After five days stranded at sea, the Carnival Cruise Ship Triumph is finally expected to enter port in Mobile, Ala., late Thursday night.
According to ABC News, the Triumph is expected to dock in Mobile between the hours of 10:30 p.m. and 1 a.m. on Thursday after eight days at sea and five without power. While relatives are reportedly already lining up to meet their loved ones, the beleaguered passengers and crew might not make it off the ship until dawn.
Because the Triumph and its more than 4,000 passengers and crew members will be reaching port so late, Carnival expects the disembarking process to be difficult in the dark. Additionally, there is only one working elevator aboard the ship, making the logistics of the disembarkment difficult.
"There are issues regarding coming into the ship channel and docking at night because the ship has no power and there's safety issues there," Richard Tillman of the Mobile Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau told ABCNews.com.
Throughout Thursday, Triumph has been pulled closer to port by a tug boat, and though the tug boat broke down around 2 p.m. EST, a second one quickly arrived to bring the cruise ship in safely.
The cruise ship Triumph departed from Galveston, Texas, on Feb. 7 on what was supposed to be a four-day cruise. On Sunday, as the boat was heading to Mobile, a fire broke out about the engine room, shutting off most of the boat’s power and stranding it in the Gulf of Mexico.
Passengers of the boat have been texting both loved ones and news organizations stating that conditions onboard the cruise ship are terrible, and and the LA Times is reporting that passengers have been “sleeping in hallways, urinating in bags and waiting hours in line for limited food.”
"[There are] no showers. The smell's terrible. We are camping on deck," passenger Ann Barlow told ABC News.
All of the 3,143 passengers onboard the Triumph will be given a full refund for the cruise as well a reimbursement for transportation expenses and a voucher for a free future cruise. On Wednesday, Carnival Cruise Lines CEO Gerry Cahill announced that all passengers onboard the Triumph would receive $500 in additional compensation as well, according to ABC News.
"We know it has been a longer journey back than we anticipated at the beginning of the week under very challenging circumstances," he said in a statement. "We are very sorry for what our guests have had to endure. Therefore, in addition to the full refund and future cruise credit already offered, we have decided to provide this additional compensation."
Eric Brown is an IBTimes political reporter who eats far too much pizza. He is a graduate of Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, and currently resides in Brooklyn.