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News/Current Events, News/Politics

Did Carnival Triumph Passengers Exaggerate Conditions for Lawsuits and Attention?


Members of the Triumph “tent city” watch as the Carnival Legend passes by the Triumph

As Carnival reported, the crew was able to restore power and the sewage system to parts of the ship.  Some reports coming from the passengers speak of horrible conditions suffered during the ordeal.  Less than a week after the passengers reached port in Mobile, Alabama, lawsuits were filed.  Four suits have been filed against Carnival since the ship returned to port.

The problem with these suits is that I believe they are based on poor representations of the actual harm caused by the cruise.  While we have all heard many accounts of the last days on the Triumph that make it sound like a third world doomsday prepper’s fantasy.  We have all heard the description of the “onion sandwiches,” “sewage running down the walls and floor,” and “people fighting over food.”  This paints a very grim picture of the conditions on the ship.  However, at least one passenger on board of the Triumph has painted a very different picture of the conditions on the ship.

In a Washington Times article, passenger Kirk Draut described a situation that was much less dire than that described by many passengers.  According to the article, Mr. Draut had a very different view of the conditions:

“We only had a small amount of water on our bathroom floor, we had running water — no hot water — and plenty of food.  The conditions on the ship were not as bad as you were led to believe.  The crew managed to restore enough power to have comedy shows, movie night, trivia, bingo and live music.  It was not ‘Mad Max’ at sea.”

Mr. Draut had such a different view of the situation that he felt compelled to post pictures of the conditions on his Facebook page.  He requested that people share the images in the album to get the truth out.  You can see some of the images below.  Click here to go to his photo album Carnival Triumph – The Truth.


The Triumph’s “tent city” on deck 10 of the ship.


Kirk Draut’s lunch on Tuesday after the fire.


Passengers watching The Avengers in one of the lounges.


Kirk Draut’s breakfast on Thursday, February 14 – the last day on board.

His description and the images on his page are a stark contrast to many of the dramatic descriptions we’ve heard from passengers.  According to Mr. Draut, “People were playing it up for the cameras. When we saw the first helicopters with cameras, people were running into their cabins to grab their bathrobes and life preservers.”  While I’m sure many people had different experiences, it doesn’t appear that the conditions were nearly as horrible as many of the passengers claimed.  Why would they embellish their stories, you ask?  Perhaps some of them wanted the attention.  I suspect many of them simply want a paycheck.

To date, at least four suits have been filed against Carnival for the Triumph.  These people are seeking monetary relief for the conditions on the ship during the incident.  The problem with these lawsuits are that these people are attempt to get compensation for something that is not likely to have caused them actual harm.  Not only did Carnival cover their expenses (with the exception of casino and gift shop purchases) for this cruise, but is giving each passenger another cruise and a $500 check.  This may not be enough if someone had an issue such as the loss of income from a small business due to being stuck on the ship.  In cases like that, I agree that a lawsuit is in order.  However, those are the exception to the rule.  Most of these passengers will not have those kinds of issues.  They are simply attempting to cash in on the inconvenience.

These are the kinds of frivolous lawsuits that are making our society look foolish.  Unless actual harm has been done, and I don’t mean they suffered “emotional distress” due to using the bathroom in a bag temporarily, these lawsuits should be dismissed.  Any of these suits that don’t include real harm to the passenger in some way, or proof that Carnival was negligent, should be dismissed and they should also lose the right to accept the additional compensation offered by Carnival.  We need to reverse the trend of being such a greedy and litigious society.  It is deteriorating our social interactions and the ability of companies to provide reasonable services and costs.  The media needs to stop fueling this fire with articles such as Time’s Is $500 Enough for Enduring the Cruise from Hell?  My kudos to Kirk Draut for standing up and telling the truth about the situation.

Read my first two articles about the Carnival Triumph and the response:

Carnival’s Response to the Triumph Incident Shows Commitment to Customer Experience

Carnival Triumph Past Guests Raise Questions About Previous Mechanical Failures


6 thoughts on “Did Carnival Triumph Passengers Exaggerate Conditions for Lawsuits and Attention?

