Sewage running down walls; poop piles up on stranded Gulf cruise ship

Passengers on a Carnival cruise ship drifting in the Gulf of Mexico are sleeping on its decks, making do with a few working toilets, and doing what they can to get food — all due to a weekend engine fire left the vessel dead in the water.

CNN reports the Carnival Triumph was about 150 miles off the coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, heading back Sunday morning to Galveston, Sewage_spews_from_drai19b1ae5e-dd69-4635-9537-a7f0ae9ac62d0000_20120424235220_320_240Texas — where it had departed Thursday on a four-day trip — when a fire broke out in an engine room, according to Carnival Cruise Lines.

The ship’s automatic fire extinguishing system kicked in and soon contained the flames, and no injuries were reported, Carnival reported.

Yet this fire left the ship — and its 3,143 passengers and 1,086 crew members — adrift without propulsion, the cruise line said, halting its trip back to port.

The first of two tugboats that will tow the ship to Mobile, Alabama, arrived on Monday evening, the cruise line said in a statement. The ship should arrive in the Gulf city some time Thursday.

Not being able to sail, though, is just one of the problems. Issues with running water, scarce electricity and more contributed to headaches big and small, according to passengers and their loved ones.

Toby Barlow’s wife Ann told him there was “sewage running down the walls and floors” with passengers being asked to defecate in bags and urinate in showers due to a lack of functioning toilets. Food lines ran 3½ hours long and some, like herself, slept outside to keep cool.