On early Sunday, February 10, 2013 the ship suffered a fire in the aft engine room. Although the fire was automatically extinguished, it resulted in a loss of power and propulsion. There were no casualties or injuries to passengers or crew. While the emergency generator was providing some power, the ship was left adrift about 150 miles off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula in the Gulf of Mexico. Carnival Triumph was originally expected to be towed to the Mexican port of Progreso. After drifting northward on currents in the Gulf of Mexico while awaiting arrival of large, seagoing tugboats, it was expected to dock in Mobile, Alabama instead. This was the fourth engine room fire on a Carnival owned ship resulting in a loss of power, the others being the Tropicale in 1999, the Carnival Splendor in 2010, and the Costa Allegra, owned by a Carnival subsidiary, in 2012.
By February 11, 2013, the emergency electrical generators allowed partial restoration of some shipboard functions, including the freshwater system. Additionally, the sewage system was restored to the forward section of the ship, but was still inoperative in the aft portion. Supplies were transferred from the Carnival Elation during the night of February 10, which departed by midnight. Carnival Legend was en-route from Tampa and arrived on the scene around 3 p.m. on the afternoon of February 11 to complete a transfer of food and water, suite passengers and to a patient in need of dialysis for transport to Cozumel.
On February 13, Carnival said the February 21 through April 13 sailings were being canceled, in addition to the February 11 and 16 sailings already canceled. Passengers on the disabled ship will get a full refund of their cruise fare along with additional considerations and compensation. As of the afternoon of February 13, two seagoing tugboats are towing the ship, with a third tugboat expected to arrive that evening. The goal was to reach port in Mobile, Alabama by early afternoon February 14, but after a tow line break, arrival was delayed still further.
As of 13 February 2013, the cause of the fire is not known. An incident investigation has been started by the Bahamas Marine Authority, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the National Transportation Safety Board.[1