HOUSTON — Carnival Cruise Lines has canceled a dozen more voyages aboard the Triumph and acknowledged that the ship had been plagued by other mechanical problems in the weeks before an engine-room fire left it powerless in the Gulf of Mexico.
The company’s announcement on Wednesday came as the Triumph was being towed to a port in Mobile, Ala., with more than 4,000 people on board, some of whom have complained to relatives that conditions on the ship are dismal and that they have limited access to food and bathrooms.
The ship will be idle through April. Two other cruises were called off shortly after Sunday’s fire.
Debbi Smedley, a passenger on a recent Triumph cruise, said the ship had trouble on Jan. 28 as it was preparing to leave Galveston. Hours before the scheduled departure time, she received an e-mail from Carnival stating the vessel would leave late because of a propulsion problem. Passengers were asked to arrive at the port at 2 p.m., two hours later than originally scheduled.
The ship did not sail until after 8 p.m., she said.
After losing power on its most recent journey, the ship drifted until Tuesday, when two tugboats began moving it toward shore. A third tugboat was en route Wednesday from Louisiana.
The National Transportation Safety Board has opened an investigation into the fire.
Passengers have had limited cellphone service because of the power failure, but many were able to make calls when the Triumph rendezvoused with another Carnival ship that dropped off food and supplies. The other ship had a working cellular antenna.
Meanwhile, officials are preparing a cruise terminal that has not been used for a year to help passengers .
The Triumph is expected to arrive Thursday afternoon.