Woman describes horrifying conditions aboard stranded ship - FOX 35 News Orlando

Stranded cruise ship returns, Chicago women recall appalling conditions

Posted: Updated:
Sandeep Berry, Evanston passenger aboard Carnival Triumph Sandeep Berry, Evanston passenger aboard Carnival Triumph
Lincoln Park resident Rian Tipton was aboard Triumph Lincoln Park resident Rian Tipton was aboard Triumph
Sandeep Berry and her mother Sandeep Berry and her mother
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

It was a rock star greeting at Chicago O'Hare International Airport for Evanston resident Sandeep Berry after a vacation-turned-nightmare played out aboard the Carnival Cruise Lines ship Triumph.

The journey has been less than pleasant for the 4,000 passengers who were stuck at sea for days without air conditioning, running water, and toilets after a fire knocked out the engine.

Berry says the first night was the worst.

"When it was pitch black and you couldn't tell where the sky was and where the sea was and the tugboats from Mexico were just coming up and there was silence," Berry says. "People were seeing sharks in the water. That to me was... what if we never go home?"

Berry's snapshots show what was supposed to be a mother daughter trip celebrating Berry's mother's 57th birthday.  Instead, images of knee-deep sewage, food lines, mattresses on deck and makeshift tent cities are ingrained in Berry's mind.

"Sewage water everywhere, everywhere," Berry recalls. "I'm still wearing my flip flops because my shoes got destroyed and really these were the only things I could wear without slipping and falling."

As for souvenirs, without working toilets, Berry kept the now notorious red biohazard bag passengers used for waste.

Berry says on the third night of being stranded, the cruise ship opened its gift shop for cash-only purchases. That's where she bought the Carnival cruise T-shirt she wore off the boat and flip-flops--since most of her belongings were destroyed.

"For the crew that was on the ship, they did an amazing job but higher up, it's pretty ridiculous," Berry says. "They had no plan in place, it didn't seem like and on top of that they, I mean even when we got off, the crew didn't get to come off."

Emotions ran over when berry saw her husband tom for the first time after landing at O'Hare.

"You fear for the worse and this is clearly much better than that," Tom Berry says.

Lincoln Park resident Rian Tipton was also aboard Triumph. In a phone interview from Dallas she says she's happy to be back with family.

"I'm just trying to get my life back into perspective and get things back to normal. I know that there are a lot of questions and a lot of things that need to surface and come to head first before we can figure anything out," said Tipton.

Rian Tipton is in Texas with her immediate family and a group of bridesmaids who were on board with her. She lands back in Chicago Monday night.

Sandeep Berry spent Friday back on the job and said the first thing she wants is a deep dish pizza.

Share Your Photos & Video

Powered by WorldNow

35 Skyline Drive
Lake Mary, FL 32746

Phone: (407) 644-3535
News Tips: (866) 55-FOX35

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices