The Carnival cruise ship Triumph pulled out of Mobile Bay Wednesday. The ship spent three months at port after being crippled by an engine fire out at sea. Now that the engine is fixed, the Triumph is headed elsewhere for final repairs.
A horn signals the Carnival Triumph's final departure from Mobile as happy crew members waived good bye from the deck. This is a bittersweet goodbye for local officials.
"Well, I'm glad for Carnival but sad for us because we've enjoyed having them for 36 days," said cruise terminal general manager Sheila Gurganus.
The ship was slowly guided south down the shipping lane with another series of tugboats at her side. The only difference this time is the ship can move on its own power now.
"The major work was they did a lot of interior work I know, but they were pulling cable and repairing the engines mainly," Gurganus said.
The ship slowly moved in reverse until they go to the turning basin, where it was finally turned around in the right direction.
Some of the scars of its time in port are evident -- like scraping on the top port side, and other damage around the forward section. City officials say the Triumph's time here has built up a lot of good will between Carnival Cruise Lines and Mobile.
The city, though, still has to make a business case to Carnival that the people they can reach with a cruise ship ported here will make them money.
"We have another meeting with them sometime in June in Miami to talk about that as well as two other cruise lines," said Mayor Sam Jones.
Triumph is scheduled to arrive in the Bahamas on Saturday where it will undergo some cosmetic repairs. The inside will be cleaned, and the bruising on the outside will be fixed. Carnival hopes it will return to service on June 13.
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