Daniel and Kendal Gill's honeymoon has turned into hell aboard the stranded Carnival cruise. (photo via KPHO News) …Eating Spam for every meal, bedding on plastic deck chairs and relieving yourself in backed up toilets. How's that for a honeymoon? Ask Kendal and Daniel Gill, two of the 4,500 passengers and crew members aboard the Carnival Splendor cruise that's stuck at sea.
On day after their wedding at the Shiloh Community Church outside Phoenix, Arizona last Saturday, the newlyweds set sail on their dream honeymoon. They didn't get very far.
The boat's been stranded in the water, off the coast of Mexico, since early Monday when an engine fire shut down power. After days adrift at sea with no A/C or ventilation in cabins, passengers have taken to sleeping on the upper decks. Meanwhile bathrooms aren't working and hot water is off, so basic hygiene for the many thousands on board has become a major problem. Add to that a dwindling food supply. Yesterday, emergency services dropped down cans of Spam, usually reserved for Navy ships, to keep the passengers from starving. It's hardly what newlyweds bargain for on their first getaway.
But right now, the Gill's safety has trumped romance. Daniel's mother Dawn Gill told local news stations she's just wants to hear from her son and daughter-in-law to know they're okay. No one was hurt in the initial fire and Carnival reps have said everyone on board is fine, but continued loss of power can present a host of health hazards. And with internet and cell service wiped out, the passengers haven't been able to get in touch with worried family members. Kendal's Facebook page reads like an excited bride to be. "Getting my nails done with mom sis and aunt whoo!! got to pick up ppl from the airport" reads her last update, three days before her honeymoon.
Now tug boats are poised to pull the ship over a hundred miles to shore. Carnival is reimbursing passengers and topping off the mea culpa with another free cruise. The Gills, both assistant managers at Phoenix-area outlets, had never been on a cruise before. It's hard to imagine they'll ever want to go one again.