the country where those lush beaches are located. As deadly violence that has haunted Mexico for years threatens tourist zones, government officials and trade executives are scrambling for ways to minimize damage to an industry that is a top income-earner and employer. The rapes last week of six Spanish women vacationing in Acapulco have heightened fear and called into question the government's ability to control crime and attract foreign visitors.
January 27, 2013 | By Beverly Beyette
Big, bigger, biggest is not what cruising is all about in 2013. In fact, most of this year's new ships are designed for river cruising, carrying fewer than 200 passengers. Woodland Hills-based Viking River Cruises leads the way, introducing 10 new longships on its European routes - with eight more coming in 2014. River cruising is so popular, said Carolyn Spencer Brown, editor in chief of, that "they're running out of rivers. " Well, not quite, but it's no longer just the usual suspects.
January 27, 2013 | By Karl Zimmermann
ISTANBUL, Turkey - As we sat on the Breeza, the open aft deck of the Azamara Quest, we watched the shadow line of the sunset climb the sheer, volcanic cliff above Skala, the tender landing area on the island of Santorini in the southern Aegean. It wasn't this iconic Greek island with dazzling white villas and churches that had lured my wife, Laurel, and me aboard this 10-night cruise from Istanbul to Athens. Rather, it was the chance to visit Black Sea ports in countries that were terrae incognitae to us, thus adding pages to our personal atlas.
January 27, 2013 | By David Lamb
ISTANBUL, Turkey - We slipped out of Istanbul at dusk, gliding across the Bosporus strait toward the Aegean Sea, Asia on the left bank, Europe on the right, four masts towering 204 feet overhead, polished teak floors underfoot, the notes of Buddy Justineau's piano drifting out from the lounge: “You must remember this, a kiss is just a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh…” The Bosporus, which connects the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara, is the world's...
January 27, 2013 | By Mary Forgione
More than a year after the Costa Concordia capsized off Italy, one big question still haunts survivor Michelle Barraclough: Why were no clear instructions given during the emergency? "The crew had no idea what to do," the Australian woman wrote on a blog posted soon after the wreck, "and the order to evacuate took [way] too long. " The ship trembled and lights went out some time after the vessel struck a rock about 9:45 p.m. on Jan. 13, 2012. Passengers said they were told the problem was electrical, according to news accounts.
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