(NEW YORK) — Despite being stranded at sea under extremely difficult conditions, and even as several lawsuits have been filed against Carnival Corp. in the days since the cruise, at least a few Carnival Triumph passengers say they are ready to set sail again.
Melanie Jinkins will take her next cruise less than three weeks after she got off the Triumph. And what’s more, her cruise will be on another Carnival ship.
Jinkins, of Spring, Texas, was on the Triumph with four co-workers. Her next cruise, which she’ll take with her husband David, two children and her older son’s girlfriend on the Carnival Conquest, departs on March 3. It’s a seven-night, round-trip cruise from New Orleans and stopping and places such as Key West, Fla., and Nassau, Bahamas. She booked the trip five months ago. But she also plans to book the free cruise Carnival offered to Triumph passengers, too. And she’s not alone.
Cindy Wright of Union, Neb., said “of course” she planned to use her free cruise. Wright was on the Triumph with her husband Phil. She said she’s looking at booking a February 2014 Carnival cruise out of New Orleans.
Wright said she and her husband were in a tent on a deck for several days with two younger couples — about their kids’ ages — who would wait on line for their food and called them “mom” and “dad.”
And despite reports of sewage running down walls, urine-soaked carpets and short food supply, some passengers said this was not the entire picture. Wright said she saw no sewage running down the walls at all.
“It was kind of fun,” she said. She recalled that on Fat Tuesday, the crew put together a parade, the band played and t-shirts were thrown into the crowd.
As for her next cruise, she said she’s looking into a solar-powered charger for her phone and iPad, should the unthinkable ever happen again.
“I’ll be a little leery,” she said, “but I’ll be prepared.”
Brandie Slonacker was one of the friends in Jinkins’ group. She also had her husband and three kids along. She said they will “absolutely” be using their free cruise on Carnival, probably for a family vacation this summer.
“My daughter said she hopes the same thing happens again because she had so much fun,” Slonacker said. “I don’t, but we tried to make it as fun for them as we could.”
Jinkins called her experience on the Triumph “a fantastic three-day cruise followed by a six-day camping trip on the ocean.” Jinkins, who has been on seven cruises so far, is looking forward to her next voyage.
“It [her Triumph experience] really didn’t change my feelings. It reinstated them. It validated what I like and enjoy doing on a cruise. On the trip, I kept saying ‘as long as they get us back for the next cruise, I’m happy,'” she said.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Seth Fiegerman, CNN
Eric Levenson, CNN
Susan Scutti, CNN
Sandra Gonzalez, CNN