Bedraggled cruise passengers return
The cruise ship stranded off Mexico this week by an engine fire limped back into port under tow on Thursday with 3,300 passengers bedraggled by three days at sea without hot water, air conditioning or cooked meals.
They came ashore in wrinkled, mismatched clothes with tales of hot-dog salads, smelly, smoky cabins, free booze and some of the worst honeymoons ever.
“It was camping on the ocean, and it was horrible,” said Jackie Harlan, who was celebrating her 12th wedding anniversary aboard the ill-fated ship Carnival Splendor with her husband, Chris, and their two young children.
Tugboats pulled the crippled luxury liner into its home port of San Diego at about 8 a.m. local time. Petty Officer Allyson Conroy of the U.S. Coast Guard said it would take at least two to three hours for all the passengers to disembark with their baggage.
“Remember, they have no power on the ship, and that means no elevators,” Conroy said.
The 952-foot vessel left Long Beach, Calif., on Sunday for a seven-day voyage. But the ship was marooned the next day about 200 miles south of San Diego and 50 miles off the Mexican coast by an engine fire that crippled its propulsion system and knocked out most power supplies.