WNY Natives Stuck on Cruise Ship Back on Dry Land

November 11, 2010 Updated Nov 11, 2010 at 7:40 PM EDT

By John Borsa

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November 11, 2010 Updated Nov 11, 2010 at 7:40 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) -- The Carnival Cruise ship Splendor returned to dock in San Diego Thursday morning after it was stranded at sea for three days.

Tracey Wilson, an Orchard Park native living in New York City, was on board with her boyfriend Jim Malone, a Buffalo native.

"It was more like camping than cruising," Tracey said. "There was no light of course - when it went dark at 5 o'clock there was no more light."

No light, no power, no Internet or television, no cell phones once the battery went dead -- and no working bathrooms.

"Not being able to use the bathrooms was a little bit tricky cause once they got all overflowed that was a little rough for people," said Tracey, who ate cheese sandwiches since hot food could not be prepared.\

A fire in the ship's engine room cut power to the luxury liner early Monday morning. Tug boats brought the ship from the Mexican shore back to the coast while Coast Guard and military aircraft brought food and supplies to the 4,500 passengers on board the Splendor.

"It wasn't lost at sea, it was stranded at sea with free drinks and no power," she said. "While there were some hardships for a lot of people I think everybody had a good perspective about the fact that it wasn't a tragedy what was happening."

All passengers were given a refund, and a voucher for free airfare and a free Carnival cruise in the future.