Four gay men from Dallas were among the 4,000 people stranded on the Carnival Triumph. Three arrived back in Dallas on Friday.
The fourth man in their group, Earl Rodriguez, traveled from Mobile to New Orleans by bus, flew to Hobby Airport in Houston and a then by bus to Galveston to pick up his car.
Craig Quinonez, a bartender at Alexandre’s, said he was awakened at about 4:45 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 10 and told to evacuate his cabin, which had filled with smoke. He went to an upper deck. The ship drifted 90 miles before the Coast Guard reached them on Monday.
He said the captain didn’t acknowledge there was a fire, only calling it a “situation” until after the fire was out.
The group blamed the fire on poor maintenance and said the ship had a problem with one of its engines two weeks earlier. They said they heard that the ship was running without one of its engines, which caused the remaining engines to overheat.