Local Women Aboard Stranded Cruise Liner Return Home

Local Women Aboard Stranded Cruise Liner Return Home

By Devin Sanchez
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - It seemed like every obstacle that could get in Gail Coffee's and Greta Olivier's way as they tried to get home, did.

NewsWest 9 was at Midland International Airport all Friday afternoon, along with both women's family and friends, anxiously awaiting their arrival. To say it was an emotional homecoming would be an understatement.

The two women were stranded on a ship, in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico for more than a week. When they were finally headed back to the Tall City, their flight was delayed, several times.

"From Houston to here, they had to turn back around in the air and deplane, because there was a mechanical problem," Delma Chavez-Garcia, the women's boss, said.

Coffee and Olivier said the trials and tribulations made them appreciate the little things.

"It just seems like we had a lot of hiccups coming home but maybe that'll make us grateful to be home," Coffee said.

Both women said they didn't have it near as bad as other passengers.

"People with children and they have two inches of sewage on their floor," Coffee said.

Coffee said they learned some new skills during their eight days without power or running water.

"We know how to crap in a red bag," she exclaimed.

With so much stress on what should've been a relaxing vacation, the ladies told NewsWest 9, all the passengers tried to keep their spirits up.

"We had a tent city, they actually had a mayor. Then we built a suburb on a shanty town. But you know we just had to joke about it. We had to keep going," Coffee said.

Now that they're home, with a warm bed, surrounded by friends and family, they have one request: no more sandwiches.

"Oh, we hate sandwiches," they said.

This trip was one of many firsts for Coffee. It was her first cruise and her first time on a plane. Neither Coffee nor Olivier said the mishap scarred them. In fact, Olivier and her husband already have another cruise planned for 2014.