The Ottumwa Courier

February 19, 2013

SE Iowans react to cruise crisis

Courier Staff Writer

OTTUMWA — Weary of overflowing toilets, food shortages and foul odors, the nearly 4,200 people stranded on a Carnival Triumph cruise ship are not likely to head back out to sea anytime soon.

But for some Ottumwans, a cruise on the open sea remains an attractive vacation despite the woes some cruise ship passengers have endured.

Just ask Claudia Enloe, who along with her family, just returned home from a different Carnival cruise.

“That’s our last Carnival Liberty cruise. We’re counting our blessings,” she said. “We’ve been on the Triumph twice, and we’re not too worried about it. Our cruise last week was our 11th one with Carnival.”

But Enloe is no stranger to troubled cruises. Back in November 2010, she, her husband and son, as well as five other Ottumwans were stranded off the coast of Mexico when their cruise ship, also a Carnival ship, became disabled because of an engine fire.

“No one died, and things could be worse,” Enloe said. “When we go on vacation, we hope for the best. This hasn’t scared us away. My kids wouldn’t be happy if we did get scared away, because they like cruising.”

And she’s not alone.

Larry McKim of Ottumwa was actually aboard the Triumph cruise ship last month.

McKim and his wife, Rose, said they enjoyed their cruise, and while they certainly did not encounter the same kind of problems as did the passengers on the most recent Triumph cruise, there were some issues to contend with.

“While at sea, the crew lost a woman’s oxygen machine, which was the size of a chair,” McKim said. “We got on the cruise ship and didn’t detect any trouble. Our three grandkids were with us, and we had a ball.”

The McKims also had a mix-up with an account to be used on the ship for certain expenses.

“My wife, Rose, put $100 in an account,” McKim said. “We don’t drink or gamble and later noticed there was only $20 in the account. Then, the next day, the account was overdrawn and we hadn’t used it.”

Carnival resolved the problem, and McKim said the trip was worth the cruise line’s flub; he said he is ready to go again.

“We enjoyed the cruise,  which included a four-story water slide on the ship,” he said. “There was always something going on during that four or five days of leisure. I would go again, and I would recommend it.”