Lights Out on Cruise Ship in Pirate Waters

Sea Princess
file photo of Sea Princess

By The Maritime Executive 08-09-2017 09:11:09

An Australian journalist has reported that passengers on a round-the-world cruise this year had to spend 10 nights with the ship darkened. 

Curtains were drawn, and there weren’t any evening festivities on deck on the Sea Princess as she travelled through the the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Aden and the Suez Canal in June. Carolyne Jasinski said there were rumors about a terror attack, but the master Captain Gennaro Arma told the 1,900 passengers that the measures were the result of piracy concerns.

Bright lights were dimmed or turned off. “She was a ghost ship,” wrote Jasinski in an article published on Tuesday.

“It was made very clear on the Sea Princess, very quickly, that this pirate threat was not something to be joked about. Any remaining smirks soon disappeared as the pirate drill alarm sounded, and the crew was instructed to move to their designated muster stations.”

During the drill, passengers were sent to their cabins so that crewmembers could do a headcount. “They were advised to sit on the floor and to hang on to hand rails in case the ship had to maneuver away from pirate ships,” Jasinski wrote. “In the case of a real threat, those passengers in outside cabins were told to close and lock their balcony doors, then lock their entrance door to their cabin and take shelter in the corridors.”

Only a few passengers resisted taking part in drills, Jasinski said. 

“The captain said we could outrun any pirate ships but just in case, officers were on watch 24/7 and fire hoses were at the ready on Deck Seven... If all else failed, there was the sonic boom — we were told it can knock pirates off their feet (or ladders if they get too close).”

The 856-foot Sea Princess departed New Zealand in May for a worldwide trip that finishes in September.