Three days after his wife was supposed to be home, worried husband Chuck Pringle couldn’t believe what was on his television.
He was watching the defeated Carnival ship ‘Triumph’ finally finding a little victory – docking in Alabama.
“I got a tear in my eye and a smile on my face,” said Pringle from his Galt home.
On Feb. 6, his wife, Julie, flew to Texas to surprise her sister, Kerry, with a cruise for her 40th birthday.
The plan? To set sail the next day.
They and the other ladies in their party had no idea what surprise they were really in for – an engine room fire cutting propulsion and power to ship toilets and air conditioning followed by trouble with towboats.
“Crazy thoughts. Crazy thoughts,” said Pringle, recalling reports from the ship surfaced of frantic food lines and raw sewage running down hallways where passengers were sleeping.
“She shared that a lot of the reports they’ve been giving we’re grossly exaggerated. She said the longest they had to wait to get a meal was 40 minutes,” said Pringle.
Nine-year-old Ricky has cruised with his parents before and loved it.
Brief calls with his mom when the ‘Triumph’ got cell service from a passing ship kept his greatest fear, of his mom not coming back, at bay.
While FOX40 visited the Pringles, Chuck got a text from Julie about disembarking.
“‘They’re at the dock going down at ‘O’ deck, waiting for the announcement. Yeah!'” said Pringle, reading the message.
Now that getting home for mom just means getting across the United States, the Pringles are happy.
“Really, really happy,” said Ricky.
Julie Pringle is expected to catch a flight out of New Orleans, arriving in California Saturday morning at the latest.