The disabled Carnival cruise ship that left more than 4,000 people living in "nightmarish" conditions finally docked in Mobile, Alabama on Friday night. The massive ship pulled into port at about 9:15 p.m. Central time, ending a five-day cruise gone wrong after the ship lost power in an engine-room fire on Sunday, disabling toilets, causing sewage to literally seep from the walls and forcing passengers to go to the bathroom in plastic bags.
The ship, named the Triumph, blew her horn as it slowly made its way back to land while passengers cheered and whistled joyfully. "Sweet Home Alabama!" read a poster alongside the 14-story ship. Families of those stuck on the ship awaited the arrival of their relatives in Mobile, but Carnival senior vice president of marketing Terry Thornton said it could take up to five hours to unload the eager vacationers.
Carnival CEO Gerry Cahill greeted the passengers and planned to personally apologize to all those on board.
"Clearly we have failed," Cahill said. "The most important thing for me now is to get on board and to apologize to our guests and that is what I am going to do now."
Carnival offered the passengers the option of taking a seven-hour bus ride to the Texas cities of Gaveston (the origin of the ship) or Houston or a two-hour ride to New Orleans.