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Evanston Woman Returns Home After Carnival Cruise ‘Nightmare’

Sandeep Berry talks to reporters at O'Hare International Airport, after returning home from a Carnival Cruise Line ship that ended up adrift for five days when its engines failed. (Credit: CBS)

Sandeep Berry talks to reporters at O’Hare International Airport, after returning home from a Carnival Cruise Line ship that ended up adrift for five days when its engines failed. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – An Evanston woman who was on board the crippled Carnival Cruise Line ship that was stuck adrift for five days was back at home on Friday, hours after the ship finally arrived back in port in Alabama.

WBBM Newsradio’s Dave Berner reports Sandeep Berry went on the Carnival cruise ship Triumph with her mother for a trip through the Caribbean, a vacation that Berry said turned into “a nightmare” after the ship ended up stranded at sea, and had to be towed back to land.

When she started the trip, Berry didn’t expect to be awakened by a burning stench that turned out to be an engine fire that knocked out the ship’s propulsion, power, sewage, heating, and air-conditioning. Passengers were left suffering in squalid conditions on the ship as it was slowly towed to port.

“Sewage water everywhere; everywhere,” Berry said. “I’m still wearing my flip-flops, because my shoes got destroyed, and really these were the only things that I could wear.”

She said, because of all the sewage on the ship, several people slipped and fell, and suffered broken bones.

“There was a woman who broke her hip. There was someone who fell, broke his ribs, broke his ankle,” she said.

Passengers also had to suffer through a shortage of food and other essentials.

“You noticed it with the food, because people started hoarding food into their bags, into their backpacks, and were running away with food,” Berry said.

She said the crew was amazing, trying to help as much as possible; but she wasn’t happy about Carnival’s upper management.

“No, I don’t want to go on another cruise for Carnival. I don’t want to go at all,” she said. “The worst part of it all, I think, was just the communication; that Carnival never communicated anything to us.”

Her husband, Tom, was thrilled to see her home.

“They made the best of a bad situation,” he said. “We’re just ecstatic that everything’s okay.”

Rian Tipton, a Chicago resident who also was on the cruise, was expected to arrive back home on Monday.