To say the very least . . . Jayme Lamm is having a rough week.
As one of the more than 4,000 people stranded aboard the dead Carnival Triumph ship, the Houston writer of The Blonde Side blog and CultureMap contributor has spent her vacation cruise contending with conditions some passengers compare to the squalor at the Superdome during Hurricane Katrina.
All onboard bars were closed immediately following the Sunday fire that knocked out the boat's electrical system.
Lamm texts us that Carnival has passengers "going to the bathroom in red plastic bags," in line with accounts that crew members have been reduced to picking up bags of waste outside of guest cabins.
"The smell is bad," she writes, noting that the odor of human waste gets worse and worse as one travels to the lower cabins.
To add insult to injury, Lamm also reveals that all onboard bars were closed immediately following the Sunday fire that knocked out the boat's electrical system. "They opened the bars one night, but that's it," she writes.
After a week adrift at sea, life on the ship has devolved into a routine of waiting hours in line for cold sandwiches, sleeping outdoors on the deck and contending with sewage streaming down interior walls. Lamm says that cell phone coverage has been spotty, which has made it next to impossible for passengers to send pictures of the conditions.
NBC News reports that the cruise company is actually disputing many of these passenger accounts, although it has confirmed that fewer than two dozen public toilets are operable.
Carnival president Gerry Cahill did apologize for the conditions during a Tuesday press conference . . . Unfortunately, the gesture fell on deaf ears when the Daily Mail spotted Carnival CEO Micky Arison at a Miami Heat game that same night.
The Triumph is slated to land Thursday evening in Mobile, Ala., where the company says passengers will have the option of taking a seven-hour bus ride to Galveston or a two-hour ride to New Orleans, where Carnival has booked 1,500 hotel rooms. Those choosing the New Orleans option will be flown to Houston on Friday. The cruise company intends to cover all transport costs.