Local

Mariposa newlyweds stranded on cruise ship

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It's not the honeymoon the young couple from Mariposa expected. Over a spotty cell phone connection, Stacy and Joey Noriega told us it's been a real drag.

Stacey said, "It pretty much went from a luxury cruise, to camping."

Shortly after their beachside wedding the couple, who are both 18 years old, boarded the Carnival Cruise Ship "Splendor" in San Diego on Sunday. After just a day at sea, an engine fire left the ship dead in the water. Without power, the passengers were in the dark ... the plumbing quit, and Joey told us, things quickly got unpleasant.

"The whole bottom deck smells like rotten food, rotten milk, just like feces everywhere it's just disgusting."

The Noriegas and most passengers can't spend much time in their dark and smelly rooms ... but life topside isn't a picnic either.

"We have to wait in line sometimes for two hours to get anything to eat." Stacy said.

And the food consists mostly of spam sandwiches, salad, and canned crab meat dropped in by Navy Helicopters from a nearby aircraft carrier.

There's no easy way to pass the time.

"They blocked off all the pools, the casino is shut down so there's really just nothing to do except for cards and board games." Joey said.

And while he said most passengers are keeping their anger in check, there is a lot of grumbling.

"I can feel a lot of the tension brewing. You hear people talking about riots and stuff but nothing has happened yet." The good news is a tug is moving the ship and it's expected to be back in San Diego Thursday afternoon. Carnival is offering refunds, and vouchers for future cruises ... something the Noriega's aren't planning just yet.

"I'm not even sure. My husband and I are not wanting to go on any big boats anytime soon. We're getting kind of claustrophobic on this thing. We want to get on land."

And what's the first thing Stacey wants to do?

"Take a shower, get some hot water going."

Carnival has set up a toll-free hotline for families to get information about passengers on the splendor. The number is 888-290-5095.

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mariposa, mariposa county, local, gene haagenson
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