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Kentuckians make it home safe after getting stranded on a cruise ship

By: Brittany Pelletz Email
By: Brittany Pelletz Email

Spring break for a group of students in Lexington takes a surprising turn after their cruise ship gets stuck in St. Maarten.

Nineteen students from Lexington were excited about a vacation together.

"We decided this was going to be our last spring break, so we wanted to go somewhere tropical, somewhere fun," says Jessica Cox, of Williamsburg.

Cox and her boyfriend, Bosko Cupac boarded the Carnival Dream cruise ship a week ago Saturday.

"We were supposed to start with St. Thomas and then off to St. Maarten," says Cupac.

There was plenty of fun in the sun, but even from the beginning, something just didn't feel right to the Kentucky couple.

" Well actually, this was my third cruise with Carnival and this was definitely the most rocky trip, I've ever had," says Cox.

The experience was so rocky that some couldn't even make it to dinner. "I had a few friends that were very seasick. They were using bands, they were using patches," Cox says.

Halfway through the trip, while docked in St. Maarten, an announcement was made that there was a problem and that technicians were looking into it.

"At about 8 o'clock the next morning, I actually found out that we were still in St. Maarten from a friend. Her dad actually found out about it before we all did," says Cox.

Rumors starting swirling around the ship and many were thinking about the recent problem Carnival had on another one of its cruise ships.

"I think it crossed everyone's mind. I think we were just glad that we were docked versus being out on the sea. And I think that's the reason why I stayed so calm and positive about the whole situation, says Cupac.

Some elevators went out of service and some bathrooms stopped working, but this group of Kentuckians say they were among the fortunate ones. Their bathrooms worked the entire time.

Cox, Cupac, and their friends say they waited patiently to fly home from St. Maarten versus sailing back out to sea. Carnival arranged hotel stays and flights home for their 4,000 stranded passengers.

"Overall, I think they did a good job accommodating us for our part of the trip," says Cupac.

Passengers on board the Dream ship were given back three paid days of the trip and issued 50-percent off their next cruise with Carnival.

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