As 3 p.m. approached on February 14th, the Carnival Triumph was still an estimated six to seven hours from Mobile, Alabama, moving slowly against heavy winds in a shipping channel.
With multiple tug boats assisting, the cruise ship still battled a broken tow rope that set the ship back yet more time after an engine room fire on Sunday morning postponed a turn around in Galveston on Monday.
Carnival has thus cancelled cruises through mid April, and industry experts suggest the ship could drydock at BAE Southeast Shipyards in Mobile.
Making the situation worse for the industry is hyped media attention, including live streaming of the ship from CNN cameras.
Passengers have hung signs off balconies and the side of the ship and seem to be enjoying the media attention.
Carnival has disembarked one passenger due to medical reasons, and Customers and Border Protection officers are onboard to start clearing passengers.
Once docked, it may take more hours to disembark some 3,000 guests as there is only one working elevator and port personnel will have to tie up and secure the vessel, the largest to ever dock in Mobile.
According to Carnival SVP Terry Thornton at a press conference earlier in Mobile, Carnival’s team has arranged for hotel rooms for family members meeting passengers.