Margaret Mayo thought she was on a trip of a life time—until she heard these words at 5:30 in the morning.
"It's an emergency, get up, get up! It’s an emergency!"
Smoke filled the hallways as she tried to figure out what was going on. It was day two of Triumph's journey and because of an engine fire, the ship idled in the gulf 90 miles from shore.
Without electricity, you seem to remember what you once took for granted.
" I could really tell you some horror stuff, but I would rather not,” explained Margaret Mayo, a passenger on the ship.
Cooks were able to grill food and make sandwiches, but without elevators, people had to walk hundreds of stairs to eat. One day, they didn't even have drinking water. Other conditions were unbearable.
Mayo stammered, "The commodes did not flush most of the time. In our room, it did not flush from Sunday until Thursday. One day we were told to urinate in the shower and we had red bags for other."
Mayo and her friends slept on mattresses in a small hallway and said although rooms flooded, it was not with water.
“We were fortunate. Our room did not flood. But some of the rooms that did, there was urine running down the side of the walls,” Mayo said in disgust.
Fortunately she never got sick, but like many, her friend did. She got a throat infection. Mayo said the Carnival crew was the turning point.
"Had it not been for the crew, I think people may have been more disorderly. But the crew—Carnival could not have a better crew than what they had on that ship. I really was at peace. I never felt like I would not make it home. I just didn't know how long it would be,” she thought.
When she finally stepped onto dry land and saw her husband, it was bliss.
"I think I said sweet home Alabama! That was quite a reunion. We’ve been married 47 years. This was the best valentine's day we've ever had."
This wasn't her first cruise, and surprisingly it won't be her last.
More than 4,000 people were on that ship. Mayo said Carnival refunded her money, granted her a free cruise, and gave her $500. While numerous lawsuits are expected to be filed, lawyers familiar with cruise ship lawsuits say unless a passenger suffered major injuries or losses due to the cruise, it’s better off to accept Carnival’s compensation.