This was Charla’s second cruise.
“I loved the first cruise, it was wonderful. This one started out wonderful too. We had a really good time in Cozumel and made some great memories,” Charla said. “But even after everything went bad, we made the best of it.
“On Deck 12, there was 20 of us all together. I met wonderful people. We took care of each other. We decided several of us may get together and take our next cruise together. I’ve already friended many of them on Facebook.”
Back to Normal
After she gets caught up on her sleep, Charla said she can’t wait to return to her normal schedule. She had already missed days of work at Northside Primary’s library due to her son’s illness and then lost more days due to the ship’s mechanical issues.
“I miss my students at school and I’m sure they miss me. I miss my husband and children. I miss my normal routine,” she said.
An avid scrapbooker, Charla took hundreds of pictures while on board the ship and plans to work on her cruise scrapbook soon.
“When you scrapbook, you take lots of pictures. So I took pictures of the red bathroom bags and the sewer on the floor in the dining hall because it’s a story that you tell,” Charla said.
But overall, the experience could have been worse.
“They could have told us on Sunday to get into our life jackets and get into the lifeboats,” Charla said. “That’s definitely something that puts your life in perspective and makes you think about certain things — because it could have been a lot worse.”
On Facebook, Charla wrote to her friends Friday: “The workers on the ship were phenomenal. They worked very hard to keep up with everything the best they could under the circumstances. We are blessed. Everyone in our group was unharmed. Scared yes, but safe for the most part. We had each other... proud, smart, strong women. We were ready for anything that lurked around the corner. We took care of each other during what was probably the worst experience of our lives. We cried for our loved ones, cried for the situation. We held each other and comforted each other. We laughed and found ways to make the time go by faster. Had the strangest conversations about stuff we never would have before.... We bonded in a way we never could imagine. I am so very happy to be back home with my family.....”
Others from Palestine
Others with Palestine connections on board the Triumph were: Cindy Singletary, Amy Wiginton, Teddy Bishop, Carolyn Boley Cox (formerly of Palestine) and Loyce and Bing Barnett of Elkhart, who reportedly were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary on the cruise.