The first buses poured into the Port of Galveston parking area around 7:15 this morning. Immediately, people poured off those buses and took off with their bags to get home.
Their arrival in Galveston ended a nightmare journey that started a week ago Thursday when the Carnival ship left Galveston. An engine fire Sunday stranded the ship and it didn't make it back to port until last night in Mobile, Alabama. Then a bus trip overnight to Galveston.
The Port of Galveston police chief told us he expects about 800 passengers to arrive this morning to get their vehicles.
The cruise ship was disabled for five nightmarish days in the Gulf. The Triumph finally docked with some 4,200 people aboard late last night with passengers raucously cheering the end to an ocean odyssey they say was marked by overflowing toilets, food shortages and foul odors.
"Sweet Home Alabama!" read one of the homemade signs passengers affixed alongside the 14-story ship as many celebrated at deck rails lining several levels of the stricken ship Triumph. The ship's horn loudly blasted several times as four tugboats pulled the crippled ship to shore. Some gave a thumbs-up sign and flashes from cameras and cellphones lit the night.
About an hour after the ship pulled up at 9:15 p.m. Central, a steady stream of passengers began making their way down the glass-enclosed gang plank, some in wheelchairs and others pulling carry-on luggage. One man gave the thumbs up.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report
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