GALVESTON The end is in sight for passengers and crew aboard the disabled Carnival Triumph as tug boats pull the drifting vessel north to a port at Mobile, Ala., instead of Mexico as originally planned.

Carnival Cruise Lines President Gerry Cahill called a news conference Tuesday night from the company s corporate headquarters in Miami to apologize to passengers and commend their families at home for their patience.

Cahill said Carnival has arranged for the more than 3,000 passengers to spend the night in 1,500 hotel rooms in Mobile and New Orleans once the Triumph docks Thursday. They ll go on to board 20 charter flights to Houston and then be bused back to their vehicles parked at the Port of Galveston.

More than 4,000 people, including crew members, have been coping with the ugly reality of limited electricity and inadequate utilities since an engine fire left the ship dead in the water Sunday. Food services are limited, most toilets and showers are out of service, and there is no air conditioning aboard the 102,000-ton ship.

Cahill said that everyone aboard is safe and that staff is trying to make passengers as comfortable as possible, but optimistic statements fly in the face of reports from passenger Donnell King of Brazoria County.

Click here to read more at the Galveston Daily News.

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