MOBILE, Ala. (WPMI) While passengers and crew of the Carnival Triumph are providing an economic boost to Downtown Mobile businesses, those in the service industry are getting a unique insight as to what conditions were like on board.
Restaurateur Jim Walker says the feeling of relief is an understatement for those who disembarked the Carnival Triumph Thursday night.
"Like they didn't get convicted to go to prison," Walker said, "They were definitely all happy to be here."
Walker said his Dauphin Street Restaurants stayed open a little later for those passengers looking for a hot meal, a cold drink and time to dish.
"They said that the most aggravating thing was the president of Carnival coming on the ship to talk to them," Walker said, "They said he could have done that in the back. They finally got to port, they're looking at the land and they couldn't get off because the person who's in charge. That was the first thing that came out of everybody's mouth."
Walker said orders for late night deliveries came in too.
"It was weird. We got a bunch of calls from the hotels, from the people from the cruise lines wanting to have food delivered," Walker said.
Holiday Inn General Manager Lindsay Chapman said all of the 94 rooms at the hotel have been blocked for the weekend by Carnival for it's employees. Chapman said roughly 30 rooms are being used right now.
"That is the best part," Chapman said, "They don't have to be cleaned, there's not water or electricity being used, anything at all so it's a huge benefit for the hotel. It does give us a little bit of a break."
Chapman said the weary crew has been mostly eating, sleeping and drinking while the Triumph is dry-docked at BAE Systems.
"They're happy to be off the boat just because it was hot," Chapman said, "I think that was the main thing was no air conditioning. They've heard some horror stories, but we made it a point to let them know of all the media attention of how great they've been, and they're very, very appreciative of it."
The Mobile Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau said 2,900 rooms were booked between Wednesday and Thursday because of the Carnival Triumph's arrival.