Oklahomans Happy To Be Home After Carnival Triumph Cruise
TULSA, Oklahoma - Five days after a fire left them powerless and adrift at sea, passengers on the nightmare cruise aboard Carnival Triumph were towed back to shore Thursday night.
Some kissed the ground after making it to dry land.
Some Oklahomans onboard were welcomed home at the airport Friday, and they were happy to back on Sooner soil after a very trying journey.
It was hugs and relieved sighs all around in the terminals at Tulsa International Airport, as passengers like Kandi Cravens, from Pryor, were welcomed home by loved ones.
Cravens and about 4,000 other passengers had been without power since Sunday. She said it was near impossible to keep in touch with people back home.
"A lady let us use her cell phone. I tried to pay her. She said 'No, I have enough money, we're all going through this,'" Cravens said.
"When we had other ships bringing us food, we could get signal off their ship," said Autumn Brown.
The Catoosa native had received the cruise tickets for Christmas. Brown said people in the lower decks, and those without a balcony slept in hallways and on the top deck, in makeshift tents.
"If someone wasn't, all the time, there watching it, someone would take their spot," Brown said.
Misty Brumm, from Muskogee, considers herself one of the lucky ones.
"We were very fortunate, because we had a balcony," she said.
She said they were able to cool off their room by opening the balcony door, and that also let out the smell from the inside.
"We were without toilets, so we had to use red bags, and then we had to carry it to the end of the hallways," Brumm said.
Despite not having working toilets or hot water, Brumm stayed positive, thanks, in part, to the effort of the ship's crew members.
"They were awesome," she said. "They were working all day in the heat, no water, no pop, no food."
Brumm said she's thankful to be finally back with family, which is a sentiment shared by all three women, who were looking forward to the comforts of home.
"I'm going to take a shower and use body scrub and take a bath, and then take a hot tub, and then go eat," Cravens said.
All passengers from the cruise should be home by Saturday, and will receive a full refund on top of a $500 check from Carnival.
Everyone we talked to said their experience won't keep them from going on other cruises in the future.