CRUISE SHIP DOCKED
Text by Stephanie McNeal & Natasha Zouves
A cruise ship that has been without power since Monday finally reached land Thursday.
The 1,000 foot Carnival Splendor ship was pulled into San Diego's harbor by six tugboats and was escorted by U.S. Coast Guard cutters.
The nearly 4.500 passengers and crew on the ship will begin disembarking the ship at 9:30 or 10 a.m. PST.
It took about four hours to get everyone off the ship.
Seventy-five buses are also arriving to drive the passengers to Long Beach, where the ship is based.
Passengers said they are relieved to be finally getting off the ship.
"We're so happy to be getting off. Everybody's been cheering and clapping," passenger Sahizah Alim, 26, of Sacramento told the Associated Press by cell phone. "It's been like a nightmare. There's been no food, no power, no electricity, no flushing toilets. I spent the night tossing and turning in my cabin in the dark."
An engine room fire caused the ship to lose power Monday, off the coast of Mexico.
The passengers have been eating cold food and water since the power outage. Navy helicopters flew in thousands of pounds of pop tarts, croissants and Spam in addition to emergency supplies from an aircraft carrier.
"If you could see the things they put on sandwiches, seriously, this could be the only cruise ever where people lost weight instead of gaining weight," said Peg Fisher, a resident of Las Vegas and a passenger on the liner, to the Associated Press.
A cheering crowd of family, friends, media and well-wishers greeted the ship when it docked. Some passengers said they were most looking forward to life's simpler things:
"I'm going to get some In-N-Out [hamburgers]," said Spencer Reeves of Huntington Beach to the Associated Press. "Oh yeah, I think on the way home."