Vegas comedian back home after nightmare cruise - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

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Vegas comedian back home after nightmare cruise

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"Smiley" Joe Wiley said he was dreaming of Beyonce when he was awaken of the fire emergency on the Carnival Triumph. "Smiley" Joe Wiley said he was dreaming of Beyonce when he was awaken of the fire emergency on the Carnival Triumph.
Wiley hugs his wife upon his arrival at McCarran Airport on Feb. 19, 2013. Wiley hugs his wife upon his arrival at McCarran Airport on Feb. 19, 2013.
In all, Wiley spent 11 days around the cruise ship, from launch to arrival and the investigation thereafter. In all, Wiley spent 11 days around the cruise ship, from launch to arrival and the investigation thereafter.
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

A Las Vegas comedian and staff member on the fabled Carnival Triumph cruise finally arrived home early Tuesday after a week that included an on-board fire and near squalor conditions at sea.

"Smiley" Joe Wiley was welcomed by his wife and children at McCarran Airport just after midnight.

Wiley served as a stand-up comic as part of the cruise line's entertainment staff on what was supposed to be a four-day trip to Mexico.

On Feb. 10 – the third day of the trip – an engine fire resulted in the crippling of the ship and forcefully extended the trip an extra five days.

Wiley said he had no advance warning of the engine troubles. Instead, he humorously recalled, he was having a dream about pop singer Beyonce and they were about to kiss. It was only then the warning message woke him up to reality and the beginning of chaos on board.

About 4,200 people on the ship were without power or working toilets after the fire. While the ship was paralyzed, he joined other crew members in assisting passengers, he said.

Although things were bad for passengers, he said it was even worse for the crew.

Throughout the ordeal, he said, he had one thing on his mind.

"[I was thinking about my] family," he said. "My wife and my kids and my family [in Cleveland, Ohio]."

Despite the cruise making it to port in Mobile, Ala. on Feb. 14, Wiley and other staff members were ordered to wait around two extra days as part of an investigation. U.S. Coast Guard officials on Monday said the cause of the cruise ship fire stemmed from a leak in a fuel oil return line.

Even with the experience of the problematic voyage, Wiley said he would cruise again.

"What happened to us was like going out on a date. You have a bad date, but are you gonna stop dating? No. You're gonna move forward and keep going," Wiley said. "I just thank God we just handled the situation well and we're here."

Wiley said he's scheduled to go back to work on April 4.

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