Arizona woman discusses experience aboard Carnival cruise ship

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- A Valley woman is giving 3TV new insight into life aboard the crippled Carnival cruise ship "Triumph," which lost power while at sea in the Gulf of Mexico.

Debbie Moyes returned to Phoenix Friday afternoon after the ship finally docked in Alabama late Thursday night.

Moyes, who was on the cruise with longtime girlfriends, says the fire which disabled the ship occurred just three days into the cruise.

“We knew something wasn’t right,” said Moyes. “Someone started knocking on our door saying there was a fire and we needed to evacuate. We saw the hallway fill with smoke.”

Moyes said she and her friends grabbed life jackets and took off running. Little did they know the week worth of chaos that would ensue.

She said shortly after the fire, the ship's crew called "open bar," offering people alcohol, a strategy which quickly backfired.

“There were some fights, people throwing up, so they ended that," said Moyes.

Moyes described awful sanitation issues, hoarding of food, and an overall sense of panic, especially in the first few days.

"People were afraid, especially at first that we wouldn’t have enough," said Moyes. "People were grabbing as much as they could, stuffing it in their bags.

Despite some bad behavior, Moyes also saw a lot of good among the thousands of passengers on board.

“Everyone was really friendly to each other,” she said. "We made good friends with people who we wouldn’t have otherwise.”

She said her friends helped her through the situation, as well as the knowledge her husband was home safe with her children.

"Half of it, we kind just had to laugh it off," said Moyes.

Despite the Carnival CEO issuing an apology and offering compensation to passengers, there are reports at least one passenger has already filed suit.

As for whether Moyes has any legal plans, she told 3TV, "We haven't decided anything yet."