Dear Carnival Triumph Vacationers

I understand you frustration.  You wanted to take your lover or family on a nice tropical vacation when you chose Carnival.  And….that’s not exactly what you got.  I get that.  My husband and I went on that exact same cruise ship, The Triumph, in December for our Honeymoon.  We enjoyed our vacation immensely.  Granted, we got a little annoyed by the fact that people were EVERYwhere, we couldn’t sleep until midnight each night because of the loud music, and we just didn’t feel like we got to eat all the time like we’d hoped for.  Our complaints, however, are nothing compared to what you are experiencing. 
You are in the middle of the ocean.  Day 5 with no power, no restrooms.  Lacking food.  I’m sure at this point you are freezing.  It most likely stinks due to lack of ventilation.  I hear you are sleeping on the deck because you can’t stand being in your nasty room.  The radio reported you have to eat onion sandwiches because the crew can’t cook and there is no refrigeration. 
We see you on the news, hear you on the radio, and note your presence on social media.  I saw this tweet from @KatyJBlakey of KOCO this morning “SIGN OF FRUSTRATION: Edmond family stuck on #CarnivalTriumph says they’ve had poor food & no shower for 3 days.” 
This photo was included:
I feel for you.  I honestly do.  That is not the vacation you were expecting. 
But, sending photos telling us “We R NOT OK,” calling family members to say you thought you would never see them again, and texting “This is honestly the worst experience ever,” is a bit over-dramatized and exaggerated. 
I am really not looking forward to hearing what you have to say when you get off the ship today.  I’ll be glad to have you back on US soil, but I don’t want to hear your complaining. 
Just as my complaints are very minor compared to what you have experienced, I’d say your complaints are minor compared to what others in this world are experiencing DAILY, with NO HOPE of change in the future.  You get to come home.  But for millions, your experience on the Carnival Triumph is what they live through every….single…day.
“Almost half the world — over three billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day.”1
“Some 1.1 billion people in developing countries have inadequate access to water, and 2.6 billion lack basic sanitation.”2  
“For the 1.9 billion children from the developing world, there are: 640 million without adequate shelter (1 in 3)”3 
“In round numbers there are 7 billion people in the world. Thus, with an estimated 925 million hungry people in the world, 13.1 percent, or almost 1 in 7 people are hungry.”

We have seen your pictures, now take a look at theirs: 

And please consider the crew working on your ship, cleaning up the messes made by this power outage.  “One crew member says he works 11 to 16 hour days, seven days a week for only $600 per month or on average about $1.42 an hour,”5 in an article for  And another report found in the article What it’s Like to Actually Work on a Cruise Ship states, “In my opinion, the reason why many of the ‘lower’ jobs are filled with people from developing nations is because the cruise lines can get away with paying them lower wages. Most of the ‘lower’ jobs receive very little money from the cruise lines (maybe $200 – $500 USD per month), with gratuities making up the rest of their salary.”6  
I am sorry you cruise was way less than you expected.  I know the last week has not been easy for you.  But, let’s all use this experience for the better.  Instead of bashing Carnival and telling the world how terrible your experience was, consider others who live your experience day in and day out.  Allow those ugly memories to move you to action and save others from such an unacceptable way of life.  NO ONE deserves to live in filth, hungry, cold, or unsafe.  You did not deserve it on the cruise ship, but your experience is OVER.  Let’s help end it for those who are still stuck where you were.  They do not deserve it either.  


2 thoughts on “Dear Carnival Triumph Vacationers

  1. I was glad to know someone else could see the larger picture, and had a heart to feel for the wretched poor of this iniquitous world. The comfortable people have tunnel vision, and therefore the hideous suffering of multitudes is perpetuated. Our God will come soon to change this Horrific world, to the joy of the poor.

  2. Hi Sara. I’m sure we can all agree that the misery and discomfort for the passengers aboard the Triumph is not comparable to a life of poverty and squalor experienced by so many. But to say that they should not bash Carnival or that you do not want to hear their complaints is wrong headed imo.The cruise industry has a long and horrid history of labor exploitation (as you touched on), environmental irresponsibility and safety. Are you aware that Carnival Corp is the same parent company that owns the Costa Concordia, the ship that ran aground in the Med just over a year ago killing 32 people? And just as in that incident the corporate attitude towards this incident appears to be the same. Downplay, minimize and limit liability.In your blog I see you asking the passengers to use this experience to both appreciate what they are finally coming home to and to use this experience to help those less fortunate. A noble message. But what I don’t understand is why give Carnival a pass? What has this 38 Billion dollar industry done to help? What do they give back? Very very little.

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