Milwaukee-area family says they'll never forget smells from ill- - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Milwaukee-area family says they'll never forget smells from ill-fated cruise


A Milwaukee-area family is home after several difficult days aboard the ill-fated Carnival cruise ship.

After finally docking in Alabama late Thursday night, the family made the last leg of their trip to Milwaukee.

The cheers from waiting family members quickly turned to tears of joy, and relief at Mitchell International airport Friday.

"So joyous. I was just waiting to hug them," Gene' Albanese said.

For Albanese, the warm welcome couldn't erase the disturbing memories of a cruise gone wrong.

"The no toilets. It was that bad. It was that bad. The smell and the swamp," Albanese said.

"Just the smells, you can't really describe it at all, but it'll be stuck in my nose forever," Gene's daughter, Allison Raison, said.

Raison said the situation was made worse by the uncertainty.

"Oh, 'You'll be home on Wednesday, then Thursday, maybe Saturday.' It was always up in the air, so I was just kind of waiting, playing a waiting game," Raison said.

There was one moment the women said was the scariest.

"When we went upstairs and saw the black smoke hovering over us, it was a cloud that we couldn't even breathe. Everybody wanted masks because we thought we were going to die of smoke inhalation," Albanese said.

Albanese' 77-year-old aunt, Karen "Toots" Paddock, also made trip, and had her sights set on something she'd been waiting for.

"Take a hot shower, hot shower, and then maybe have a great big burger, juicy," Paddock said.

The cruise line said it will pay all expenses and has offered passengers another cruise, plus $500. Albanese said she doesn't need more than that.

"There's not a price on what we went through, so it's hard to say if it's enough. Just being home to my family is all I needed," Albanese said.

The three of them also praised the ship's crew, calling them outstanding.

They said the passengers were very well cared for, considering the situation, and all three said they will probably get back on another cruise ship, but it may be a while.

A team from the National Transportation Safety Board is in Alabama looking into the cause of the engine fire that shut the ship down.

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