Tania Dall / Eyewitness News
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MOBILE, Ala. -- The more than 4,000 passengers and crew of Carnival Triumph have arrived at the Port of Mobile after spending five days trapped at sea.

Blankets, hot meals and cell phones are waiting for passengers inside the terminal in Mobile.

There was a flurry of activity at the Alabama cruise terminal as staff prepared for the Triumph to arrive at the port.

Family and friends of the passengers on board have also been waiting anxiously to be reconnected with loved ones who've had enough.

'She had a hard time today,' said Baton Rouge resident Pam Theriot. 'When I talked to her she was crying, she was very upset and ready to get off the boat.'

After being trapped on the fire-damaged cruise ship for five days, Thursday was the first time that Theriot got a chance to hear her sister Karen's voice by phone.

Like any big sister would, Pam drove from Baton Rouge to meet her little sister face-to-face and give her a hug.

'The changes and not being able to communication with them that's been the hardest,' Pam Theriot said.

Travis Patterson made the nine-hour drive from Houston to meet his family.

'My dad, my stepmother and some friends are on-board, and I'm just gonna pick them up,' he said. 'We were able to talk this morning. He said he had some pretty good stories.'

Waiting for Carnival to get his family safely back home after the ship docked in Mobile just wasn't going to be an option.

'I heard the options of getting on a bus to New Orleans, Galveston or Houston,' Patterson said. 'None of those sounded good to me.'

Carnival says it could take between four or five hours for all of the passengers and crew to disembark.

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