Most cruise ship passengers are on vacation, expecting fun in the sun. Storms, though, can keep passengers inside. One recent cruise ran into an epic winter storm. The unexpected conditions brought flooding, freezing temperatures, and rough conditions. Few of the passengers on board had packed for a bomb cyclone.
The Norwegian Breakaway sailed last week for the Bahamas. What the ship experienced had much more in common with a winter cruise off Norway.
Some of the Ross family, from Stony Brook, New York, spoke with CBS News about the experience.
“I thought I’d never be in a situation where I would say that’s the scariest moment of my life,” said Karoline Ross. “This was the worst moment of my life.”
“When you’re on a boat in the middle of the ocean and water is pouring down the stairs, you’re thinking ‘this is not going to end well,” Karoline said.
“Our room was full on two inches of water. The elevator shafts were dripping water everywhere,” Del added.
The water flooding the ship was seeping through ceilings. Passengers, confined in groups, got seasick.
“There were people crying, everyone was throwing up. it was a nightmare,” Olivia Ross said. “It was so tilted I was shaking.”
“I’m completely traumatized. I’ll never go on any type of boat again in my life after this,” Emma Franzese told CBS New York after the ship had docked.
“I was holding on for dear life. I honestly wasn’t sure we were going to make it through the night. The boat was tilted like crazy,” Conor Vogt added.
“Everything fell off our shelf, glasses broke in the middle of the night. There was no announcement made,” passenger Luisa Franzese noted.
The swells were estimated to have been 30 feet at times. Norwegian Cruise Line released a statement that some felt left out crucial details.
“Due to winter storm Grayson, Norwegian Breakaway will have a delayed arrival into New York today,” the statement read. “As a result, Norwegian Breakaway’s 14 day cruise that was originally scheduled to depart on January 5, will now depart on Saturday, January 6, at 3pm.”
They later revised that statement.
“During the early morning hours of January 4, Norwegian Breakaway encountered stronger than forecasted weather conditions due to winter storm Grayson during the trip’s return to New York from the Bahamas. All guests and crew are safe. We sincerely apologize to our guests for these stronger than expected weather conditions and any resulting discomfort they may have experienced.”