MANSFIELD, Ohio -- When the Carnival Cruise Ship Triumph left Galveston, Texas a week ago, Lisa Miller of Mansfield, Ohio, was expecting to have the time of her life with friends from Texas.
"It was kind of a once in a lifetime trip, something she's always wanted to do, to go on a cruise, one of those bucket list things," said her husband, Jeremy.
Miller was able to schedule and enjoy a 'swim with the dolphins' at Cozumel. But about 5 a.m. on Sunday, one day before the ship's expected return to port, she was awakened by the sound of fire alarms.
From there, her husband says, the dream trip became a nightmare for Lisa and for more than 3,000 others who became stranded on the ship with no power, almost no flushing toilets and little food -- adrift in the Gulf of Mexico.
"She said what you see on TV and what's being described in the news is exactly the way it is. It's cold, it's rainy, they are all sleeping out on the decks, you know, they have had to do that since Sunday because the interior of the ship, it's dark, it smells bad," said Jeremy.
Miller told Fox 8 that he did get to speak with his wife briefly on Monday.
"They were giving them baggies to take care of their businesses in, then they would sit it in the hallways outside of their rooms and they would come by and pick it up," said Miller. "That was four days ago. I don't even know what the situation is now."
Lisa is an internet manager for the Joyce Buick GMC Dealership in Mansfield where her husband is the service manager for the family owned company.
He said she had vacation time coming and he didn't so he was very excited about her going on the once in a lifetime trip.
Others in Mansfield were somewhat envious of her taking a cruise in the middle of a Northern Ohio winter.
"It's snowing and cold here and she gets to get on a ship and enjoy Mexico and the warm weather with her friends and stuff, not so much now," said Miller.
Lisa Miller texted Fox 8 News on Thursday, saying, "This has been rough. Thank u so much for ur concerns and prayers. I miss my family so bad."
The disabled ship was being towed very, very slowly to Alabama on Thursday.
Earlier Thursday afternoon, Lisa texted her husband saying she did not expect to be at port in Mobile, Alabama until 11 p.m., adding, "All I can do is cry."
"She said last night (Wednesday) was the first time they had a sandwich all week. They have been eating dry cereal, water, things like that," said Miller of his wife.
Once in Mobile, Alabama, Miller expected his wife and others to be put up in a motel before they are bussed to New Orleans. There, they were expected to eventually board flights home.
In her text, Lisa Miller said she did not expect to be on a flight until maybe sometime on Saturday.
Carnival Cruise lines has offered to reimburse the passengers aboard the Triumph for the cruise and various expenses on board as well as their air fare.
Miller said they also promised to give each of the passengers a voucher for a future cruise of an equivalent value.
He said he thought earlier about their family going on a cruise together with their oldest child, now 20, but it won't happen any time soon.
"I'm sure once her feet hit land she'll want to keep them there for a while," Miller said.