About fifteen seconds after the first slide, our bed suddenly slid
back to wear it came from. For a second,
breathed a sigh of relief. At least we weren't under water.
However, my joy was short-lived as the ship went past the 90 degree
point and began to tilt in the other direction.
Marla and I just lay there clinging to the bed. We didn't have
long to wait. Ten seconds later
we were hit with "The Big One". Things were much
different this time. The bed didn't
just gently slide back out into the middle of the
room. Instead it rocketed across the room
only to be stopped by the couch. I had never been on a
jet-propelled bed before!
Not only was the tilt was far worse than the first time, the ship
had shifted positions with amazing speed!
Suddenly everything in the room came crashing to the floor - glasses, ice
bucket, laptop computer, clothes, books and
anything else that wasn't tied down.
All this debris slid up against the cabin door. I am sure our bed
would have gone much farther, but it was too big.
It got stuck in the middle
of the room.
Thank goodness the room stopped moving!
At this point Marla decided it wasn't safe to be
in the bed anymore. She got out of bed and
stood up. Not me.
I was glued to the bed. It turned out I
made the better decision. Suddenly the energy reversed itself again.
Marla was violently thrown forward.
Fortunately she had nowhere to go but
back onto the bed,
but her re-entry was far from graceful. Marla
gasped as she hurdled Supergirl-style back into bed. Too bad I
was too worried to laugh.
Again we felt the thud as the bed came
smashing to a stop back against the window.
Fifteen seconds later, the bed slid out to the middle of the room
for the third and final time. This time the rate
of the slide
was slow again.
That is when the rocking ended.
Neither of us were hurt. Although
our cabin was a total wreck, nothing was broken.
Although many people later said they were terrified, for some reason
I was never truly alarmed. Concerned yes,
afraid no. Throughout
the event, I had a pretty good idea what was
Call me stupid, but I had been through something
similar to this on a ship known as the
back in 2003 (on a much smaller
scale, of course).
just weeks before this trip, I had watched the video of the
as everything slid back and forth. Surely
this had to be the same phenomenon!
Based on those two experiences, I had a hunch that the ship would
eventually regain its equilibrium.
Thank goodness I was right. Although
the ship continued to rock, the severe listing
incident had ended.
In fact, now that the five successive changes in direction had were
over, the ship felt safe again. On the other hand, I was
something had happened that I didn't know about. For example,
I was initially worried that the window had broken. I noticed
the floor was soaking wet. My first conclusion was that water
had leaked in when our window was covered up. Then I changed
my mind. I decided the wetness was caused by the falling ice bucket
instead. That was relief!
At this point, I decided to get my camera and take a walk.
I needed to see if
there was something we should be worried about. I was immediately
curious about the massive 25 foot tall Christmas tree. Sure enough,
I found it flattened in the lobby.
In addition I found computers on the floor as well as beautiful
poinsettias with their pots shattered. Dirt
from the broken pots covered the floor. I found
a second Santa on the floor as well. First I took his picture, and then I
stood him up. I figured Santa deserved some dignity.
The lobby was a total
disaster. In addition to the fallen Christmas tree, all the
decorations had fallen. There were computers on the floor.
The piano had slid off of its platform. The chairs were in
disarray. Dirt from the shattered potted plants was all over
the dance floor.
Next I discovered all sorts of
chairs and debris scattered up against the Front
Desk counter. There was only one person at
the Front Desk and she looked pretty dazed.
Out of respect, I decided against taking
I noticed that at the bar, all sorts of whiskey and vodka bottles
lay strewn on the floor. Too bad the area was locked or I
might have been tempted to pour myself a drink. I could have
used one! Now that I think of it, the girl behind the desk
needed one too!
Sadly, I discovered another Santa trapped under the Christmas tree.
I decided he was beyond the point of rescue.
The ship's Lobby was only about 30 feet from the door to my cabin.
I was the first passenger to visit the Lobby after the Listing
Incident. Soon, however, other people joined me. It
seemed like every one of them had brought their cell phones with
Suddenly the silence was shattered with a scream of pain.
A man who had come to the Purser's
desk barefooted with a life vest around his neck
had just stepped in some broken glass. He
was hollering in pain as he hopped
around on one foot.
He grabbed some of the paper debris off the floor and wrapped his
bleeding foot (see
Thanks to this guy's misfortune, I suddenly realized I was barefoot too.
