Sundstrom (waving) and her companions on the dock at St. Maarten Thursday in front of the Dream.
Several North Platte residents are flying home from the Caribbean after their Carnival cruise ship got stuck in St. Maarten. The cruise ship Dream, which contained more people than most towns in Nebraska, had diesel generator problems in port and the company decided to fly passengers home.
Tracy Sundstrom of North Platte and her travel companions were among the stranded. They caught a flight home and are expected to arrive at the North Platte airport around 1 a.m. Sunday.
The Carnival ship carried 4,363 passengers, the company said.
Sundstrom said there were a couple areas of the ship that smelled of sewer Wednesday night, the day the trouble was first announced, but she didn't encounter any discouraging problems that some passengers described to the news media.
"Otherwise, it was a normal cruise with all the food, fun, and entertainment you can stand," Sundstrum said.
The ship was supposed to leave St. Maarten Wednesday and “Carnival threw a big party that night on the lido deck and most everyone was having a great time,” Sundstrom said. “I don't think anyone was really concerned, even when they told us the next day we world have to fly home.”
Carnival is also offering Dream passengers a three-day refund and a half-price cruise in the future, according to a CNN report.
It is the fourth time in 45 days that a Carnival cruise ship has had trouble. On Feb. 10, an engine room fire left Carnival Triumph powerless in the Gulf of Mexico for several days.
The Triumph had to be towed into port by tugboats while passengers endured primitive conditions, including toilets that didn’t work and waste that spilled into cabin rooms. Many passengers moved up on the decks during the last days of the journey.
Two other Carnival ships, the Legend and the Elation, also had recent troubles. The Legend was on the last leg of a seven-day Caribbean cruise and had to skip a stop in Grand Cayman and head straight back to Tampa because it couldn't travel at top speed.
Carnival Elation had to be escorted for awhile by a tugboat March 9 because of trouble with its steering system, CNN reported.
Carnival has 23 ships in its cruise fleet.