GALVESTON - After millions of dollars of repairs, the once crippled Carnival Triumph is ready to sail with passengers again.
The ship has been out of commission since the fire in the engine room and disaster at sea in February. The boat was stranded at sea for days because there was no propulsion. A fire triggered sewage backups and staff on board ran out of food to feed passengers.
Meanwhile, Carnival officials said the ship is ready to sail. Thursday's cruise has sold out with 3,470 scheduled to sail.
The company said the massive cruise boat will depart Galveston at 4 p.m. Thursday, spend Friday at sea, dock in Cozumel on Saturday, return to sea on Sunday and will be back to Galveston Monday morning.
The restaurants and businesses near the port area of Galveston said they welcome the Triumph and its passengers back to town.
Carnival posted a YouTube video of what it hopes will be the ship's new image after $115 million of upgrades and repairs.
"I think now it's probably the safest ship you can get on because they've probably done everything they need to do," said Debbie Beckham.
From the Strand to the Seawall, business owners hope the ship brings back the tourists and their money.
"Those customers are gonna start showing up early morning tomorrow. We'll see what kind of impact their arrival has on business tomorrow," said Jason Shaeffer with the Old Strand Emporium.
"We are sold out." said Steve Kalbaught with Holiday Inn Resorts.
Carnival crew members and passengers are already filling up rooms at local hotels.
It's not just private businesses. The Port of Galveston is having to recraft its budget because it lost some $700,000 in port fees without the Triumph here the last few months.
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