It was their first taste of freedom. Passengers on the Carnival Triumph kissed the ground after finally reaching dry land.
The passengers had spent 6 days stranded at sea after a fire knocked out the ship's engine and nearly all of its power.
A valley woman who was on board the ship is sharing her experience with us.
We've heard a lot about horrific conditions on that cruise ship, but we talked with a valley woman who was aboard that ill-fated cruise. She wanted to set the record straight about what it was really like, and she thinks Carnival handled the situation as best as they could.
"Oh my gosh -- we were so excited, so excited I was jumping up and down. When I saw land -- it was like, no, I did not see land -- I wanted to kiss the ground as soon as I got off the ship," says Hevin Knappenberger, Carnival Triumph passenger.
Scottsdale resident Hevin Knappenberger describes what it was like to finally step off the crippled Carnival Triumph Thursday night. She got home earlier today.
"To see lights, and the city -- it's like there's land because we didn't know where we were for so long."
Hevin says while it wasn't the cruise she and a friend were hoping for, but for her, it wasn't as hellish as some passengers are saying. Her photos show helicopters and other cruise ships that brought in supplies.
"They always had food. They had four cruise ships come and drop off food back and forth. So to see the all these ships come and go it was just unbelievable."
Hevin says most passengers tried to stay calm, and praises the crew for working hard in tough conditions.
"There were a lot of difficult parts but I would say the most difficult part would be seeing people sleeping by the tenders on the balconies. It would be really hot the first couple of days -- and then it would be really cold. And that's when it really hit me," says Hevin.
So after the ordeal, would she ever go on another cruise?
"I definitely will -- but I don't know that I would go anytime soon."
Hevin says another tough part was not having any electricity, so their cabins were pitch dark at night. They would have to use their phones and iPads for light.
She says she is really looking forward to a hot shower and sleeping in her own bed.
WJBK-TV | Fox 2
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