Video: Rough Weather Strikes Carnival Cruise Ship

A former employee of Carnival Cruise Lines sent us two short videos of rough weather striking an unidentified cruise ship.

The first video is from the bridge camera and shows waves striking over the bow.

The second and more dramatic video shows water smashing through a window and engulfing the interior of the cruise ship with water.

The videos both show a date of November 5 2011.  I'll post additional information as it becomes available. 

November 2 2013 Update: Several readers indicate that this was the Carnival Pride. If you have other info, please leave a comment below or join the discussion on our Facebook page.  Thanks! 

November 3 2013 Update: Check out the video of the fire which broke out in the children's area (Circle C) on the cruise ship

 

  

Hurricane Sandy Fallout: Tennessee Family Wants Apology From Disney Cruise Line

A family cruise aboard a Disney cruise ship turned from fun to terror when the ship encountered Hurricane Sandy. 

The McGee family from Franklin, Tennessee were expecting a great time when they booked a 7 day trip (their first cruise) on the Disney Fantasy to the Caribbean. 

The McGees had fun for the first four days but when the ship tried to sail back to Port Canaveral, Hurricane Sandy turned the vacation into a terrifying journey. "I think it's only by the grace of God that there wasn't any serious injury," said McGee. "I would really appreciate it if Disney would say, ‘We made the wrong decision. We shouldn't have done that to our guests.'"

Disney offered the McGees and other passengers a 25 percent discount on a future Disney vacation, but Ms. McGee believes the Disney staff should have done more to keep the passengers informed and safe.

 

 

 

Story / Video credit: News Channel 5

Hurricane Sandy Causes Cruise Ships to Scatter

While some cruise ships have elected to hunker down in port and ride out Hurricane Sandy, other ships such as the Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas and Carnival's Miracle are out at sea trying to skirt the high seas and high winds. ABC News reports: 

 

 

Hurricane Sandy Sinks HMS Bounty - 14 Rescued, 2 Missing at Sea

The HMS Bounty, a three masted sailing ship which was built for the 1962 movie Mutiny on the Bounty starring Marlon Brando and more recently was featured in one of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, sank in the Atlantic after encountering high winds and heavy seas brought by Hurricane Sandy.

The ship was reportedly sailing from Connecticut to St. Petersburg, Florida when it began taking on water and lost propulsion last night. 

According to the HMS Bounty Organization's website, the ship's position was off the coast of North HMS Bounty - Sank - Hurricane SandyCarolina, at N 34°22' W 074°15'. 

There were 16 people aboard the ship including crew as well as passengers.

Last night, the Coast Guard dispatched a C-130 aircraft to the area. This morning two Coast Guard helicopters arrived and hoisted 14 people who had abandoned ship and were in 25-foot lifeboats. Two individuals are missing.

The news accounts raise the question why the ship was sailing given the advance warnings of the storm.

The situation reminds me of the loss of the Windjammer Fantome, a tall masted ship which sank in 1998 during Hurricane Mitch.

October 29, 2012 Update:  ABC News is reporting that the two individuals lost at sea went overboard when they were attempting to transfer to lifeboats. "What we know is that the whole crew was getting ready to board the life rafts, and as they were about to board, three people ended up on the water. One was able to get out [of the water] and get into rafts, and the other two are still unaccounted," Lt. Junior Grade Brendan Selerno told ABCNews.com.

The survivors were taken to Air Station Elizabeth City in North Carolina. Two people were admitted to the hospital, one with a broken arm and another with an injured back.

Other news sources are reporting that one of two missing crewmembers, 42-year-old Claudene Christian, was found this evening but she was npn-responsive.  The 63-year-old captain, Robin Walbridge, remains missing.

A video of the Coast Guard rescue is below.  it is dramatic; you can hear one of the crew say the "raft flipped 2 PIW" (two people in water).

October 31, 2012 Update: The U.S. Coast Guard is continuing to search for the captain and is hopeful that he may still alive in his survival gear.

