9:49 AM EST, February 15, 2013
Passengers from the nightmare cruise from hell celebrated their return to dry land at a festive breakfast. It's their first decent meal in five days.
But their celebrations were punctuated with tears.
Passenger Nicole Brown kept a bed sheet souvenir, every square inch covered with messages from fellow passengers.
Travelers erupted into cheers as the stricken Carnival Triumph finally docked in Mobile, Alabama. Some kissed the ground as they got off the ship.
There were emotional reunions with loved ones and war stories about the conditions on board.
One passenger said, “There was backed up sewage on all the carpeting, the ship reeks of urine.”
One man turned up to greet his girlfriend with roses, chocolates and a teddy bear for a belated valentine’s day.
Some passengers were ferried by bus to New Orleans, but even that became a nightmare. Incredibly, one of the buses broke down on the way, stranding the passengers for hours.
NBC Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Nancy Snyderman warned that diseases from raw sewage and rotting food may strike passengers in the next week.
Dr. Nancy said, “A lot of people are on dry land but as we talked to people and they explained what the conditions were. One of the big concerns was the next couple of days people may still come down with illnesses because of what they were exposed to. This is in essence a floating petri dish if you will.”
A video diary shot by passengers during the cruise gives a taste of the hell of life on board. They said, “Sewage and human waste have come up through the floor of the shower and the bathroom and it was in the carpet. When we walked across the carpet, it would squish.”
Hundreds slept on mattresses. Some camped out in tent cities on deck. Lucky ones had cots to sleep on. Others simply slept on the floor. They didn't even have blankets.
Leftover food was left to rot. Plastic bags were used for toilets. Raw sewage seeped into cabins.
Many of the passengers say they'll never go on a cruise again.
One passenger said, “If I hear the word cruise again, “I am running.”