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Passengers' nightmare ends as stricken ship limps to port

A CRUISE ship disabled for five nightmarish days limped into port under tow with passengers cheering the end to an ocean odyssey they say was marked by overflowing toilets, food shortages and foul odours.

People aboard the stricken 14-story Triumph lined the deck rails yesterday as passengers disembarked in Mobile, Alabama.

Some of the 4,000 passengers danced in celebration on balconies.

Hundreds gawked from the dock at the arrival at the American ship.

It took six gruelling hours to navigate the roughly 48km ship channel to dock, guided by at least four towboats. Nearly 900 feet long, it was the largest liner ever to dock at Mobile.

Passengers on board, in texts and flitting cellphone calls, described miserable conditions while at sea.

The ship had lost power in an engine-room fire on Sunday.

Disgusted by the foul air and heat on the lower decks, many passengers hauled mattresses and bed sheets onto the top deck and slept there.

Kalin Hill, of Houston, said conditions were deplorable.

"The lower floors had it the worst, the floors 'squish' when you walk and lots of the lower rooms have flooding from above floors," Hill wrote.

"Half our party was on two; the smell down there literally chokes you and hurts your eyes."

She said: "There's poop and urine all along the floor.

"The floor is flooded with sewer water ... and we had to poop in bags."