With less than 24 hours until the ship's rescue, we've arrived at the clash of corporate PR and onboard disgust in the saga of the Carnival Triumph, now stranded 200 miles south of Mobile, Alabama. The cruise company's boss claims that conditions aren't so bad, even four days after the mid-ocean stall. But reports from some of the 4,000 passengers depict a travel agent's worst nightmare — something like the lawlessness of Somalia but maybe more like a floating Penn Station bathroom. "No one here from Carnival is happy about the conditions onboard the ship," Carnival Cruise President Gerry Cahill is quoted as saying in an AP report today, which adds that Cahill claims the Triumph, which has been running on backup power since Sunday, still has running water, with most of its 23 public restrooms and some of the guest cabin bathrooms working again on Tuesday. 

Hmm. That's not quite we're hearing. Here's what the people onboard say they're dealing with:

  • Sewage is everywhere. Well, eww. "Passengers have reported sewage sloshing around in hallways, flooded rooms and trouble getting enough to eat," reports CNN.
  • Poop is in bags. "Jimmy Mowlam, 63, whose 37-year-old son, Rob Mowlam, got married Saturday onboard the ship, said his son told him by phone Monday night that there is no running water and few working toilets," reports the AP. "He said passengers were given plastic bags to 'use for their business.'" 
  • But people aren't using the bags? "From what I understand, they're walking around in a lot of urine and fecal matter, and the sewers are backing up," a mom whose husband and daughter are onboard told CNN. This claim seem to have some merit, as a passenger texted ABC News on Monday that carpets were soaked with urine and toilets were overflowing. 
  • The fecal matter is getting stinkier. "Other passengers reported no air-conditioning inside cabins and an increasing stink inside the ship from sick passengers and a lack of food refrigeration," reports the BBC.
  • And people have stopped being polite. "It's like a bunch of savages on there," said Brent Nutt, whose wife, Bethany, is onboard. "If you get on the blogs, they're saying that people are fighting over food and stuff."

If weather permits, the passengers aboard the Triumph will (thankfully) be docking in Alabama on Thursday.