Miami Couple Returns After Costa Disaster

Couple on delayed honeymoon escaped cruise ship disaster

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    NEWSLETTERS

    David and Denise Saba had married a year and a half ago but had delayed their honeymoon until their cruise this month on the Costa Concordia. (Published Monday, Jan 23, 2012)

    It was an emotional homecoming Sunday for a Miami couple whose delayed honeymoon cruise nearly ended in disaster off the coast of Italy.

    David and Denise Saba had married a year and a half ago but had delayed their honeymoon until their cruise this month on the Costa Concordia.

    The couple was among the more than 4,200 people on the luxury cruise ship that ran aground on Jan. 13, its first day at sea.

    Though they knew the couple had made it safely from the sinking ship, their family back in Miami eagerly waited over a week for their return.

    "As the days passed I got very angry," Diane Saba, David's mother said at Miami International Airport Sunday. "Very upset, very upset and very scared. In that phase that I cry and I realize what could have happened to them."

    Finally, the moment arrived and so did David and Denise.

    "We don’t know if we wanna cry, we wanna laugh, we’re very glad to be home," David Saba said. "I think that we have to process this. I think it hasn’t sink in yet, the magnitude of the tragedy."

    The couple said they were at dinner at the time the ship hit some rocks and began to sink. They were eventually forced to jump into a small swaying lifeboat in the dark night and rough sea.

    "I was screaming, praying to God, you know, please let us go safely toward the pier," Denise Saba said. "They left us there for like three hours with no instruction whatsoever.  They didn’t tell us what we were gonna do, where we were gonna go.  I had no idea where we were, it was complete chaos."

    They returned to South Florida with just the clothes they're wearing, their cell phones and their wallets. They said they have everything they need.

    "We're coming back with stronger devotion to our marriage and to life," David Saba said. He added that they would probably go on another cruise someday, just not any time soon.

    The death toll from the Costa Concordia is at 13, with 20 people still missing.