"For me, that was my first trip and my last trip" aboard Carnival, said Marquis Horace, a 38-year-old actor in Los Angeles. "The definition of insanity is you keep trying something and expect a different result. It's the same result: the ships keep breaking down. Why would I do that?"
A U.S. Coast Guard marine inspector told CNN that the Triumph passed inspection last year, earning a "certificate of compliance" on May 17.
Passengers will get a free flight home, a full refund for their trip and for most expenses on board, as well as a credit for another cruise, Carnival said.
Brent Nutt, whose wife, Bethany, is on the ship, said it's not worth it.
"First of all, we only paid $350 for her to go on this cruise. Her safety and her well-being are worth a whole lot more than $350," he said.
And the free stuff?
"I promise you, none of my family members that are on there will probably ever, ever take another cruise," he said.
The Coast Guard and the National Transportation Safety Board launched an investigation into the cause of the engine room fire. Because the Carnival Triumph is a Bahamian-flagged vessel, the Bahamas Maritime Authority is the primary investigative agency.
McKerreghan drove from Texas with a friend, Mary Poret, whose 12-year-old daughter Rebekah is on board, with Poret's ex-husband.
Poret also received a frightening call from her daughter after the fire and feared they may never see each other again. "I will grab her, hold her in my arms and not want to let go," she said.
After this ill-fated cruise, the Triumph won't host vacationing passengers until at least mid-April. Carnival has canceled a dozen voyages scheduled between February 21 and April 13. That makes a total of 14 scratched trips. The cruise line already had eliminated voyages slated for February 11 and February 16.
In a statement, Carnival vowed that customers who paid for those 14 trips will receive a full refund of their cruise fare, non-refundable transportation costs, pre-paid shore excursions, gratuities, and government fees and taxes. In addition, Carnival said it would offer the inconvenienced travelers a 25% discount on a future three- to five-day Carnival cruise or a 15% discount on a six- to seven-day cruise, while protecting travel agent commissions.