Cruise Ship Crisis

Spring break is a time for rest and relaxation,usually, usually in warmer parts of the country or world. You set out for a week away from school with some of your best friends to enjoy some time off from doing work and tending to obligations. Nothing can go wrong on spring break, right? That wasn’t exactly the case for passengers on a Norwegian cruise which tipped slightly to the side, causing panic and even some injuries to those on board. 

On Sunday, March 3, a Norwegian Escape ship departed from New York City for a 7-night cruise to Florida and the Bahamas, making various stops along the way. Passengers ranged from families traveling on vacation, to college students embarking on a week of spring break, some of which included Penn State students. The ship’s first stop was expected to be in Port Canaveral, a docking location along the coast of Florida.

On the way there, the ship was passing through a storm. The storm had been offshore and moved across the eastern seaboard of the United States. Once the storm reached its strongest point, it had entered the area in which the ship was passing, which greatly affected those on board. Winds comparable to those associated with tornadoes had been produced through this storm, reaching upwards of 115 miles per hour.

Because of the high winds, the water became rocky, and the ship had tipped to the side. A spokesperson for Norwegian Cruise Lines described the incident as the “ship heeling to the port side,” which ultimately meant that the ship leaned toward its left side. The ship tipped nearly 45 degrees to the side, causing passengers to feel like it was completely falling over. Some even described the incident as similar to that of the Titanic.

Inside the ship, passengers rushed to the highest points of the ship to stay afloat in the event that the boat fully tipped over. Furniture started to shift out of place, moving about the interior, and plates and silverware crashed onto the ground, spreading glass everywhere. Everything that was on a table or counter went flying off, strewn across the ground, making the cabin areas clustered and uncomfortable. Passengers were looking for life preservers and life boats, trying to find the best way possible to exit the ship in case of an extreme emergency.

Even though the ship had been fairly new, the weather was still able to rock it, and the passengers on board, literally. Those who were injured are still recovering, having not expected to face such trauma when all they wanted to do was relax.

Hopefully next year’s spring break will be more fulfilling for all those on board.


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