Stranded Cruise: Foul Odors, Feces, Cabins Like Coffins

But some passengers say it was kinda fun
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 12, 2010 2:00 PM CST
Stranded Cruise: Foul Odors, Feces, Cabins Like Coffins
This image shot Monday Nov. 8, 2010 shows smoke coming from the engine compartment of the crippled cruise ship, Carnival Splendor, off the coast of Mexico.   (AP Photo/Justina Victoriano)

None of the passengers on the stranded Carnival Splendor report tales of true horror—for all the disappointment and inconvenience, their basic needs were met. But the experience could still be harrowing at times, with spoiled food giving off foul odors, and completely dark decks that made the cabins feel like coffins, passengers tell the AP. "The smells were unbelievable," one said. "It seemed almost like every floor we went up there was a different odor." Broken sewage pumps meant some floors were "saturated with feces and urine," said another.

That spoiled food meant that the 3,300 passengers had to get creative—"we started making mayo sandwiches," he continued—before a Navy ship dropped off more palatable options of Spam and Pop-Tarts. "I expected a really nice time and it was like Gilligan's Island or something," he added, talking of showering in the dark, brushing his teeth with bottled water, and helping carry elderly people up multiple flights of stairs to get food. But "Carnival did a great job with the resources they had," added another passenger. "I can't say enough. The crew was great. We just made the most of it." (More drama: Two passengers were arrested on felony charges as soon as the cruise docked; click here for that story.)

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