by: Wendy Corona Updated:
ATLANTA - A local woman was set for a getaway vacation with her best friend when their trip took a turn for the worst.
It was Christy Daniel’s first vacation since her husband passed away two years ago. Her daughters encouraged her and best friend Brenda Wright to go on a cruise and have a “Thelma & Louise” type of adventure. After leaving Port Canaveral last Saturday, things started to go wrong at their last stop in St. Maarten.
“We couldn’t flush the toilet and had no elevators for about two hours. That was about all,” Daniel said by cellphone.
After leaving the stranded ship behind Friday morning, Daniel and more than 4,000 other passengers continued their voyage, but on a new course. Carnival arranged for passengers to fly back to Orlando International Airport, the closest major airport to their port. From there, passengers were chartered by bus to Port Canaveral, Fla.
“We’re just pulling up to the terminal where we left our car,” said Daniel who still faced a seven-hour drive home.
“We’ve laughed about it. We said, ‘We’re forming memories,’” Daniels said. “We were supposed to leave at 5 p.m. Wednesday and the ship is still there.”
The seven-day cruise was scheduled to arrive at Port Canaveral Saturday at 8 a.m., but power interruptions changed the plan. Daniel said despite the change-up, the majority of passengers were pleased with how the cruise line handled the issue.
“The general consensus of everyone is that they treated us like kings and queens when they found out they had a problem. They tried to do everything they could to help us,” she said.
Carnival provided passengers with free phone line access and offered passengers half off of a future cruise.
Meanwhile back in Peachtree City, Daniel’s daughters could not believe the news when they heard of another Carnival crisis.
“Well, we said, ‘While you’re there, go lay out on the pool deck. Enjoy it. Have fun,’” said Tonya Anderson.
And while Daniel can’t deny the beauty of the islands, she said she can’t even think about another cruise right now. Daniels rated this one with a score of 7.
“I can’t give it 100 because I’m too tired,” she said.