Troubles Continue for Carnival Cruise Ship Passengers

Documents signed by passengers to get tickets may prevent attempts to sue the company.
2:38 | 02/15/13

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Transcript for Troubles Continue for Carnival Cruise Ship Passengers
Back here at home, 4200 passengers and crew are finally back on land tonight after spending five days on the carnival cruise ship with no power after the fire. The nightmare may not be over. Passengers just now reacting to carnival's offer. Here again tonight, abc's matt gutman. Reporter: They sprinted ashore. 3,000 passengers -- so relieved to be on dry ground, they kissed it. That's my first cruise. That's my last cruise. Never again. Reporter: Five days after an engine fire left the carnival "triumph" dead in the water. Everything is under control. Nothing to worry about, folks. Nothing to panic about. Reporter: And tonight, this new video shows the extreme conditions on the triumph. People camping on deck, lining corridors with mattresses and sheets, turning couches into beds -- anything to escape a in darkened cabins, passengers used flashlights to show us water seeping under doorways. Look at this. That's still running out. The stench is horrific. Reporter: Days spent trying to phone home. We have tug boats comin out tomorrow at noon to pick up our boat. We're in the middle of the gulf of mexico. We're out in the middle of the ocean, dude. The boat caught on fire this morning at about 4:00. Reporter: For its part, carnival provided vouchers. It's degrading. Demoralizing. They want to insult us by giving us $500. They kuld have gotten the elderly, pregnant, children, off the ship. Reporter: Passengers may be out of luck with lawsuits. When you buy the ticket, you often sign away the ability to sue for damages. There's no question that carnival and every cruise line like it has thought long and hard about the prospect of lawsuits. They've ensured that they have walled themselves off as much as they can. Reporter: Notice the cranes working on the account triumph." It will be out of commission for two more months at least. It could take more than that for carnival to repair its reputation. One more note. The coast guard pays for the coast of rescues the cruise ships. That's your money, tax money. On capitol hill today, outrage over that. Jay rockefeller writing in a letter to the coast guard that, quote, it's time that the cruise line industry, that earn mrs. Than $26 billion a year, pay for the costs imposed on the government. Don't miss a special "20/20" tonight. What every family should ask before taking the next cruise. We continue this evening. If you were on facebook today,

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