Carnival Cruise said it is prepared to handle the Triumph’s more than 4,000 passengers and crew members who arrived in Mobile, Ala., following four days stranded at sea.
The ship entered the terminal just before 9:30 p.m. Central time Thursday night.
A fire Sunday night crippled the ship. Since then, passengers have complained of unsanitary conditions and a lack of food. A tent city has also been built on the ship’s deck because the smell in the passenger quarters have been too overwhelming for some.
Carnival said blankets, warm food, cell phones and chargers are awaiting the passengers’ arrival. There will also be guest service representatives ready to help travelers’ arrange transportation home.
The company has made at least 1,500 hotel room reservations and booked private flights for another 1,000. One hundred motor coaches are also available for passengers to ride back to Galveston, Texas, the originating city. Ship crew members will stay in area hotels for the next two to three days before traveling home or on to other ships.
The mechanical and deck crews will remain on-board through the overnight hours. They’ll help as the Triumph is moved to a shipyard for inspection Friday.
The rest of the crew will be compensated for their efforts, Carnival said. Employees close to the end of their contracts will begin a long vacation once ashore. The company will pay those employees through the end of such contracts. Employees who recently signed on will be moved to different ships.
Officials said it will take four to five hours for all of the passengers to disembark. All passengers will receive a full refund, $500 and all of their travel expenses will be paid.
Experts said a ship-to-ship transfer would have been extremely dangerous given the number of passengers and uncertainty of the sea.
The Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board have launched an investigation into the fire.