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NYCchic

Just off the Enchantment...rescued 12 Cubans last night!

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Hi,

 

I just got off the Enchantment this morning. Was on the 5 night cruise stopping in Ocho Rios and Grand Cayman. Had a fabulous time. Will post a review in the next few days.

 

I just have to ask if this has happened to anyone else. Last night (our last day at sea sailing back to Ft. Lauderdale from GC) at around 5pm we dropped anchor to rescue 12 Cubans (all males) someone spotted in a small row boat nearby! It was really amazing. Someone said we were probably about 100 miles off the coast of Cuba. I don't know how these guys would have survived if we didn't find them. The waters were so rough yesterday. A big storm was coming in - it started raining heavy a few hours later and continued thru the night.

 

So Marc the cruise director kept us informed of what was going on - some people got really scared when they felt the ship stop. The small boat got close enough to us and we threw out a big rope. They grabbed on and we pulled them in. I was wondering if we were maybe going to use one of the life boats to get them but we didn't. The RC crew just opened the door that you exit at all the ports - they threw down this wooden ladder that was up against the ship and went into the ocean. The Cubans pulled themselves as close to the ladder as possible and climbed in one by one. A few of them had some trouble but the RC crew members helped pull them up and in. It was really amazing to see. I took quite a few pictures and video of this. The last guy had a lot of trouble getting up b/c of the small boat he was in. When he finally made it onboard everyone was cheering and applauding.

 

I thought this would make big news back at home but one of the crew members told me this happens all the time. I was surprised to hear that - I've read a lot of reviews on this site and have never heard about this happening to anyone else.

 

Just wanted to see if any of you have experienced anything like this.

I'm attempting to copy in one of my pictures of this - looks like it copied in ok but not sure if you'll all be able to see it.

 

839525653203_0_ALB.jpg

 

393635653203_0_ALB.jpg

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Such excitment you had!! Unfortunatley,all I see is red Xs..no pics...........:(

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Sorry - I can see the pics just fine. I had a feeling no one else would be able to see them though. I'll put them into webshots and post a link to that shortly. It's pretty cool to see!

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Wow -

 

Never had anything remotely similar happen on any of our cruises.

 

Do you know what happened to them when the ship made port bak in Ft Lauderdale?

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I have no idea what happened to them. I don't even know what they did with them once they got them onboard. The captain made an announcement that they were in fact Cubans and there were 12 of them and they were all ok. That was really all he told us. But I have no idea if they will be able to stay in the USA of if they will be deported back to Cuba. I'd love to find out. Someone said to check some Florida news sites in the next few days - they might report on this. Everyone was saying how bad life in Cuba must be that they would risk their lives in such rough seas. They must have wanted to get out so badly. It was sad but exciting at the same time. I'm just glad someone spotted them and we were able to help them.

 

This is my 2nd exciting cruise story. My first and only other cruise - on Carnival about 6 years ago - we had to turn the ship around (so quickly that my friend fell out of her bed - the top bunk) and drop anchor at about 2am. Everyone had to return to their rooms for a mandatory roll call. It was the night of March 31st - morning of April 1st...April Fool's Day. Someone played a sick joke and made a man overboard phone call. It was really scary thinking someone went over. There was a bad storm this night also and the seas were very rough. We spent a good hour or more stopped in the middle of the night doing the roll call several times until everyone was accounted for.

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Wow -

 

Never had anything remotely similar happen on any of our cruises.

 

Do you know what happened to them when the ship made port bak in Ft Lauderdale?

 

Normal procedure would be to turn them over to the proper authorities as the Captain notifies them ahead and they are waiting for them at the pier, they are taken off first before any disembarkation.

A friend of mine who use to work on RCI told me they give them warm blankets, food and keep them in a seperate area until they are back in port.

As already stated this happens all the time....so to the crew its no big deal. Just another rescue at sea...for us its intrestering and exciting to see it unfold right before our eyes....better than the film at 11 ;)

We've only had medical evuacuations during our cruises.

 

 

***

 

 

***

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Similar thing happened on our cruise enroute to San Juan a few years ago. The Captain of the Port refused the ship entry until the Coast Guard came aboard and removed the survivors....

 

Happy cruising...

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It is routinely reported that Cubans who make it onto US terra firma on their own are given sanctuary. (They must swim ashore and walk out of the water... or beach their craft and jump out onto land, for example.)

