‘We made it’: Passengers return to Port Canaveral after cruise ship catches fire

PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. — Nearly 2,500 cruise passengers returned to Port Canaveral after a fire broke out on their ship.

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A cloud of smoke poured out of the Carnival Freedom while it was docked at Grand Turk on Thursday.

Channel 9 spoke to some of the passengers as they disembarked the Carnival Conquest at Port Canaveral’s Terminal 6 on Monday morning.

Some were ecstatic to spend two extra days on vacation while others were just happy to be back on American soil.

“We made it,” a passenger told Channel 9.

They were supposed to be back on Saturday on the Carnival Freedom but the ship’s funnel caught fire.

SEE: Carnival cruise ship that departed from Port Canaveral catches fire in Grand Turk

“Passengers from the Mardi Gras started screaming, ‘Hey! There’s a fire. There’s a fire!’” Jenny Fleming said.

Channel 9 talked to Fleming while she was still in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

On Monday, we spoke with her in person.

“I’m sad to go home,” she said. “I could’ve been stuck in Grand Turk for 10 more days and it would’ve been fine.”

Not everyone was as excited about the extended stay.

“We are so happy to be back on the ground — to be back home and able to sleep in our own bed,” said Patty Kyle.

Though passengers had differing views, they all praised the 972 crew members on board.

“They had everything under control. Everything was really smooth,” a passenger said.

WATCH: Carnival Cruise Line gives guests first look at its newest ship

“They took great care of us,” another passenger said.

Carnival sent its Conquest ship from Miami to pick up the passengers, marking the first passenger swap of its kind for the cruise.

In the end, all the passengers were happy that no one was hurt.

Channel 9 found out that Carnival Freedom’s next two cruises out of Port Canaveral on June 2 and June 6 have been canceled.

As for the passengers, they all received cruise cash to use while onboard and every passenger was awarded 50% off their next Carnival cruise.

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Q Mccray

Q McCray, WFTV.com

Q McCray is an award-winning general assignment reporter.