I can't stop reading about the poop cruise. Just that name in and of itself, right there in actual real-life headlines—I mean, say it out loud. "Poop cruise." It's amazing.
But we should back up. In case you didn't accidentally flip by CNN once over the last five days, an 893-foot, 4,200-person Carnival cruise ship took off from Galveston last week for what was supposed to be a normal, run-of-the-mill cruise. The ship suffered an engine fire on Sunday, though, and the ship was crippled. It spent the last four days stranded in the Gulf of Mexico. Conditions on board were relayed back to people on land through text messages and short phone calls, and it quickly became clear that the ship had descended into anarchy, a floating "Lord of the Flies," where passengers were pooping in overflowed toilets, sleeping on the deck, and, as food ran out, eating jelly beans three meals a day.
It really, really sucked for those who were on board. But now that they're back on land—safe and sound in Mobile after a dramatic tow-in that featured the passengers singing "Sweet Home Alabama"—we all should to stand back and truly appreciate how absurd this story was. Here are my five favorite subplots:
4. This commercial is going to have to get pulled.
HAHAHA, because WAY more people spend their entire five-day vacations stuck upside-down on a roller coaster, right Carnival?
3. These quotes from passengers talking about the "poop" part of the "poop cruise."
- From the AP: "The lower floors had it the worst, the floors 'squish' when you walk and lots of the lower rooms have flooding from above floors," Hill wrote. "Half the bachelorette party was on two; the smell down there literally chokes you and hurts your eyes."
- From Deadspin: "Y'all better be enjoying your Valentine's flowers while we're defecating in red plastic bags."
- From the NY Times: "“It’s like being locked in a Porta Potty for days,” said Peter Cass, a physician from Beaumont, Tex., as the ship crept closer to Mobile on Thursday. “We’ve lived through two hurricanes, and this is worse.”
- AP: "She said 'there's poop and urine all along the floor. The floor is flooded with sewer water ... and we had to poop in bags.'
- Deadspin: "The worst thing I've witnessed is] the toilets that fell off the wall because they were so full and shit and urine floating around."
2. CNN—which used to be our most respected TV news source—spent all week talking about it.
Seemingly every single member of CNN's on-air talent spent this week in Mobile, Alabama reporting on the "survivors" of the poop cruise. (No one died from the experience, except for one heart-attack victim who presumably was going to have that heart attack otherwise.) One CNN reporter even compared it to Hurricane Katrina, which killed almost 2,000 people.
Meanwhile, North Korea detonated a nuclear bomb and a FUCKING METEORITE HIT RUSSIA.
1. This is how Carnival proposes to make up for it—by offering a discount on future cruises.
From that NY Times story:
To appease passengers on the Triumph, Carnival initially announced refunds for the trip’s cost, traveling expenses and the money spent on board, with exceptions like gift shop purchase and casino charges.
The company also offered passengers credit equal to their ticket price that could be used on future cruises — a deal some people scoffed at.
“Who is going to want to get back on a cruise?” said Travis Jackson, who drove from Paris, Tex., on Thursday to pick up his daughter, Karley. She and a group of her colleagues at a Jazzercise studio were on the cruise ship.
Never go on a cruise. All-inclusives, all day. You don't even have to pay for the alcoholic beverage you're having at 9 a.m. If we've learned anything from the Poop Cruise, we've learned that.
5. At least one rescue bus has broken down.
Carnival then chartered a caravan of buses to transport folks out of Mobile, Ala. To add insult to injury, at least one of those buses became stranded on the way to New Orleans, reports CBS News correspondent Anna Werner.