Noblesville teen shares tale of trip aboard Carnival Triumph

Brianna Adkins was one of thousands of passengers aboard the Carnival Triumph.
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A Hoosier family is one of hundreds deciding whether to join lawsuits against Carnival Cruise Lines. If they go to court, their motive won't be for money - but motivation for cruise lines.

The ecstasy of any emotional reunion came after agony for the Adkins family of Noblesville.

"Everyone had their life jackets on that was kind of scary," said Brianna Adkins.

Scary, says Adkins, as she showed a photo she took aboard the Carnival cruise ship Triumph. It shows dark smoke coming from the ship's funnel, the result of an engine fire at five in the morning.

She snapped another photo as she and other passengers as headed to the upper decks of the Triumph with their life jackets.

"The power was out and we had an inside cabin. It was extremely hot. There was only one tugboat and it was pulling this way and people were falling. The ship was leaning so much," Adkins said.

For Adkins, it was a celebration cruise with her aunt and cousins, a reward for finishing Noblesville High School early. But instead, she says the Carnival cruise "was disgusting."

From broken down restrooms leaking sewage on floors to meals of onion and lettuce sandwiches to endless waiting.

"We were so bored," she said. "Either standing in line, looking for a working bathroom or standing in the hallway most of the time. Deck 2, I think said they had two inches of sewage in their rooms, so they came up on our deck."

There was also spilled cooking grease on some floors.

"On every single deck, you went down in front of the elevator there were people with their mattresses. People just camped out," Adkins said.

That's because they could feel the breeze there.

"I'm very sad she had to go through. It I wish I would've been there with her," says her mother, Beth.

Instead, she waited and worried from home.

"It sounded really bad when she called. So I think it was a little bit...well, it was very rough on me," Beth said.

She wonders why Carnival gave consistently bad information to families, why the ship was so poorly stocked with food, and were there warnings of mechanical problems before?

The family is still considering if they'll join one of the lawsuits against the cruise line.

"It would definitely be one of the class actions. We want to make sure we make the right decision on that. We've been approached," Beth said.

They've gotten nothing from the cruise line except one night's hotel stay, the promise of a future cruise and $500 to come later. She says a lawsuit would not be about money.

Beth says they would sue "So they (Carnival) correct this problem and it doesn't happen again."

She also said she's heard stories about passengers leaving the ship getting offers of cash from the cruise line, but she did not actually see that happen.

She says they had to plead with Carnival to put them up for one night at a motel.

They asked the cruise line if it would reimburse them for gas for the trip back to Indiana. She said the cruise line refused, even though it was paying for other passengers to fly back to the ship's home port at Galveston.