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Dirty Ship, Sick Passengers: Inside the Carnival Triumph

CNBC.com With Reuters
Adrift at Sea
The cruise ship Carnival Triumph sits idle February 11, 2013 in the Gulf of Mexico.
Getty Images

After spending five days adrift in the Gulf Mexico after an engine fire knocked out the Carnival Triumph's power, relieved passengers finally disembarked on Friday.

Some kissed the ground in relief after tug boats pulled the crippled ship into port in Mobile, Ala., and guests once again stood on dry land. Passengers described an unbearable smell on the ship due to overflowing toilets and drain pipes that soaked many interior passages and cabins.

Following the cruise debacle, Carnival said passengers would be reimbursed fully for the vacation in addition to transportation expenses, a credit for a future cruise, and $500 cash — an amount that was not enough, some guests said.

"There are lost wages, I've got a baby sitter at home and I had to take off work," told Robin Chandler, who celebrated her 50th birthday on the ship, to Reuters.

Click ahead to see scenes from the Carnival Triumph's cruise gone awry.

—Written by Katie Little
Posted 15 February 2013

Tent City
Source: Passenger Donna Gutzman

Using bed sheets, guests on board erected tents to get fresh air and escape the sewage smells of the interior spaces.

On Dry Land Again
Getty Images

Media swarmed after the passengers disembarked the cruise ship, looking to get first-hand accounts of the conditions on the boat.

Charging Station
Source: Passenger Donna Gutzman

Passengers huddle together to charge their smartphones and electronic devices.

Waste on Floors
Source: Passenger Ed Buck

Passengers described the ship as reeking of raw sewage.

No Indoor Plumbing
Source: Passenger Ed Buck

Once the toilets stopped working on the Carnival Triumph, guests were instructed to use makeshift toilets in the form of a bio-hazard bag.

Makeshift Beds
Source: Passenger Ed Buck

The engine fire produced such thick smoke that some lower-deck passengers were permanently evacuated and spent the remainder of the cruise in makeshift beds on other parts of the ship.

Tug Boat to the Rescue
In this file photo of the Carnival Cruise Ship Triumph, the vessel is seen being hauled into port after losing power for several days. On April 3rd it broke free from its port in Mobile, Alabama.
Source: NBC News

The Triumph was pulled by several tug boats into the port of Mobile, Ala.

Biding Time Onboard
Source: NBC News

During the ordeal, passengers said they passed the five-day period before they made landfall by playing cards, organizing scavenger hunts for the kids, and forming Bible study groups.

Save Our Ship!
Source: NBC News

"SOS" or "Sweet Home Alabama!" read some of the giant signs that passengers created using bed sheets.

Press Interviews
Terry Thornton, Senior VP of Marketing at Carnival Cruise Lines, speaks at a press conference February 14, 2013 in Mobile, Alabama.
Getty Images

Terry Thornton, Carnival's senior vice president of marketing, speaks to the media about the Triumph.

Taking Heat
Carnival CEO Micky Arison took some heat for being at a Miami Heat game (he also owns the team) on Tuesday while the 4,200 people on board the Triumph were stuck at sea.
Source: Landov Agency

Carnival Cruise Lines Chief Executive Micky Arison, also the owner of the Miami Heat, sits courtside at the team's basketball game on Tuesday, while thousands of passengers remain on the stranded ship.

Floating Along
The cruise ship Carnival Triumph sits idle February 11, 2013 in the Gulf of Mexico. According to the Coast Guard, the ship lost propulsion power February 10, after a fire broke out in the engine room.
Getty Images

The crippled ship was en route to Galveston from Cozumel, Mexico, on the third day of a four-day voyage when an engine-room fire knocked out power and plumbing across most of the ship on Sunday.

Helicopter Drop
Getty Images

Conditions abroad the ship improved on Thursday after supplies, including a generator, were delivered to the ship via helicopter.

Back on Dry Ground
Dan Andersen | AFP | Getty Images

Passenger Kendall Jenkins kisses the ground after stepping off the Carnival ship at the Alabama Cruise terminal in Mobile, Alabama.

Sweet Home Alabama
Dan Andersen | AFP | Getty Images

Jenkins and a friend cheer after leaving their nightmarish voyage aboard the stranded cruise ship.

From Sea to Shining Bus
Getty Images

Around 100 buses arrived to carry passengers to Galveston, Texas, a seven-hour ride, while others buses departed to New Orleans, or hotels in Mobile, before eventually flying home.

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