Carnival's Triumph cruise returned to the U.S. safely Thursday evening (Photo : Reuters)
What started out as a dream vacation quickly became a complete nightmare. Carnival's Triumph cruise lost power and its engines last Sunday in the Gulf of Mexico after a fire in the engine room. On Thursday evening, after five days without power, the more than 4,200 people aboard the ship finally returned home to U.S. soil. Along with a sour taste in their mouths, many brought back horror stories of the dreadful cruise.
Many stories involved overflowing sewage from burst plumbing pipes, urine soaked carpets, and a low supply of food, according to ABC News.
"My mother is a diabetic, and they would not even come to the room because she cannot walk the stairs to help her with insulin. She hasn't had insulin in three days," passenger Brandi Dorsett said, upset with the ship's doctor.
"It's degrading, demoralizing, and then they want to insult us by giving us $500," said Veronica Arriaga. In addition to the $500, Carnival has already issued full refunds, transportation expenses, and vouchers for a future cruise to every passenger. But it's unlikely that any passenger would want to go on a cruise ever again, especially a Carnival cruise. Some may even sue the company. Carnival is expected to be hit with a wave of lawsuits from disgruntled passengers. The company already received quite a few inqueries from passengers regarding lawsuits as they walked off the ship.
Other passengers recalled stories making beds out of lounge chairs on the ship's deck after the smell of the spilled sewage became too much to bear.
Nearly 100 buses waited on shore to take passengers along the next leg of their journey, but some, like Deborah Knight, decided to stay and rent a motel instead of climbing on a bus after the wretched ordeal. "I want a hot shower and a daggum Whataburger," said Knight.
"I'm feeling awesome just to see land and buildings," said 24-year-old Brittany Ferguson. "The scariest part was just not knowing when we'd get back."
Other passengers shared the general sense of fear. "You didn't know if the ship was going to explode, catch back on fire. You know, for a day or so, we didn't see any kind of sign of life. And so that's pretty scary when you're out there on the water," said Robyn Burgess.
Carnival president and CEO Gerry Cahill apologized directly to passengers as they landed in Mobile, Alabama, but many people are still infuriated regardless of the generous care packages, and rightfully so. The passengers have truly been to hell and back.
Watch the video here for ABC's full report.