Ellen Goldberg, NBCDFW.com
For a family of magicians stuck on a disabled cruise ship, the show must go on.
Passengers who were stuck on a disabled cruise ship are starting to return to normal life. For a family of magicians, that means the show must go on.
The husband-and-wife magic act Kalin and Jinger were on the cruise for a magicians' conference with their 9-year-old daughter when the engine caught fire and the ship lost power.
"The first few days -- Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday -- I would have given anything to be anywhere else but there," Mark Kalin said.
The magicians passed five long days doing what they do best: entertaining others with their gift of magic.
"You could find a number of, in some cases, the world's finest magicians working for these people and their families, and that felt like something," Kalin said.
The ship had no electricity or running water and had a limited supply of food.
"We had no clue -- nobody did on the cruise ship -- that this was a (news) story at all, we didn't know, we had no idea if family or friends had any idea what was going on," Kalin said.
After about a day, help finally arrived from the U.S. military and Coast Guard, which dropped food and supplies to the stranded passengers.
"When the tuna came, we welcomed that," Jinger Kalin said. "I think they airlifted cans of Chicken in the Sea, and that was good."
A tugboat pulled the Splendor to shore Thursday. Carnival is reimbursing passengers and issuing vouchers for a free cruise.
"I'm not sure we'll go to that same destination, but we'll give it another try," Mark Kalin said.
"We've got to see what it's supposed to be like," Jinger Kalin said.