  1. Personally, I wish Carnival would follow what RCCL is now doing and that is countersuing for these kinds of ridiculous lawsuits.

    RCCL has successfully countersued and WON a $2,000 judgment against the passenger and that is what Carnival needs to do. (along with placing these people on a no cruise list)

    Posted by Linda | February 22, 2013, 10:15 am
  2. i don’t want to sound rude but according to several comments from other passengers on some of your other posts you were one of the food hoarders. TBH there is proof that there were cucumber sandwiches and i can hardle imagine what the passengers that didnt have it as good as you had to do, i dont mean that in a mean way an i praise that you were able to find a way to turn this disaster into something decent, but you have no right to criticize other passengers for being angry at carnival.

    Posted by constant cruiser | February 26, 2013, 11:13 am
    • I’m assuming that your comment is directed at Kirk Draut. I just want to make sure you know that this was written based on the information he provided the Washington Times and posted on his Facebook page. I have no first-hand knowledge of the information.

      Posted by Dean Spencer | February 26, 2013, 11:55 am
    • Constant cruiser – were you on the ship? Can you post your “proof” about the cucumber sandwiches? You are rude and you should STFU. I went through much worse after Hurricane Ike. My cabin was on deck 2. We didn’t have rivers or puddles of poo in our cabin because we listened when they told us not to use the toilets.

      You weren’t there. SHUT UP. You have NO RIGHT to criticize me.

      Posted by Kirk Draut | March 12, 2013, 12:57 am
      • Im posting this wait after the fact but I also want to give a huge massive kudos to Kirk Draut for doing the courageous thing by speaking truth and reason to the sensationalism and fear mongering of the other passengers. I dont really blame the media so much, although they had a part to play in this, as I do the passengers who played it up to the cameras. They did so knowing they would never win an American Idol contest so this was the next closest. They fed into the voyuerism culture. This situation usually divides people into two camps. Those who are rational and see things in proper perspective like Kirk and the fear baiters and paranoid angry mob like the rest. My fear would not be finding myself in a damaged ship but finding myself stuck with the people latter camp. Good job Kirk and good response to Constant Cruiser.

        Posted by JR | April 19, 2013, 3:57 am
    • Not only does Kirk have every right to criticize the other passengers he has an obligation to do so when the BS meter is going off. Kirk is not the only one who has called out the BS of his fellow passengers. Rob Kenny who was interviewed by CNN refused to accept the Katrina comparison made by Martin Savidge. Kenny said, to paraphrase him accuratley, “Hey cmon we were still on a cruise, Katrina was a city wide disaster, ther is no comparsion”. There was also a real time reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) by a young kid who did not give his name but did provide photos of himself to prove he was on the ship. When asked about the medias’ coverage and whether he feared for his life this was his response “The media is making it sound worse than it was, I’m sure it was bad for people who missed work or had people watching their kids etc., but it was enjoyable if you looked at it in the right way. Me and my family did stay outside for the first 2 nights and 3 days. The weather was great and it was amazing waking up and seeing the ocean whilst under blankets and a mattress shoved into a lawn chair. No fear for my life. We were actually hoping it’d be a little worse (tip over) so we could have a more interesting story to tell, but it never came to that…” Elswhere in resposne to a similar question, “Was it as bad as the media made it out to be?” His response was “Not even close”. One of Kirk’s fellow passenger, Darren Gooch, posted a video on youtube and said this “As a business owner i realize that sometimes unfortunate, unplanned mistakes and even accidents can happen but the difference between a good or a bad company is how they handle it, Carnival has proven to me that they are a GOOD company”. Another passenger posted a video in which he called out the sillines of a girl who walks past him and says to him “this is bad , real bad” all the while shes carrying several full plates and desert. I could go on and on with other passengers who have said the same thing.

      CC you say you dont want to sound rude. You dont , you sound uninformed. I wasnt on the cruise but just a little bit of common sense forces you to conclude that this wasnt the Crusie from Hell. Inconvenient for sure but hell? I dont think so.

      Posted by JR | April 19, 2013, 4:52 am

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