(5:18 p.m. EDT) -- Explorer of the Seas' arrival at Cape Liberty on May 8 will be delayed by several hours due to the search for a crewmember that went overboard last night. The ship is on the final leg of a nine-night Bermuda and Caribbean cruise that departed from the Bayonne, New Jersey cruise port on April 29.
According to a statement from the line, crewmembers reported a coworker missing at 8:40 p.m. on May 5; closed-circuit camera footage revealed that the employee was on Deck 5, and "climbed over the railing and lowered himself over the side of the ship." The captain returned the ship to that position and was met by the Coast Guard to begin searching for the missing crewmember. The Coast Guard assumed control of the search this morning after which the ship resumed its course.
A Royal Caribbean spokeswoman tells us that guests on the next sailing will receive a phone call regarding what time to arrive at Cape Liberty on Saturday, and can also check for updates on the cruise line's Web site. The most recent notification on the site states that embarking passengers should arrive no earlier than 7:30 p.m. -- but no later than 10 p.m.
According to the cruise line, guests who purchased air transportation through Royal Caribbean, and have flights that depart from Newark and/or LaGuardia Airports on Saturday before 7 p.m. or John F. Kennedy Airport before 8 p.m. will have their flights automatically rebooked by Royal Caribbean. Guests who booked airfare independently, will also receive assistance, of up to $200 per person to cover airline change fees.
The delayed departure is not expected to impact the next scheduled itinerary.