"It was an adventure, I'll put it that way," she said. "It was an adventure."
And she was welcomed back with her own piece of paradise after the cruise ship "Triumph" proved to be far from the dream vacation.
"They had this hanging in my office," she said, pointing to a "Triumph" poster.
She and her husband had won the cruise. In fact, it was their first cruise. And three days in, they were woken up at 5:30 in the morning by the captain.
"He came on and said, 'Alpha team, alpha. Engine room 6.' We didn't know what that meant, but that sounded pretty bad," Richardson explained.
That was just the beginning.
"It wasn't chaotic, I'd say, but it was definitely, nobody knew exactly what we were supposed to do," she continued.
She and her husband spent five days waiting to be brought back to shore. They spent the time playing card games, talking with other passengers and simply by making the most of it.
And of course, there were the bags.
"A little shock there, because that's certainly not something that anyone expects to hear."
Though they did eventually get working toilets. Sandra says that she knows some people had it worse than she and her husband. But that most passengers tried to make their cruise a happy one because complaining wouldn't change anything.
"Wo the only thing, really, that we had control over was how do we react to it. Complaining or whining or any of that wouldn't have helped, wouldn't have fixed it. So we tried to make the best of it."
Saying that now, they have a much bigger appreciation for the little things. And they will be going on a cruise again in the future.