Herring said the conditions were unsafe and unsanitary. For five days, she and her longtime friends survived without out power, plumbing, and barely any food. They ate mostly sandwiches and fruit, she said. Luckily, her sister gave the women flash lights before they left, which she said came in handy since there wasn't any electricity.
Herring said things were going good until Sunday around 5:30 a.m. when she heard an announcement and then later learned there was an engine fire. She said conditions quickly deteriorated.
"It was a mess," said Herring.
She wasn't able to call home until Tuesday, when another cruise ship arrived with supplies; she was able to use its signal.
Meanwhile, her husband received daily messages from Carnaval, and informed the rest of the husbands of the women in the group.
Herring said the passengers on the ship were going to get dropped off in Progreso, Mexico, but Carnaval quickly changed their mind after realizing that hundreds onboard didn't have passports.
Then, the ship was tugged to Mobile, Alabama but it was a slow process because it was difficult getting the boat up the channel.
When they finally arrived to Mobile late Thursday night, Herring said there was complete disorganization. From there, they were taken to New Orleans for a night at the Hilton. Herring said after that, things were great and she enjoyed the private charter flight to Houston.
When asked if she'll cruise again, she said possibly. This is her third cruise and she said this is the first time she's had a problem. Although she said she never felt her life was in jeopardy, she said she did fear actually having to use the lifeboats.