SACRAMENTO, CA - Cindel Pena of Sacramento was on the Triumph cruise ship with friends from New Mexico and Japan as part of a college reunion.
Pena talked with her mom Serena Pena on the phone earlier in the week and said that the lines for food were really long. She also said there was raw sewage on the floor. No one has been able to shower.
A Sunday fire in Triumph's engine room cut power to the ship, leaving it adrift in the Gulf of Mexico and turning a fun holiday cruise into a hellish nightmare for scores of passengers and crew. Passengers have been complaining about terrible conditions on board, with backed up toilets, feces and urine on floors, little food and electrical power. Some passengers slept in tents outside to escape sweltering temperatures in overheated cabins.
Pena said everyone is "just beyond disgusting."
Pena has been communicating with her mom primarily through text messages.
On Thursday morning, she said that the tug boat line had snapped. Pena's mother texted back "holy moly - what a nightmare."
Pena has hardly eaten. She hasn't had any heat or air conditioning; and, she has been sleeping mostly on the deck of the ship.
Pena texted her family to say that she was ok and that her friends were OK.
Her family said they feel reassured and just hopeful that the nightmare will be over soon.
By Suzanne Phan, firstname.lastname@example.org
USA Today contributed to this report