Escape From Floating Petri Dish …

Passengers who finally escaped the disabled Carnival cruise ship Triumph were checking into hotels early Friday for a hot shower, food and sleep or boarding buses for a long haul home after five numbing days at sea on a ship left powerless by an engine-room fire.

The vacation ship carrying some 4,200 people docked late Thursday in Mobile after a painfully slow approach that took most of the day. Passengers raucously cheered after days of what they described as overflowing toilets, food shortages and foul odors.

“Sweet Home Alabama!” read one of the homemade signs passengers affixed alongside the 14-story ship as many celebrated at deck rails lining several levels of the stricken ship. The ship’s horn loudly blasted several times as four tugboats pulled the crippled ship to shore at about 9:15 p.m. CST. Some gave a thumbs-up sign and flashes from cameras and cellphones lit the night.

Less than four hours later, the last passenger had disembarked.

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