'I was shaking all over': Cruise ship damaged during storm

MIAMI -- A Royal Caribbean cruise ship ran into high winds and rough seas in the Atlantic Ocean on Sunday, forcing frightened passengers into their cabins as their belongings flew about.

See Full Article

Passengers described howling winds and waves as high as 30 feet, but the cruise line says no injuries were reported and the ship suffered minor damage but was safe to remain at sea.

"I was shaking all over," passenger Shara Strand of New York City wrote to The Associated Press via Facebook on Monday. "Panic attack, things like that ... I've been on over 20 cruises, I've been through a hurricane, it was never like this. Never. Everyone is saying they never saw anything like last night."

Sixteen-year-old passenger Gabriella Lairson says she and her father, Sam, could feel the boat begin to sway by 2:30 p.m. The captain directed passengers to their cabins. There, the Lairsons heard glasses shatter in the bathroom, and they put their belongings in drawers and closets to prevent them from flying across the room. They ventured out on the balcony, where Sam Lairson shot video showing wave after wave rising below them.

"The winds were so strong that I thought the phone would blow from my hands," Sam Lairson, of Ocean City, New Jersey, said in an email. "After that we had to keep the doors to the balconies sealed."

The ship, with more than 4,500 guests and 1,600 crew members, was sailing from Cape Liberty, New Jersey and was scheduled to arrive in Port Canaveral, Florida, at noon Monday. The weather will delay that arrival, but Royal Caribbean spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez said in an email that she doesn't have an updated time or schedule. Rosalind Harvey, spokeswoman for Port Canaveral, says officials there have been told the ship will arrive at 7 a.m. Tuesday.

Gabriella Lairson says that by early Monday morning, people were out and about on the ship, checking out the minor damage in some public areas. Some staterooms also were damaged, according to a Royal Caribbean statement.

Lairson praised the crew and captain. "They did everything they could to make us feel comfortable even though they were not allowed to be out around the ship that often," she wrote to The AP on Facebook. "The Captain regularly gave us updates when he could through the whole storm."

Martinez confirmed that passengers were asked to stay in their rooms and said they were given complimentary access to their minibars.

Robert Huschka, the executive editor of the Detroit Free Press, was aboard and started tweeting when the inclement weather hit. He told USA Today that the ordeal was "truly terrifying." He described the cruise director nervously giving updates, and he later posted photos of shattered glass panels on a pool deck.

But Huschka was among passengers who found a silver lining in the storm. On Monday morning, he posted: "The good news? They never lost the Super Bowl signal. Perfect TV picture throughout storm!"

And despite her own worries, Strand said her daughter, 8-month-old Alexa, slept through the entire episode.

Associated Press writers Janelle Cogan in Atlanta and Tamara Lush in Tampa, Florida, contributed


Latest Canada & World News

  • Another explosion injures 2 in Austin

    World News CTV News
    AUSTIN, Texas -- At least two people were injured in another explosion in Texas' capital Sunday night, after three package bombs detonated earlier this month in other parts of the city and killed two people and injured two others. Source
  • Boy shoots sister in video game controller dispute: police

    World News CTV News
    Authorities in Mississippi say a 9-year-old boy has shot his 13-year-old sister in the head and wounded her after an argument over a video game controller. Monroe County Sheriff Cecil Cantrell told local news outlets that the girl wouldn't give up the video game controller when her brother wanted it on Saturday. Source
  • Volunteers won't give up search for boy, 3, swept away in Ontario river

    Canada News CTV News
    Nearly one month after a little boy was swept away in an Ontario river, dozens of volunteers continue to search for him. Kaden Young, 3, was ripped from his mother’s arms after her minivan ended up in the swollen Grand River, near Orangeville, Ont. Source
  • Lawyer charges grieving family thousands for time spent responding to complaint against him

    Canada News CBC News
    A grieving daughter was blindsided when the lawyer hired to settle her father's estate charged thousands of dollars for time he spent responding to a complaint the family filed against him. But lawyers are not allowed to bill for hours spent responding to complaints, according to the Law Society of Ontario. Source
  • 2018 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremonies

    Canada News CBC News
    2018 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremonies LIVE0:00 Nearly 2,000 athletes from the circumpolar north have gathered in Hay River, Northwest Territories, for the opening ceremonies of the 2018 Arctic Winter Games Source
  • B.C. teachers' union to ask for higher salaries to help with shortages

    Canada News CTV News
    VANCOUVER -- The union representing British Columbia teachers will look to boost salaries, when their contract negotiations open later this year. B.C. Teachers' Federation president Glen Hansman told a crowd at the union's annual general meeting Saturday night that the province's low starting salaries mean that B.C. Source
  • Trump to unveil opioid plan that includes death penalty for drug dealers: White House

    World News CBC News
    U.S. President Donald Trump will unveil a plan Monday to combat the opioid addiction crisis that includes seeking the death penalty for drug dealers and urging Congress to toughen sentencing laws for drug traffickers, White House officials say. Source
  • Baby dies from suspected carbon monoxide poisoning in Barrie, Ont.

    Canada News CTV News
    Police in Barrie, Ont., say a baby has died and his mother and sister are in hospital after a suspected carbon monoxide leak. Const. Sarah Bamford said that police responded to a 911 call from a frantic father at around 8:30 a.m. Source
  • Calgary siblings devastated after Arizona crash leaves their triplet sister dead

    Canada News CBC News
    A Canadian woman is among three people killed in a March 13 crash in Arizona that also left her husband in a coma. Patti Lou Doornbos — who goes by Lou — and Ron Doornbos, both 60, were on a sidewalk on their way to go hiking in Fountain Hills, about 50 kilometres northeast of Phoenix, when they were hit from behind by a Ford Explorer. Source
  • Florida bridge collapse: Out on errands, killed in an instant

    World News CTV News
    MIAMI -- They had just finished up lunch, and set off to run a humdrum errand: a drive to the travel agency to pick up airline tickets for their annual visit to their beloved homeland, Cuba. Source