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Originally published Friday, February 15, 2013 at 3:49 AM

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Cruise passengers return home, feds probe fire

Passengers of the Carnival Triumph are trying to put the memories of their nightmarish cruise adrift at sea behind them as they return home.

Associated Press

Triumph’s journey

Key moments in the Triumph’s ill-fated voyage:

Thursday, Feb. 7: The Triumph departs from Galveston, heads to Cozumel, Mexico, on a four-day cruise.

Sunday: A fire erupts in the ship’s engine room, disabling the vessel’s propulsion system and knocking out most of its power.

Monday: Carnival Cruise Line officials say the ship has drifted so far north it will be towed to Mobile, Ala., instead of Progreso, Mexico. Tugboats arrive.

Tuesday: National Transportation Safety Board announces it has opened an investigation into the engine-room fire.

Wednesday: Carnival officials announce they have canceled a dozen more scheduled voyages for the Triumph.

Thursday: When the ship is within sight of Alabama, the tow gear of one of the tugboats breaks. A new tugboat is secured but once the towing begins, the towline breaks. The line is repaired and the Triumph resumes its journey to Mobile, docking late Thursday.

The Associated Press

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MOBILE, Ala. —

Passengers of the Carnival Triumph are trying to put the memories of their nightmarish cruise adrift at sea behind them as they return home.

Many of the roughly 3,000 passengers were bused late Thursday and Friday to New Orleans to catch a flight home or to the ship's home port in Galveston, Texas. One of the buses broke down during the two-hour ride to New Orleans. Passengers on a different bus reported losing their luggage.

While some called the journey a horrible experience after the ship lost power and toilets stopped working, others spoke of bonding with fellow passengers during the long, exhaustive struggle to get home.

The National Transportation Safety Board, Coast Guard and the Bahamas Maritime Authority are investigating the cause of the fire and the emergency response.

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