#GlobalNews: “Quebec family stuck on Norwegian Breakaway cruise caught in bomb cyclone”
Quebecer André Reny says he did not expect his family vacation to the Bahamas to end in such a weather nightmare.
“There wasn’t any evidence that the weather was going to get bad,” he explained.
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The Norwegian Breakaway, en route to New York from the Bahamas, was caught for two days in a powerful winter storm — the bomb cyclone — that was heading toward the U.S. East Coast.
The powerful wake and heavy rain pummelled the ship, causing substantial flooding in the hallways and staircases.
“They were saying on TV the waves were about 20 feet, but some were maybe twice that,” he recalled.
“The water started coming in through some of those sliding doors that are on the sixth, seventh, eighth decks.”
The family was staying on the ship’s 14th floor — about halfway up the vessel.
“I realized that the boat was rocking like crazy. It was mostly rocking sideways because we were navigating towards the north,” Reny said, adding a crew member told him she hadn’t seen weather like this in 10 years.
READ MORE: U.S. East Coast enters deep freeze after ‘bomb cyclone’ left its mark
He said the captain delivered messages every two to three hours to explain that there were rough winds, but they were managing.
“There wasn’t anything about ‘don’t worry, everything is going to be fine.’ The younger staff looked worried, the older staff were probably poker-faced.”
Reny told Global News many passengers were scared, and were asking the staff what was going on — but they weren’t getting many clear answers.
“Most people took it very seriously. I just tried to stay focused for the kids,” he said.
“When the ship was leaning, the windows were underwater. You could see wind, water coming down from the eighth floor.”
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The ship ended up docking in New York on the afternoon of Friday, Jan. 5 — around 12 hours after its intended arrival time.
“We couldn’t see outside our balcony. When we got into New York, the whole deck was floating with water,” he told Global News.
“The balcony windows were frozen with an inch of ice.”
Reny said he understands that weather is hard to predict and doesn’t hold the crew responsible for what happened.
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“It was quite an experience, but it was not that bad. I can understand that some people were pretty traumatized, though,” he told Global News.
“Why were we the only ship in the grace [middle] of the storm? I don’t know.”
Reny said the company did volunteer to refund part of his family’s cruise package.
He is not going to insist on a full refund — though he admitted his kids aren’t interested in going on another cruise any time soon.
Nevertheless, some of the 4,000 passengers are demanding a refund from the company — and may even be threatening legal action.
READ MORE: ‘Bomb cyclone’ leaves thousands of flights in Canada and U.S. delayed or cancelled
Norwegian Cruise Lines told Global News in a statement that the cruise experienced “stronger than forecasted weather conditions due to winter storm Grayson.”
“The safety of our guests and crew is always our top priority and the ship’s captain adjusted the ship’s speed and itinerary accordingly to maintain the safest possible route, delaying the ship’s arrival,” it stated.
“We sincerely apologize to our guests for the stronger than expected weather conditions and any resulting discomfort or inconvenience they may have experienced.”
The ship has already departed on its next scheduled cruise and the company said it is “working with those guests who were directly affected” to discuss compensation.
With all the rocking and, according to passengers, lack of communication from staff, many took to social media to share their disdain for their experience:
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Note: “Previously Published on: 9 January 2018 | 7:54 pm, as ‘Quebec family stuck on Norwegian Breakaway cruise caught in bomb cyclone’ on GLOBALNEWS CANADA. Here is a source link for the Article’s Image(s) and Content”.