There was a nearby window, so I took a
quick peek at myself. I realized just how totally ridiculous I
looked. I was wearing nothing
but a tee shirt and shorts. My hair was
sticking out straight. I looked like something from the
Walking Dead show. I suddenly became self-conscious
and began look around. God forbid if someone was taking my
picture! I can't believe the silly things that crossed my
mind. We had barely missed a major tragedy and all I could
think about was my own vanity.
However, that man's bleeding foot was another story.
From that point on, I kept my eyes glued
to the floor for glass wherever I walked.
It turned out to not be much of a problem. I only saw broken
glass in one spot where a valuable glass sculpture had shattered.
As I walked, I didn't feel any fear.
Whatever had gone wrong was over
now. The ship felt steady enough again. I
didn't hear any strange noises or feel any strange vibrations, so I
doubted the ship had sustained any damage to its structure.
Best of all, I hadn't heard any signals sending us to lifeboats.
So I began to relax and let my curiosity have its way.
I began to climb the stairs. The elevators had not been available
for some time now. They had been taken out of service so they
wouldn't bang against the walls in the rough seas.
Given the circumstances, I wouldn't
have gotten on an elevator even if you paid me.
Somewhere about now, the Captain came on the Intercom to announce
that the ship was safe. He tried to explain what had happened,
but to be honest I don't remember much. He mostly said the
problem had occurred when the ship slowed to avoid other ships in
the harbor and turned around to head back out to sea.
Then he asked us all to go back to our cabins.
No way, Jose. Since I did not sense any danger, why not check
it all out? I wasn't in anyone's way. It was time to
Every floor told the same story - there were chairs slammed up
against a wall, broken pots, decorative statues fallen from their
pedestals, and debris everywhere. Very sad.
Not all passengers were as lucky as me. For example, many of the
ship's crew slept in bunk beds. Many of
the people who slept in the top bunk found
themselves thrown to the floor.
Furthermore, the tilting effect was far
worse on the higher decks. People
were thrown from their beds and slammed into walls. Several people
reported being hit on the head by flying objects in their room or
hitting their head when they fell. In my
room, the objects fell away from us. However, on the other
side of the ship, I assume the people lying in bed had objects
flying directly at them including TVs.
As a way to introduce other people's experiences, at this point I
will begin to share various anecdotes that I found at a
Cruise Critic chat room.
Horrid rollovers at sea approaching Alexandria an hour
ago at 4 am. Thrown from bed and nearly pinned between
the bed that was wildly rolling to the walls and balcony
slider -- with upended furniture + broken glass
everywhere. Feet cut as we tried to get out of room, and
badly bruised, but glad to be alive. Very sore. Very
scary.... Worse as we're up on deck 10. Couldn't quite
make it to Alexandria, but don't know where we're
going--and it's still very bumpy and terrifying.
My daughter is a beauty therapist in the spa. She rang
at 3.30am in a panic saying the ship was rolling from
side to side and that her cabin was trashed.
Since then she has let us know that she is okay, just in
''You can't even begin to imagine the damage on the
ship, its awful. ... Windows, showers, mirrors, the
hairdressing basins have all smashed... The whole ship
is wrecked... Grand piano smashed through a
window.....There were passengers running around with
life jackets on, people screaming, all the spa girls
were panicking...... its really horrible! At sea now and
still rocking and rolling... Hopefully dock in Malta in
If the ship has to go into dry dock
maybe we will have our
daughter home for Christmas!!
CNN reported that 30 people were injured with two people suffering
broken bones. Later I heard that number was
changed to 100. I guess I will
have to take their
word for it. I
never saw a single person who looked hurt. The worst injury I saw was
the man with the cut feet. I heard about
some woman fainting a few days later, but that
was strictly rumor.
On the other hand, this incident could have
easily been a MAJOR TRAGEDY. The good news is that this all happened at 3 am in the morning. If
everyone had been out and about during the daytime, there would have
been far more serious consequences.
I am not sure anyone associated with this cruise line feels "lucky"
about this event, but trust me, had this happened in daylight, there
would have been a lot of people hurt. And I mean SERIOUSLY
hurt. The real danger as it turned out was not that the ship
might capsize, but rather that all those flying objects would turn
And what about that giant Christmas Tree that fell? If the Lobby had
been crowded, people might not have been able to get out of the way
fast enough. They could have easily been trapped.
If that had been the case, we would have been looking for humans in
addition to dragging poor Santa out from under that tree.