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Yonkers Senior Citizens Aboard Disabled Cruise Ship

Tough Conditions On Vessel Being Towed Back To California

NEW YORK (CBS 2/1010 WINS) — It’s been a vacation to forget for thousands of people on board a crippled Carnival Cruise ship.

No air conditioning, no hot water and long lines for food.

On Wednesday night the Carnival Splendor was being towed to shore. Among the 4,500 people onboard included a group of Westchester County residents, reports CBS 2’s Lou Young.

1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports

In all, 47 local residents on the disabled ship are from Yonkers, senior citizens who’d been looking forward to the cruise for more than a year and on Wednesday night couldn’t wait for it to end.

“We have no air conditioning, no heating. There is just no power,” Gordon Gilbreath said.

The cruise ship Splendor was due in Puerto Vallarta on Wednesday but instead was being towed back to California after its engine room caught fire.

One group of passengers onboard includes the seniors lead by feisty Westchester County legislator Bernice Spreckman.

Spreckman’s staff at the county office building in White Plains was trying to field inquiries and keep tabs on the ship.

“She’s a Yonkers girl. She’s tough. She’s making the best of a bad situation,” legislative spokesman Tara Martin said.

Christopher Milano and his wife were supposed to be on the cruise but decided at the last minute to stay home in Yonkers.

“I’m worried about a lot of the people that are on it. There are some of the seniors that have a tough time getting around,” Milano said.

So far there have been no evacuations, but a good deal of inconvenience.

“The only thing that made it really tough was when the facilities were all broken down and the bathrooms weren’t working. But now that they started getting those going and water flowing. Then that made all the difference,” passenger David Zambrano said.

Carnival Cruise Lines said it expected the Splendor to arrive under tow in San Diego late Thursday. Until then, the onboard fare consists of cold crabmeat and spam. Mary Milano said that doesn’t sound too terrible to her.

“As far as I’m concerned I would have Spam sandwiches, Spam any way. I love Spam and I think they’re being treated okay,” she said.

The one complaint that was leaking in Wednesday night was that the ship’s bars closed when the power blew. Passengers wish they had something a little stronger to wash that Spam down.

After hours of trying to get Spreckman on the phone, one of her staffers on Wednesday night discovered a phone message she left earlier in the day saying simply, “Everyone is okay, not to worry.”

  • Barbara Gallo

    I was on the 2nd floor, at the back of the ship. We did not have toilets for 4 days, not 2. I was told I had to climb 2 floors and walk to the far end of the ship to use a toilet. Since I am handicapped with rheumatoid arthritis, getting to a toilet was very difficult and no provision was made for those of us who were handicapped. Standing on line for 2-3 hours 3 times a day to get food was also very difficult with my handicap, and no provision was made to make it easier.

  • Jim

    I like spam

  • J. Deavers

    Just when u need a glass of wine, the bars are closed. Too cheap to give the spirits away. Shame on u Carnival.

    • Mary

      Bar was open and on the house according to many reports.

  • janet petronella

    this should never happen on a cruise liner ,they should be prepared for the unexpected,which they werent,no more cruises for me

  • tr

    Hey Mary are the toilets still working? And are there not crates of canned spam being droped off? Sounds like a teriffic vacation to me. Were do I sign up for the next cruise? Idiot!!

    • Mary

      Yes, the toilets were working after only 12 hours. Many passengers have been interviewed now and saying it was not a nightmare..what’s wrong with Spam? ;-) who’s the idiot now? heheheh

  • John Heald

    Curious there’s no mention about a full refund, PLUS a “free” future cruise.

    Incorrect passenger count.

    No input from the group, who may be having the times of their lives.

    Ship is “possibly” going to Ensenada, not San Diego.

    Only one tug is currently pulling the ship.

    How many more errors or omissions could there possibly be?

  • Mary

    There are NOT 4,500 passengers on board the ship! Please get the facts right. There are more like 3300 passengers and 1200 crew members on board. While it may be uncomfortable, I think describing the cruise as “nightmarish” is overly dramatic. No one is hurt, all are safe, being fed and entertained.

    • gustoculoz

      very important the et in the area too expensive have fun for a good reason to enjoy

  • Dr. Kyle Potrzebie

    The real question is: can Yonkers recover from this? Will they be able to heal once their drifting seniors are back on dry land? Or will they carry this painful event forever, like a skidmark on the underwear of Yonkers’ heart?

  • liwingnut

    Will Carnival pay the US for supplies flown in by USN helo’s ?

    • francis

      Carnival will be getting a HUGE bill from the government covering all costs incurred by the Navy, Air Force, etc.. which they will then pass on to their insurance carrier

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