A Honeymoon to Remember

The Honeymoon Couple, Don and Arlene Snover

Don and Arlene Snover, Lamar residents, were among the 4,200 passengers stranded for several days aboard the Mexico bound cruise ship, Triumph.  The couple decided to take the trip to celebrate their honeymoon, and got more than they expected in memories to last a lifetime once the ship’s engine went offline because of a fire. 

Tug Boat Pulling the Triumph to the Coast Following the Engine Fire

 “The first three days of the trip were great,” said Don Snover, who manages the McDonald’s restaurant in Lamar, “but then we saw smoke from the top of the ship and the public address system alerted passengers that there was a problem, but they weren’t too specific right away.  They did tell us that it wasn’t a life-threatening situation and we weren’t going to have to leave the ship, but it took about ten hours for them to give us an explanation.” 

Long Lines and a Long Wait for Food and Water on the Triumph

The Snover’s fared better than a lot of passengers aboard the Carnival Cruise Liner as they had an ocean view from their cabin and a balcony on the 8th level of the ship where they could get sunlight and fresh air.  They explained that passengers on the inside of the ship and on the lower decks had no sunlight and no air conditioning or heat.  Arlene explained, “Over the four days without power, we had a mix of hot and cold weather.  There was also some rain one night and the passengers who were sleeping on the deck had to come back inside to stay dry.  It also got cold after that which you didn’t expect to happen.  A lot of us started wearing the white bathrobes you saw on TV just to stay warm.  There was also a lot of humidity on board so everything, even the rugs stayed moist.”  The Snovers said they were able to take showers, but they had cold water.   

Don Snover said waiting for food and supplies was an ongoing problem after the power loss.  “I waited in line for about four and a half hours to get a couple of cheeseburgers and hot dogs.”  He explained that on the first day, with no electricity or refrigeration, or light inside the ship, all the food was distributed on one deck for 4,200 people.  “We didn’t get hungry and there was always plenty of fresh fruit for us, but we didn’t drink any faucet water and got some supplies from the store on board.”  They added that there was a lot of wasted food the first time it was handed out as passengers in line took as much as they wanted and the people at the end of the line didn’t have anything.  He said that was changed by the next day.  Snover added that it took 90 minutes at the ship’s store to buy some food and the price of a can of Pringles went from $2 to $6 after the emergency began.  “People were paying upwards of a hundred dollars for a small bag of food and items,” he said.  He added that there was beer available on the first night of the emergency, but later all the bars were shut down, which made good sense in his view.  Snover said Arlene stayed in the cabin for the most part, keeping their hallway door open so other passengers could get some light and air on their inner decks.  He said he spent most of his time just standing in line waiting for food to be issued by the ship’s crew.  “The only way we had light inside at night was from some glow sticks we got from a Mardi Gras party earlier,” he said. 

The Snovers said they never felt that their lives were in danger, but asked why it took so long to get tug boats out to their stranded ship.  “There was one small tugboat that started to tow us, but it took a long time before some others came out to help,” he stated.  Communications were also a problem as everyone’s cell phone didn’t operate away from relay towers.  Snover said that when a ship came alongside to drop off some food and supplies, some folks could use their cell phones but only with limited operation from wi-fi. 

Once they were back on land, the Carnival Cruise line had busses waiting to take them to a hotel and later to the airport to catch their flight back to Denver.  “That took a while,” Arlene explained, adding, “when we got to our motel, there were around 300 people waiting to be checked in.  There were 40 busses ahead of us and there were around another 88 on the way with the other passengers, so we got lucky there, too.”   

The honeymoon couple praised the ship’s crew for always being ready to help out.  “When we saw one, they were ready with a smile and asked if there was anything they could do for us,” Arlene added.  Don said the crew’s working and living conditions had to be difficult with 4,200 people needing constant attention during the emergency.  He said he had a look inside one of their cabins and their bunk beds had people sleeping right up against piping along the walls.  Asked if they would take another trip offered by the Carnival Company, Arlene said she’d have to give that some thought.  Don, on the other hand, said he wouldn’t mind it and would consider an Alaskan trip sometime.  “I don’t mind being in the cold weather,” he said.

By Russ Baldwin

(photos courtesy of Don Snover)

Filed Under: communityFeaturedLamarProwers CountyThe Journal AlertTourismTransportationUtilities


About the Author:

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Comments are closed.