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Local Cruise Passengers Home

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COLUMBIA, La. (KNOE 8 News) - It's home sweet home for nineteen people from Columbia who were stuck on that disabled cruise ship this past week.

Passengers were cheering as the Carnival Cruise Ship Triumph reached Mobile, Alabama last night; and they continued today in Louisiana.

Owner of Knifeworks, Roger Claunch, says "everybody's gotten excited and been 6 or 7 months waiting on this cruise. It was great the first couple of days, I can't say it wasn't. Then it turned into a disaster."

Claunch took his employees and some of their family on the cruise as a reward for their hard work, but it turned into a disaster.

He says, "from 5:30 Sunday morning until 7:00 Monday night before we ever saw the first tug boat, so we floated for about 2 days there."

They lost all power, air, and sewer on the ship. Some even said the ship smelled like an outhouse the last few days. Some passengers moved to the deck and set up what many called "tent city."

Cruise passenger, Tammy May, says "they used sheets to make the tents, to keep the sun off them. There were mattress pulled out in the hallway simply because there was no electricity, so we couldn't see."

May was also a passenger on the ship, and says the food supplies weren't too bad.

She says, "the first day or so we did have to wait in long lines because they couldn't cook food. They had to put out fruit, vegetable, sandwiches, and cold cuts. We never went hungry or anything."

So will they cruise again, or will this stop them from setting sail?

May says, "I'm ready to cruise again. You know we got the free cruise, and oh I'll be back."

Claunch says, "I'm not very happy about it. I wont say I never will, but not any time soon."

Everyone agrees the best part about the trip, finally seeing land in Mobile.

Carnival reimbursed the full cost of the cruise, gave everyone a free cruise, and $500 for the troubles.

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