Is $500 enough for enduring the Carnival Triumph cruise?

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 19 2013 11:43 a.m. MST

In this Feb. 14, 2013 file photo the cruise ship Carnival Triumph is towed into Mobile Bay near Dauphin Island, Ala., Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013. Relieved passengers returned to shore last week after spending five days stranded in a cruise ship and received a refund plus $500 compensation.

Dave Martin, Associated Press

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Our take: Relieved passengers returned to shore last week after spending five days stranded in a cruise ship and received a refund plus $500 compensation. Brad Tuttle from TIME writes about whether $500 is enough to cover what the passengers had to endure.

"So you've survived for five days stranded at sea aboard the Carnival Triumph. The ship had no working toilets, sewage dripped from walls, and the whole place smelled 'like a hot port-o-potty.' Here's $500 for your troubles.

"Last week, after the Triumph was finally tugged into Alabama and passengers kissed solid ground in relief, Carnival announced that all passengers on the ship — which was hit with a fire in an engine room and left without power in the Gulf of Mexico — would receive some compensation. The offer included a full refund for the cruise and travel expenses, reimbursement for nearly everything they spent on board the ship, a credit good toward a future cruise, plus a check for $500.

"To some, the offer didn't exactly seem generous. 'I would have expected more really,' said travel expert George Hobica, who runs the deal-finding site AirfareWatchdog.com. 'I think giving them their money back and $500 is pretty cheap.'

"Carolyn Spencer Brown, editor of CruiseCritic.com, had basically the same reaction. 'What these people went through was worth more than $500,' she said. 'It's a little bit insulting. It's almost as if Carnival would have been better off offering nothing than to go so low.''"

Read more about Cruise ship from hell on TIME.

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