Passenger sues Carnival cruise for "horrifying" conditions (VIDEO)


In this handout from the U.S. Coast Guard, the cruise ship Carnival Triumph sits idle February 11, 2013 in the Gulf of Mexico. According to the Coast Guard, the ship lost propulsion power February 10, after a fire broke out in the engine room.


Paul McConnell/U.S. Coast Guard

Within hours of finally reaching dry land, the first lawsuit was filed by a passenger of the doomed Carnival cruise ship.

It came as some of the 4,200 passengers aboard the ship were still not home because their bus broke down and one of the planes suffered an electrical fault, the New York Daily News reported.

Passenger Cassie Terry of Brazonia County, Texas, is the first to take legal action, Reuters reported.

Court documents state Terry is suing Carnival for failing to provide a seaworthy vessel and "horrifying" sanitary conditions.

She claims physical and emotional harm in the suit filed in the Federal Court, Miami, on Friday. Thousands more lawsuits are expected in the coming weeks.

The ship was towed into port in Alabama late Thursday night, five days after it lost power in a engine-room fire.

More than 3,000 passengers reported squalid conditions including no food, no toilets and faeces down walls.

There were cheers as the ship finally reached dry land, according to the Washington Post.

The Washington Post reports that the slow approach into the Mobile port took a good portion of the day, and that the arriving passengers "raucously cheered after days of what they described as overflowing toilets, food shortages and foul odors."

“It was horrible, just horrible,” Maria Hernandez told the Post, as she described her horror as smoke filled her cabin after the fire, and the overall odor aboard the ship.

Read more from GlobalPost: Carnival cruise ship: Slowly heads to port after tow line breaks

Passengers, who were returning from Mexico, had to clear customs before they were allowed back into the US, writes CNN. The process of transporting the thousands of passengers off the ship took about four hours, according to the Washington Post.

Carnival plans to offer passengers $500, a full refund, a free flight home, and a credit for another cruise, added CNN.

The ship's woes began when the engine-room caught fire on February 10th, leaving the Mexico-bound ship "dead in the water," according to USA Today.

That led to five days of unpleasantness for the thousands trapped on board, who nonetheless lauded Carnival's staff for their professionalism to USA Today reporters.

Read more from GlobalPost: Carnival cruise ship: passengers sleeping on deck

Carnival CEO Gerry Cahill was on hand to greet the crippled ship, offering a personal apology from the cruising company, wrote CNN, while an "army" of employees were on hand to assist passengers.

Industry watchers are concerned that the Carnival ship's highly-documented ordeal may put a dent in the cruise business, according to industry experts gathered together by the National Public Radio.

In December, Carnival Corp & PLC reported "sharply lower" profit, blaming the deadly January 2012 Costa Concordia accident and a drop in 2013 bookings for the results, wrote Reuters, with a $93 million profit in the fourth quarter of the year.