October 1, 2009
Update, October 1, 12:30 p.m. EDT: A Royal Caribbean spokeswoman confirms today that no itinerary disruptions are expected due to yesterday's incident. Like Carnival, the line expects to handle the minor repairs while the ship is in service.
(September 30, 11 p.m. EDT) -- Two cruise ships involved in a collision tonight in Cozumel have been cleared by Mexican authorities and are now both en route to Belize, their next port of call. Both ships sustained only minor damage, cruise line spokespersons tell Cruise Critic, and there were no injuries to passengers on either ship.
According to statements from both cruise lines, Carnival Cruise Lines' 88,500-ton, 2,124-passenger Carnival Legend and Royal Caribbean's 80,700-ton, 2,252-passenger Enchantment of the Seas collided while Carnival Legend was maneuvering away from the dock in the Mexican port shortly after 6 p.m.
A strong wind pushed Carnival Legend up against Enchantment of the Seas. Carnival Legend sustained broken glass and other minor damage to some open deck areas, while Enchantment of the Seas suffered damage to its stern and some railings.
A Royal Caribbean passenger shared his story about the accident on this blog: "OK, so we're sitting in port. A few of us are on the pool deck watching the Carnival Legend pull out of port. As we're watching it, it's getting closer and closer. It looked like the wind was pushing the other ship [toward] us. I looked down and saw a tug boat try to get between the two boats, but it was too late ... There was some crunching and breaking glass noises and the ship rocked to one side a little. It was such a slow crash that it was barely noticeable. We could see scraped paint on the other ship."
For pictures of the collision, check out Cruise Critic's message boards and @enchantedtravel on Twitter.
Enchantment of the Seas is on a five-night Caribbean cruise from Ft. Lauderdale; Legend is on a seven-night Caribbean cruise from Tampa. A Carnival spokeswoman tells us that itinerary changes are not expected, as repairs will be completed while the ship is sailing, noting that a limited area has been cordoned off. At this point, a Royal Caribbean spokeswoman was unable to confirm when repairs will take place or whether changes to this itinerary or those of future cruises are possible.
--by Melissa Paloti, Managing Editor