Nightly News   |  February 13, 2013

Family of Carnival passenger: ‘We just want our mom home’

Carnival apologized to customers Wednesday, canceling future cruises until April. Conditions on the ship have been miserable, with no running water, limited food and too few toilets, as the ship crawls toward Alabama. NBC’s Janet Shamlian reports.

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>>> and now to what has become a very unsavory story about conditions on board a cruise ship deteriorating very rapidly. it is no carnival tonight on board the carnival vesicle "triumph" after a fire, a power failure , a bathroom failure, an air conditioning failure, a foot shortage and now a tow into port in mobile, alabama, to end the suffering on board what was supposed to be a nice escape for over 3,000 passengers. our report tonight from nbc's janet shamlian in mobile.

>> reporter: these are the passengers who have been toughing it out on the crippled "triumph," living four days now without power, working toilets or enough food. the photos were taken from another carnival vessel as it delivered supplies. a third tug was summoned late today to help tow "triumph" into mobile, where family members are waiting.

>> your heart sinks, your stomach knots up. you just want to keel over in a feat tal position and go why. why now? you know? but you get stronger.

>> reporter: carnival has apologized to customers, and today cancelled 12 more "triumph" cruises, docked now until at least mid april. it's little consolation for natalie ware, whose mother is on board.

>> it's awful. we want our mom home. we want to make sure she is safe and hear from her.

>> reporter: ware and others have lost contact with family in the last day or so, as cell phones have died. carnival has said it's made arrangements to get passengers home as soon as possible. 1,500 hotel rooms booked for thursday night and charter flights to houston friday.

>> every decision we've made since sunday morning is to ensure the safety of our guests and to get them home as quickly as possible.

>> reporter: he drove from texas to meet his fiancee who he says has been anything but comfortable.

>> carnival gives you a number to call but the information they give you makes it sound like for the most part it's okay but when you actually hear from someone on the ship, you realize what kind of situation they're actually in.

>> the final hours of a vacation nightmare, as "triumph" limps home. janet shamlian , nbc news, mobile.