 

iReport: Hurricane Sandy Hammers Disney Fantasy Cruise Ship

CNN's iReport has a story and video of the effect of Hurricane Sandy on the Disney Fantasy cruise ship.

 

Cruise News RoundUp - August 28, 2011

Hurricane Irene has been the big story this week as the cruise lines juggled itineraries to keep their cruise ships out of Irene's path.

The Right Way, and Wrong Way, to Abandon Families in a Foreign Port as a Monster Storm Approaches

Carnival and Royal Caribbean received a lot of press for leaving hundreds of passengers in San Juan, Puerto Rico as the hurricane approached.  The local port officials informed the cruise lines that due to the storm's approach, the port was limiting harbor traffic.  Carnival’s Victory cruise ship left Hurricane Irene - Cruise Lines Abandon PassengersSan Juan four hours early and Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of the Seas left six hours ahead of schedule.

As a result, 300 Carnival passengers and 145 Royal Caribbean passengers found themselves in San Juan as their cruise ships sailed away.

Carnival handled the crisis effectively.  The cruise line provided all of their guests with hotel rooms  for two nights and offered to fly them to the next scheduled port in Barbados.

Royal Caribbean provided hotel rooms only to the 15 passengers who purchased their tickets directly from the cruise line.  The remaining 130 were left to find their own hotels as the storm approached.  And anyone who wanted to meet up with the ship at the next port in Aruba, had to pay for their own transportation.  This from the company whose mantra is "Deliver the Wow" to its guests?

Unlike Carnival, Royal Caribbean made no effort to communicate the earlier departure time via their customers' emergency contact information and left families in the lurch in a time of emergency.  Even super cruise fan Carolyn Spencer Brown, editor of Cruise Critic, expressed outrage in her blog "Bad Weather Blunder: A Lesson in Cruise Crisis Control?"

"This takes my breath away.  And it’s not about the fact that it didn’t offer to pay for hotels and flights . . . .  It’s about dropping the ball in a risky situation.  Clearly, I’m not the only one who is shocked at Royal Caribbean’s lack of responsibility to its customers.  On Cruise Critic’s forums, its blog, and its Facebook page, travelers are incredulous."

Wow is right.  When you can shock Cruise Critic, you have really screwed up.

Another Shocker (But No One is Shocked) - Royal Caribbean's Unlimited Booze Packages

Travel Agent Central reported this week that Royal Caribbean "has taken a lead" in offering prepaid unlimited alcoholic packages to its passengers.  RCCL's CEO Richard Fain is quoted as saying that unlimited booze packaging has been "hugely successful."

The article states that on Celebrity cruise, passengers can pay for an unlimited drinks premium liquor plan for as much as $378 per person for a week cruise.  "Your savings depends on how much you drink," the article reads.   Yikes.  The drunkest passenger gets the best value? 

This cruise line has struggled with alcohol related overboards and sexual assaults over the years.  Take a moment and read Latest Royal Caribbean Rape Allegation Reveals Problem of Underage Royal Caribbean Cruise StockDrinking on Cruises.   Its unlimited-booze-packages is a new low.

I wonder if the cruise line kept all of the pre-paid unlimited alcohol money spent by the guests who missed the Serenade of the Seas in San Juan due to the hurricane? 

Are Cruise Stocks About to Tank Again?

Investor Place has an interesting article about the tenuous nature of cruise lines stocks at this moment - "3 Reasons Cruise Line Stocks Might Be Starting to Sink." 

I have always tracked cruise stocks because crew member benefits are the first to get slashed when money gets tight for the cruise lines.  Three years ago, Royal Caribbean's stock fell from the $40's to under $6 a share.  The cruise line responded with harsh cost saving measures in ship employee benefits.  The company's stock rebounded back to the $40's but has been in a nose dive this year back to the low $20's.  As the cruise executives push alcohol sales to try and boost profits, what new measures will they introduce to screw the crewmembers?