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Disabled Cruise Ship Arrives in San Diego

People aboard the disabled Carnival Splendor cruise ship watch as they approach a dock in San Diego on 11 Nov 2010

The disabled Carnival cruise line ship Splendor has been towed into the western U.S. port of San Diego, California after three days at sea without power.

Tug boats brought the roughly 300-meter ship into dock Thursday. The U.S. Coast Guard escorted the ship.

Officials say it could take several hours to get the nearly 4,500 passengers and crew off the ship.

An engine fire early Monday cut the ship's power and set it adrift about 80 kilometers off Mexico's Pacific coast, leaving passengers and crew without air conditioning, hot water or regular phone service.

A U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, the USS Ronald Reagan, was on a training mission Tuesday in the area and was diverted to bring the disabled ship emergency food supplies.

The head of Carnival Cruise Lines says the engine fire that cut power and disabled the ship is the worst accident in the company's history.

Carnival CEO Gerry Cahill says the crew tried to make the best of the situation by providing free drinks and satellite phones for passengers to call their families.

Some stranded passengers reported sleeping on deck, and waiting in line several hours for food.

The cruise line says the passengers will receive a full refund, will have their travel expenses paid and will receive a future cruise of equal value.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.