"It was horrific going through it,": Passenger on cruise ship conditions

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"It was horrific going through it,": Passenger on cruise ship conditions

CREATED Feb 16, 2013

Reporter: Alexis Fernandez

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - It was supposed to be an enjoyable four-day Carnival cruise to Cozumel, Mexico for Dawn Mawhinney and her friend, Robin.

"We went just to relax and have a good time," she told 9OYS.

But on day four, Sunday, as they were heading home, everything turned for the worst.

"We were awakened by the captain calling for the alpha team, friend opened up the door, saw smoke and the firefighters running down the hall -- got a little nervous," she said.

Mawhinney and her friend were staying on deck one, and decided to go upstairs to see what was going on.

"Saw all the smoke coming out of the tail of the ship, a lot of chaos, a lot of people running around," she continued.

9OYS's Alexis Fernandez asked Mawhinney if she was scared or worried?

"No I wasn't worried because the cruise director said everything was under control and not to worry," she responded.

They eventually dragged their mattresses to a top floor because sewer water started spilling out into the hallways.

"It was horrific going through it, floors were wet, toilet bowls overflowing, (I) was wearing not the best of shoes, flip flops, trekking it up and down the stairs getting it all over your feet, it was miserable," she said.

She says the U.S. Coast Guard arrived that night and several ships eventually delivered supplies.

That's when the waiting began, which she says the staff made more bearable.

"Played music for us and sang songs, became known around the ship and people came to watch them play, they just brought us a lot of comfort," she continued.

On day eight, the nightmare finally ended when the ship was pulled into a port in Mobile, Alabama.

She says this was her first cruise and it will surely be her last.

"I don't need to go on another cruise," she said.