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.”

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