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Carnival Triumph may have arrived in Mobile, Alabama last Friday, but online message boards and media have remained divided about how effectively the cruise line handled the incident.

Videos and photos have peppered the internet showcasing the situation onboard.

Groups of people spelled out “Help” to attract media attention, red bags used for human waste littered corridors, a tent city was created surrounding the pool, passengers created makeshift beds on the open decks and cords piled high at charging stations throughout the ship where power was still available.

For every complaint about the situation, it seems there was a compliment for the crew members however, who worked tirelessly to keep the ship as sanitised as possible in difficult circumstances and who tried to make passengers smile in a not so happy environment.

“Giant kudos to Loreto from Phillipines who was our room steward…he was amazing, he disinfected our rooms every couple of hours, sprayed the halls with a room spray, got us ice and was always there for us smiling and laughing,”Triumph passenger Georgette Bedford Ford posted on Carnival’s senior cruise director John Heald’s Facebook page on Friday.

“He hardly slept and when he did he slept in the hallway in case we needed him.

“This was not the way I planned to enjoy my platinum voyage but it definitely wasn’t for me anything like I just watched on TV last night!”

From CNN’s non-stop coverage to “Saturday Night Live”, whose cast got in on the action with a skit broadcast over the weekend, the common theme has been that passengers should receive additional compensation than that already offered.

USD$500 per person has been added to the current compensation package that includes a full refund of the cruise along with transportation, expenses and reimbursement of all shipboard purchases during the voyage (excluding casino charges, art and gift shop purchases).

Passengers will also receive a future cruise credit to the amount paid for this voyage and were told that they could keep their bathrobes.

This gesture only resulted in fuelling the media firestorm that included a comment by one CNN reporter who likened ordeal aboard Carnival Triumph to Hurricane Katrina.

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Words: Natalie Aroyan