Carnival cruise begins slow tug to Alabama as conditions worsen



The RMS Queen Mary is pictured during a brief stopover at the Colombo harbour on Feb. 4, 2013.


Ishara S. Kodikara

More bad news for distressed passengers aboard the stricken Carnival cruise ship with the original plans to haul it to Progreso in Mexico changed because it has drifted northward.

Officials said the ship will be towed to Mobile, Alabama, but passengers will not step onto dry land until Thursday, ABC News reported.

The update comes as passengers tell of the deteriorating conditions on the ship, including no toilets, sewage running down walls, and limited food.

“People are sleeping in hallways,” passenger Donnell King told KHOU.

“I mean there's just mattresses and people collected everywhere.”

She said passengers were urinating in showers and going to the toilet in trash cans. Some passengers had reported sewage running down cabin walls.

Others told of cabin carpets soaked with urine.

"Conditions are getting worse by the hour," passenger Debra Rightmire told ABC News in a text message.

"Toilets are overflowing inside cabins. We are having to sleep in the hallways. Onion and cucumber sandwich last night," she added.

Passenger Shelly Crosby told ABC News that many people are sleeping in tents on the ship's deck as there was no air conditioning and their cabins were sweltering.

"We stood in line for four hours to get a hamburger," Crosby said in a text message.

Meanwhile, the ship, which is the equivalent of 2.5 football fields, is set to endure 6-foot seas and it will take the tug boats three full days to haul it to Alabama. 

The Carnival cruise ship, carrying 4,229 passengers and crew, became stuck in the Gulf after an engine room fire on Sunday. No one was injured.

The husband of a distressed female passenger told CNN Monday some people had turned into "savages" and were fighting over food.

"She said they had no power, no running water, and she said she hadn't been able to eat anything yet. Then you call the Carnival phone number for families, and they tell you that everything is all right," Brent Nutt said.

, ABC News reported.

Nutt told CNN his wife was in tears as she spoke of the deteriorating conditions.

"To hear your loved one crying saying she just wants off of the ship and it all to end....

"People are fighting over food and stuff - that's a bunch of savages. It's ridiculous."

A US Coast Guard spokesman confirmed passengers were staying on the open decks because there was no air conditioning.

Carnival Triumph's engine room caught fire early Sunday and the ship's fire safety system extinguished the flames, according to CNN. The blaze caused no injuries, though the ship was left without propulsion, Reuters reported

Reuters quoted a statement from the owners of the ship, Carnival Corp., that said another ship was supplying Carnival Triumph with food and provisions.

In January last year, the Costa Concordia, a 114,000 ton luxury cruise ship, crashed and capsized along Italy's coast, killing 32 people. 

More from GlobalPost: Costa Concordia captain apologizes to survivors in court 

Carnival Corp. said passengers will receive a full refund and "cruise credit equal to the amount paid for this voyage," according to Reuters.