December 13, 2010
(Updated, 5:30 a.m. EST) -- Several passengers were injured early Sunday morning when Royal Caribbean's Brilliance of the Seas hit rough weather on its way to the port of Alexandria, Egypt.
According to a statement from line spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez, large waves and heavy winds caused the ship to list several times, injuring about 30 passengers and damaging some of the vessel's public spaces.
A handful of Cruise Critic members are onboard and have been providing first-hand accounts on the boards.
dirtgirl was in her cabin during the ordeal: "I was flying back and forth. My roomie managed to brace herself. The beds were sliding back and forth!! Broken glass everywhere as everything on it went flying. Tables and chairs upended." She also added that the "Gym is in shambles - Ellipticals looked like monkey bars; spin bikes everywhere. Only wine, beer, and soda available at the Centrum bar and Schooner bar. Casino closed, shops closed. No one allowed out on upper decks."
Member jimbo5544 says his son and daughter-in-law are celebrating their honeymoon onboard. "They said all computers had smashed in internet cafe and Grand piano smashed into wall. Much broken glass all over ship, Windjammer closed."
Later in the day, dirtgirl posted that the "staff have been going non-stop to clear the areas. The amount of work they have done to keep us all fed is amazing. The Windjammer was a disaster area this morning. That it was open for limited dinner service was incredible . . . Venues are being reopened. The Casino is up, and everyone was in the Schooner Bar tonight having a good time." She added in her post that Royal Caribbean has given each cabin a $200 onboard credit ($400 for suites). pussywillow6 offered this information from her daughter, who works in the ship's onboard spa: "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!"
Member Feelin'_Nauti drew our attention to this video on NBC, which involves interviews with passengers onboard.
The Associated Press reports that the inclement weather -- which included heavy rain and winds up to 60 km per hour -- closed the Alexandria port, forcing Brilliance of the Seas to bypass it and head straight for Valletta, Malta, the ship's last stop before returning to Barcelona on Friday, as scheduled.
Martinez says injuries were minor and included only cuts, scrapes and bruises. She also says the damages have not impacted the ship's ability to sail, and the line does not expect this voyage or subsequent voyages to be affected due to repairs.
MSC Cruises' MSC Magnifica was due in Alexandria Sunday, as well. We are currently awaiting a statement from the line, but member steamboat says the ship skipped its Alexandria call and opted, instead, to continue on to Rhodes.
We'll keep you updated.
--by Ashley Kosciolek, Copy Editor
--Image courtesy of NBC Nightly News
Blog: Brilliance of the Seas: After the Storm