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Cruise passengers return home, feds probe fire

By The Associated Press

This article was published February 16, 2013 at 9:49 a.m.

passengers-from-the-disabled-carnival-triumph-cruise-ship-arrive-by-bus-at-the-hilton-riverside-hotel-in-new-orleans-friday-feb-15-2013-the-ship-had-been-idled-for-nearly-a-week-in-the-gulf-of-mexico-following-an-engine-room-fire

Passengers from the disabled Carnival Triumph cruise ship arrive by bus at the Hilton Riverside Hotel in New Orleans, Friday, Feb. 15, 2013. The ship had been idled for nearly a week in the Gulf of Mexico following an engine room fire.

— Passengers of the Carnival Triumph are trying to put the memories of their nightmarish cruise adrift at sea behind them as they return home.

Many of the roughly 3,000 passengers were bused late Thursday and Friday to New Orleans to catch a flight home or to the ship’s home port in Galveston, Texas. One of the buses broke down during the two-hour ride to New Orleans. Passengers on a different bus reported losing their luggage.

While some called the journey a horrible experience after the ship lost power and toilets stopped working, others spoke of bonding with fellow passengers during the long, exhaustive struggle to get home.

The National Transportation Safety Board, Coast Guard and the Bahamas Maritime Authority are investigating the cause of the fire and the emergency response.

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