Albuquerque woman heads home after disastrous cruise

Posted at: 02/15/2013 8:00 PM
By: Jill Galus, KOB Eyewitness News 4

After days of discomfort on a Carnival Cruise, Albuquerque resident Alena Sweet was finally headed home Friday. She spoke exclusively with KOB Eyewitness News 4 over the phone.  

For Sweet and her college girlfriends, the cruise to Cozumel was supposed to be as luxurious as it looked.

"Alena was nervous about going on a cruise; she had never been on a cruise boat before, and we kept assuring her that we always had a wonderful time," Alena Sweet's mother, Marcie, said over the phone from California.

For the past week, Marcie Sweet said she was left hearing about the deplorable conditions on the stranded ship at sea.

"There's the moment of the Titanic where you're like, 'oh my God,'" Alena Sweet said.

Sweet was one of more than 4,200 passengers and crew members who lived through it.
She described her first encounter with running water in a New Orleans hotel Friday morning after five days without it.

"I've been through two bars of soap now, which kinda makes me feel a little OCD but really makes me feel a lot better," Sweet said. "I've been through four things of shampoo."

It all started Sunday when an engine room fire hit.

"It really felt like we're probably sinking," Sweet said.

No power, no air conditioning and no toilets for days, Sweet explained.

"They advised us to urinate in the shower and they were passing out plastic bags for our waste," she said. "It all bubbled itself back up out of our showers and ended up soaking our floors and running through the walls."  

At this point, the best part of this whole trip is getting back to Albuquerque, Sweet said.

"I'm so looking forward to coming home," she said. "It's going to be the end of a very long journey."

And Marcie Sweet couldn't have asked for a better wish come true.

"Today is my birthday so that was the best birthday gift ever, to know she was on land, she said, 'I just want to hug a tree,'" Marcie Sweet said.

Carnival has offered Alena Sweet a free cruise but she emphasized she would have to think long and hard before taking another cruise in the future.