NEW ORLEANS (WALA) - Hours after the Carnival Triumph was towed into the port of Mobile, buses filled with passengers pulled into New Orleans - many for one last stop before finally heading home.
After five days stranded in the Gulf, the nightmare trip for many passengers of the Carnival Triumph ended in Mobile.
Around 1 a. m. on February 15, 2013, the buses pulled into the Hilton hotel in downtown New Orleans.
Texas native Staci Williams went on the Triumph with a group of 22 people, 10 of which were children.
She said the memory of the harsh conditions on the ship are still fresh in her mind.
"On the deck above us, the bathrooms were overflowing. As the ship would lean, it ended up flowing on one of our friends. It was terrible. They gave us red bags to use the restroom in. There was also vomit on the ship," said Williams.
Joley Jackson was with Williams' group.
"It wasn't fun. It was really scary. I don't know what I'd do without my friends on that ship," Jackson said.
Many said the bus ride was a time for them to catch up on some much needed rest.
Officials said 37 buses actually came into New Orleans carrying around 2,000 passengers. That's about half the cruise ship. Despite everything they've been through, many have remained positive.
"Everybody's been great. Very helpful in Mobile and on the ship. The staff was great. Everyone's trying to make the best of a tough situation," said Stephanie Chesson, a Triumph passenger.
Officials said empty buses returned to the Hilton around 4:45 a. m. to take a number of folks to the airport.
Other buses were routed to Galveston, Texas.
The Hilton in New Orleans was providing breakfast buffets and complimentary drinks for passengers.
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