"Elderly and handicap are struggling," passenger Ann Barlow said in a text, ABC News reported Wednesday.
"The smell is gross," she added. "Our room is leaking sewage."
The approximately 4,200 people on board the Carnival Triumph are anticipating relief in various forms Thursday when two tugs pulling the ship arrive in port in Mobile, Ala. There they will be met by medical triage teams and extra security, said Alabama Cruise Terminal general manager Sheila Gurganus.
The cruise line has reserved more than 1,500 hotel rooms and Mobile and New Orleans and booked more than 20 chartered flights to fly passengers back to Houston Friday.
A fire in the cruise ship's engine room Sunday knocked out its four engines, leaving the ship adrift with no electricity, no air conditioning and toilets that overflowed into cabins and hallways, CNN reported.
With no electricity, the ship' stabilization system went down, causing the vessel to sometimes lean at frightening angles.
Carnival says most of Triumph's 23 public restrooms are working, with people standing in long lines to use them.
One passenger reported standing in line for three hours for something to eat. People were hoarding food, she said.
With no working ventilation, rooms are hot and people are sleeping on deck.