The nightmare at sea -- the Carnival cruise ship that has been stranded for 5 days with no running water and no working toilets – is almost over.
Thousands of passengers are desperate to be back home. The ship is now docked in Mobile, Alabama.
But we say almost over -- because even though it is docked it will still be several more hours before all passengers will be off the ship.
And then it may be another day before everyone is transported home.
Hevin Knappenberger lives here in the valley. She's on the Triumph for a girl's getaway -- but it's the getaway that she now wants to get away from. We talked to her today by phone about the cruise from hell, and while it's bad, she says it's not all bad.
"I've been in denial for the last few days. I've had moments when I was really sad, depressed, but then I snapped out of it."
"You see people in the hallways dragging their mattresses. I guess level 1 and 2 have had it really bad. Really bad. Cause there's no… we have no electricity."
Hevin and others finally found some electricity to charge phones. She told me her room has a balcony and that has been a godsend. She can get sunlight and fresh air, but hundreds of other passengers on the lower floors have no electricity, and as you see in this picture, they are sleeping anywhere they can.
"They're sleeping in the hallways. They're taking out their mattresses. It's been hot then really cold… All the bathrooms were out at one point… they handed out bags or to go in the shower... one or two in the red bags. And then put the red bag out in the hallway, but they were coming around and taking those bags," says Hevin.
"It did smell in certain hallways. They did have some floods here and there."
As bad as it sounds, Hevin has some positive things to say about Carnival Cruiseline.
"The crew on this ship has been amazing. So they have been working so hard nonstop. I heard that some of the crew members are not even eating," she says.
"The crew took action right away and they're doing the best they can. And I give them kudos for that. As I'm talking to you they're setting up music right now. They're playing music. They've had entertainment almost every day. Different activities, they've had bingo, they've had movies."
Would this stop her from going on another cruise?
"No. It would not. It's not like it's going to happen every ship."
She hopes to be on a flight back to the valley Friday morning.
Michael Whyte, a valley DJ, is also on the ship. And he says while the conditions are far from ideal, he and his wife are making the best of it.
"We have to go down to like the 6th level to use a flushing toilet. The crew been great, they have stepped up, they feed us and everything but it's been a nightmare. No electricity… The people on the lower deck, they come upstairs and sleep in the hallway and stuff like that. Everybody has their own story, but for me personally it was okay. It was stressful being out here for 3 days and we're still on the ship… Get a hot shower and a steak, I want a steak too, we ate enough sandwiches. 5 days!"
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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