MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — As passengers of the Carnival cruise ship Triumph returned to shore after five days at sea without power or working toilets, they had a wide range of reactions. Here is a sampling:
"This is my first and last cruise. So if anyone wants my free cruise, look me up," said Kendall Jenkins, 24, of Houston, referring to compensation offered by Carnival Cruise Line. Bounding off the ship Thursday night clad in bathrobes, she and her friend Brittany Ferguson immediately kissed the pavement at the Port of Mobile in Alabama.
"Mops and disinfectant spray. Where was that five days ago?" wrote passenger Kalin Hill in a text message to The Associated Press, after crews began cleaning the ship as it was being towed into port.
"I appreciate the patience of our guests and their ability to cope with the situation. And I'd like to reiterate the apology I made earlier. I know the conditions on board were every poor. I know it was very difficult. And I want to apologize again for subjecting our guests to that. We pride ourselves on providing our guests with a great vacation experience, and clearly we failed in this particular case," Carnival CEO Gerry Cahill said at a news conference late Thursday, before he apologized to passengers through a bullhorn.
"It was horrible, just horrible," said Maria Hernandez, 28, of Angleton, Texas, tears welling in her eyes as she talked about waking to smoke in her lower-level room Sunday and the days of heat and stench to follow.
"You have to have a sense of humor about all this, you just have to," Joan Jackson, 74, of Conroe, Texas, said as she got off a chartered bus at a New Orleans hotel donning a red "hat" she had made from a red human waste bag distributed by Carnival.