 

But those who, for instance, are plucked out of the sea by the Coast Guard 10 yards offshore are deported back.

 

Wonder if these folks were handed over to US authorities, and if so, was it aboard the EOS or on the pier. Might make a difference in whether they were allowed to stay or not.

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Thanks for sharing................must be pretty sad to live in such a country that you risk your life trying to escape..:( People complain all the time about ours,but we are pretty lucky!!

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Thanks for sharing................must be pretty sad to live in such a country that you risk your life trying to escape..:( People complain all the time about ours,but we are pretty lucky!!

 

Indeed we are.

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As far as I know, if they are picked up at sea, they go back to Cuba. If they make it here, and step foot on land, they can stay.

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You asked if this has ever happened before..the answer is yes. I was on the Enchantment a few years ago, in 2001 I think it was. We found a boat load of Cubans floating in the water. We turned them over to the authorities in Key West. Our cruise director was joking that we wouldn't see them later in the buffet, but they were being taken care of. Every couple months or so if you check the cruise news on this website you might see that it happened, but it happens so often that they don't always make the news.

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Wow - that is sad this happens so often. I was really shocked and amazed by this b/c I hadn't heard of such a story before. I'll keep my eye out now for similar stories. That's sad they have to go back after the trouble they went thru to get out!

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Yes they will be turned back over to the Cuban government. They must reach the shore under their own power and step onto the land. That is what caused all the fuss with the Gonzales boy a few years ago. He never actually reached the shore so by law they were not supposed to keep him here. But the government and the US family representative had to talk and it ended up dragging things out!

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On my parents' first cruise in 1992, their ship also picked up some Cuban refugees.

 

When we cruised on the Horizon, on one of our days at sea we were headed toward Labadee for our next port stop. It had been raining off and on the previous day. I was lying on deck in the sunshine and all of a sudden I realized that I was in the shade. I told my DH that we had changed course. He, of course, thought I was sun-baked. Then I proceded to tell him the ship had stopped. Then he REALLY KNEW I had been out in the sun too long! I said, "Go and see if we are picking up any Cubans." He went over to the windows on the pool deck and proceded to wave me over. Out in the middle of the ocean, with NO LAND in sight was this blue boat that looked to be about 3 1/2 feet wide and 12 feet long. There were 2 men and a woman aboard, with one man using the cowling from the engine as a paddle and the other using an oar with what looked to be a shirt wrapped around the end of it. They came up to our ship and were brought aboard. They were from Labadee and had gone out fishing 6 days before and got lost at sea! Thank God that there had been rain or they would have been dead! As it was, they were VERY dehydrated. They were taken to the infirmary where they stayed until we docked in Labadee the next morning where they were taken off in the first tender. We were told they were doing fine and I am sure they were VERY glad to have seen our ship turn around to rescue them.

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Great Story, now when I go on my first cruise on Monday, I'm going to be looking for rafts in the seas. . . amazing. I can't wait for the review.

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Thanks NYCchic for an amazing story and good pix. Call me paranoid, but in this day and age I'd be concerned about who / what my cruise ship was stopping to "rescue". Hopefully the crew has procedures in place to protect against armed "cubans".

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Those were great pictures, thanks for posting them. I've never heard of this before either. One question I have is, if they were just going to get sent back, wouldn't it make more sense to give them some food and water and send them on their way? Then at least they might have a shot at making it. If it were me in the boat and I'd worked that hard to get to where they were, only to be "rescued" and sent back, I don't think I'd be happy. Then you have to start all over again. Maybe they have to pick up someone floating around........

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Chudely, I think the humane thing would be to pick them up and hope they are lucky enough to stay, then be left out in the ocean, with food and water.

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This happened to us on the Enchantment 2 years ago. We were at sea, sitting by the pool watching the horse racing when suddenly the ship turned. Marc Walker the CD told everyone to stay calm and he would find out what happened. The captain then made an announcement that they spotted something floating and we were going to see what it was. Turned out to be a raft. And I use that term very loosely. It was more like a broken up wooden platform with tarps to cover the people. Fortunately there was no one on board. Turns out the Coast Guard rescued the people but didn't have room for the raft. Very sad knowing that people actually tried to escape on that thing.

 

Dawn

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