Passengers leave disabled cruise ship
Carnival Cruise Line says the last passenger of a cruise ship disabled for five nightmarish days in the Gulf of Mexico has left the ship. The company said in a tweet early Friday, "All guests have now disembarked the Carnival Triumph."
The cruise ship with some 4,200 people aboard docked late Thursday, with passengers raucously cheering the end to an ocean odyssey they say was marked by overflowing toilets, food shortages and foul odors.
About an hour after the ship pulled up at 9:15 p.m. Central Time, a steady stream of passengers began making their way down the gang plank, some in wheelchairs and others pulling carry-on luggage.
Eighteen-year-old Brianna Adkins of Noblesville is one of those back on land this morning - thankful after her early graduation celebration turned into a nightmare. She told Eyewitness News that she kissed the ground when she left the ship. The one thing she miss the most about the mainland, "Toilets," she said.
Food improved from vegetable sandwiches the first day. "After that, we had ship that brought us supplies, and we had chicken, and ham and turkey," Adkins said. "And then the third day, I think, we had hamburgers."
Other passengers boarded buses bound for New Orleans or Texas, while others, including Adkins, settled into local hotels in Mobile.
Adkins said the crew, stewards and passengers made the best of the ordeal. "I was surprised," she said. "There were no fights or anything like that. People were helping each other."
At about 11:15 p.m. Eastern time some aboard the Triumph were walking down an enclosed gangway to a terminal. As people started disembarking, others on board waiting were chanting, "Let me off, let me off!"
Carnival CEO Gerry Cahill apologized on the public address system to passengers. Carnival offered all passengers a discount on future cruise, something Adkins won't use, "Probably for a long time."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.