OK Sisters Talk About Deplorable Conditions Aboard Stranded Cruise Ship

Friday, February 15th 2013, 9:44 pm
By: News 9

By Heather Hope, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- It's the end of a nightmare for many Oklahoma families as they finally make it home from that stranded Carnival Cruise ship in the Gulf.

What started out as a fun five-day cruise to Cozumel turned into the frightful trip, some of the passengers say they'll never forget.

Stephanie Sheltman and Susan Kimery couldn't get to their families fast enough once they landed at Will Rogers Airport.

"I feel complete relief," Sheltman says. "The hardest part was being a part from my family."

The two sister-in-laws traveled with 14 other women to Cozumel on the Carnival cruise ship Triumph. But they say their trip was far from triumphant.

"I mean, it was terrible. It was gross and disgusting," Kimery says. "I have a bag of things that totally need to be sanitized."

They had running water on the eighth floor but were far from the amenities of home.

"They gave us red bags to do the number two in, and they told us to pee in the sink or shower, so we did that," Kimery says. "And it's surreal, I can't even believe that it happened."

Sheltman said the smell was unbearable.

"I mean, we couldn't even sleep in our room," Sheltman says. "The smell was so bad everywhere you walked. There were feces."

The ship left last Thursday and was supposed to return home on Monday. They got to Cozumel on Saturday and lost power after an engine room fire Sunday.

"As I walked down the hall, there was an explosion," Kimery says. "It scared me to death. So I ran back to my room, we grabbed our life vests and went above deck."

They were elated when they finally docked in Mobile, Alabama days later, but were even happier to make it home to Oklahoma today.

"Usually, I don't want to come home after a vacation, but this time I couldn't wait," Kimery says.

Sheltman says she took the same ship on a Thanksgiving cruise last November, her husband had also been on the cruise before and her father was on the Triumph one week before this recent trip.

She says the ship had mechanical issues then and the main propeller broke, so the ship went to Progresso and got it fixed.

Both women say the ship's crew was outstanding and helpful, but they'd never take the cruise again.