3 Milwaukee residents back home after nightmare week on stranded cruise ship

CREATED Feb. 15, 2013

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MILWAUKEE -  A 17-year-old Milwaukee girl and her mother were on the Carnival ship stranded in the Gulf of Mexico this week. They finally made it home this afternoon, and they have quite a story to tell.

Cheers erupted in the Mitchell terminal today. Families hugging…reunited after the vacation from hell. It was a trip they won't soon forget.

Days of despair, followed by one, unforgettable moment. All the worry washed away with a homecoming hug. The passengers of the carnival triumph are back, safe and sound, with loved ones ready to take them home.

"It feels great to finally be back, and know we're safe," said Allison, a teen that was on the boat.

Allison, her mom, and family braved days of deplorable conditions aboard the cruise ship.

"When the lights went out, it was the most scariest thing in the whole wide world," said Allison’s aunt Karen.

Karen said the thought of being stranded at sea nearly paralyzed her with fear. A tent city on deck was her only refuge.

"We didn't have toilets for a while,” said Allison. “You don't realize how good you have it back at home."

Now back in Wisconsin, the vacation, memorable for all the wrong reasons, is now a memory.

"We've had our moments of crying, and rage," she said.

Far from the ocean, it's now time to decompress, before planning the next vacation.

“It wasn't what we wanted,” said Allison’s mom. “It's not what we signed up for, but they got us home safe to our family."

It may be a while before those weary travelers head back to the Gulf of Mexico. For now, a hot shower and a warm bed makes for the ultimate retreat.