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Xinhua/ U.S. Coast Guard

GULF OF MEXICO, Feb. 11, 2013 In this image released by the U.S. Coast Guard on Feb. 11, 2013, a small boat belonging to the Coast Guard Cutter Vigorous patrols near the cruise ship ''Triumph'' in the Gulf of Mexico, Feb. 11, 2013. The Triumph had been floating aimlessly about 150 miles off the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico since a fire erupted in the aft engine room early Sunday, knocking out the ship's propulsion system, as local media reported.

MOBILE, Ala. -- Carnival Cruise Lines' CEO is apologizing to guests for the poor conditions aboard the disabled ship that was adrift at sea for days.

The ship docked here tonight with anxious passengers lining the decks waving, cheering loudly and whistling to those on shore.

CEO Gerry Cahill said at a news conference Thursday night as the Triumph was docking that he appreciated the patience of the 3,000 passengers on board.

He said Carnival prides itself on providing people with a great vacation "and clearly we failed in this particular case."

He said he plans to go aboard the ship and personally apologize to passengers.

Miserable passengers told stories of overflowing toilets, food shortages, foul odors and dangerously dark passageways.

An earlier story is at