Powerless Carnival Cruise Ship Heading Back to Port

Hellish stories from day four of a vacation gone wrong for thousands of passengers.
3:00 | 02/13/13

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Transcript for Powerless Carnival Cruise Ship Heading Back to Port
Four -- pleasure cruise turned hellish ordeal. 4200. People are being towed back to -- tonight trapped aboard the carnival cruise ship that lost power in the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday. As new information from the passengers on board describes nightmarish scenes of squalor. -- -- -- Has the latest. Tonight stranded at -- as seen today from above in the carnival triumph. Lame and panelist is being towed to port in Mobile, Alabama it is day four of what is turned into the holiday from hail. For the more than 4000. People on board Britain -- wife Bethany is a board spoke briefly before the phone cut. All you hear almost phone calls is crime in talking about I'm gonna die I'm gonna die. Rob now -- Stephanie Stevenson had hoped for a beautiful wedding at -- married on the ship just a few days ago. They are -- spending their honeymoon in school. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Who's seen better times he's part of the -- was far from the dream vacation -- ship went dark Sunday. As it sailed from Mexico. Back to Galveston Texas it started when a fire had erupted more in the engine room Sunday it was extinguished by an automatic system. But not before burning out the -- four engines. There's no -- No water. We can't flash. And -- seen here hemming -- -- before boarding the triumph in Galveston texted a chronicle of misery. -- -- running down the walls and floors. We -- camping on deck passenger Shelley Crosby texted us we just in line for four hours to get a hamburger. With scant news and few images from the ship were passengers and flew 100 miles from shore earlier today to find the -- -- dispatched a third -- out today to help assistant towing the ship deport. Ever seen anything like Hillary and goings on here and then -- mind. -- -- her hands. Any regrets now. We showed no visible damage but we did -- curious passengers on deck. Looking up -- us deck chairs seem to have been converted into -- But sleeping outside will be increasingly miserable during the -- final hours in the cold rain. With the ship running on emergency generators its communications are also crippled grieving family members tonight. Frantic she was scared. She's apparently crying mom with those weird. Mary -- rain -- -- Karen drove through the night from Austin, Texas to be here. Hoping to be the first to see their eleven and twelve year old daughter's. My baby don't care of and I don't know that she's -- -- For three days not a single carnival cruise line represented have appeared publicly. -- president Jerry -- spoke Tuesday. And we obviously -- very very sorry about what's taking place there is no question. That conditions on board the ship are very challenging everyone short side is doing everything they can to make our guests as comfortable as possible. And then later that very same night horrible owner -- Anderson did appear publicly and Miami Heat game the team he owns. But that picture ignited anger on line. Got crying -- -- expecting a fun vacation it's safe to say this has not happened to extraditions from now on board the ship. Are quite bad. This is the third time in a month this very ship -- -- engine trouble. The trying to to limped back to port on its two previous wages. And in 2010 another carnival ship lost propulsion. A few days from land and required spectacular rescue. Maybe choppers flown in. Dropped 70000. Pounds of supplies. Including lots of spam. According Chris Gilbert were aboard that splendor voyage in 2010. -- -- that nightmare we start to smell some smoke coming into -- -- There was a announcement over the loudspeaker. Woke everybody up. And we knew then that there was something serious things can go spectacularly. Wrong on cruise ships just over a year ago the coast to concordia. Carrying 4000 passengers on board collided with rocks just off the coast of Tuscany. 32 people died but travel experts say those are the exceptions and didn't know -- on the carnival -- he's in any imminent danger. People on board that -- are horribly. Uncomfortable. But from everything we now they are not in any danger so at the very minimum -- it seems to be keeping -- Tonight is -- -- -- -- to shorten the port of mobile is dealing with the delicate task of -- the -- And perhaps the most delicate maneuver from -- cruise lines in dealing with the disembarking passengers. For the holiday that was it I'm Matt Gutman for Nightline in Mobile, Alabama. Well today Carnival Cruise Lines announced an addition to issuing a full refund for the cruise it will give each passenger at least 500 additional dollars. In compensation.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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