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Los Angeles couple recounts days on stranded Carnival cruise ship

February 16, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
The nightmare cruise is over and now passengers on the Carnival Triumph are returning home with stories to tell about their five-day ordeal at sea, including a Los Angeles couple.

The Triumph left Galveston, Texas, on Feb. 7 for a four-day cruise to Cozumel, Mexico. An engine-room fire paralyzed the ship early Sunday, leaving it adrift in the Gulf of Mexico. Passengers described nightmarish conditions on board: overflowing toilets, long lines for a short supply of food, foul odors, and tent cities where vacationers slept on deck. Tugboats slowly towed the 14-story vessel to Mobile, Ala. It arrived there late Thursday.

Devin Marble and his fianc?e, Teresa Vasquez, were on a family reunion cruise in a group of 14 people when the engine fire broke out and the ship lost power.

"You are kind of in a survival mode," Marble said.

Every so often, Carnival sister ships would drop off food and water.

For passengers who couldn't find a working toilet, there were the infamous red bags.

Inside-facing cabins were stifling with no windows and no air conditioning, so many slept on deck, some in makeshift tents. But they made the best of a bad situation.

"In the last days they got enough power to get some comedians, a microphone and some lights, so we had some days of comedy. There was still music," Vasquez said.

One of the nice things, the couple said, was spending more time than they expected with their large extended family.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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