(CNN) -- Finally, after days of listing on a disabled Carnival cruise ship without electricity and working toilets, thousands of passengers finished disembarking early Friday morning at the Port of Mobile.
The frustration that many felt was typified by Janie Esparza, one of the first passengers to get back on land.
"It was horrible. Horrible," Esparza told a scrum of reporters. "The bathroom facilities were horrible and we could not flush toilets. No electricity and our rooms were in total darkness. Honestly, think that this ship should have ever sailed out."
The Carnival Triumph, became a major media story, when it caught fire off the coast of Mexico. The blaze left the vessel listing to the side, drifting in Gulf of Mexico currents and the more than 4,200 passengers and crew on board in limbo. It took five days for the ship to dock at the Alabama Cruise Terminal, three days after it was due.
Cruisers will be reimbursed
Passengers will get $500, reimbursement for the cruise and a credit for a future cruise, Carnival announced earlier this week. Carnival has also canceled its cruises through mid-April.
Passengers aboard the Triumph are being given the option of taking a bus to a hotel in New Orleans, to taking a bus directly to Houston or Galveston, Texas. Many of them will have long drives home from there.
The ship left Galveston a week ago and was to return there Monday.
Lani Corbett, Caceres' mother, set up a Facebook page so friends and family of passengers could get and share information. By Thursday afternoon, the page had more than 2,200 "likes."
Carnival CEO Gerry Cahill has apologized to guests and families for "this very difficult situation." The cruise line has reserved 1,500 hotel rooms for passengers in Mobile and New Orleans, and 20 chartered flights will take passengers to Houston.
The Triumph has 3,143 passengers and 1,086 crew on board.