Jump to content

Cruise Ship in a Hurricane


SamIAm21

Recommended Posts

I know this would never happen as the cruise lines are very careful to keep their ships and passengers safe, but IF a cruiseship were caught in a hurricane (let's say Cat 3), would the cruise ship be able to handle it? With the design of the Voyager series being so tall, would it tip or capsize...??

 

Could a modern day cruise ship get through a storm like that relatively unscathed?

 

It's just curiosity on my part...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

While we were waiting to disembark Mariner on the 29th, we watched the "Making of Voyager". One thing that was mentioned was that for COMFORT the ship shouldn't "tilt" more than 4 degrees (I believe that is right). This meaning the comfort of the passengers/crew. However, they did mention that the Voyager series was able to withstand a "tilt" of 47 degrees and a diagram was shown. We couldn't believe it. My husband had said all week that he didn't understand what kept the ship from capsizing.

 

I don't believe they would ever be in a position of withstanding a hurricane with all of the equipment on board to PREVENT such a happening BUT it just might be okay. Hope it never happens.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The basic answer is yes.

 

Our CD on Millenium was on one of Celebrity's smaller than Millie class ships and they were forced to leave Bermuda to try to outrun a hurricane. In a hurricane ships are safer at sea then in port. They were not able to outrun it and the ship encountered 30' seas and while not many people went to dinner and there were no shows, the ship and all aboard were safe expect some expected sea sickness.

 

Also, Coral Princess crossed the Atlantic from France for her maiden voyage out of Fort Lauderdale and right through a North Atlantic winter storm and encountered 30' seas. While it was not a comfortable trip for the crew and some things broke, the ship and crew were safe except some sea sickness.

 

All these ships must meet very strick international rules to ensure they are seaworthy and are not given a license to sail without meeting those rules.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If some of those Alaskan Crab Boats (anyone see that show on the Discovery Channel?) can withstand those seas then a cruise ship should be fine. It does not happen very often because hurricanes give so much warning in advance for the GENERAL area they will hit...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Notwithstanding all the assurances that cruiseships can withstand hurricanes, it's not always the case. Some may recall Windjammer's "Fantome". She was a 282-foot four-masted sailing-style cruise ship. She was built in the 1920's and had a steel hull. She was restored in 1971. She had a series of wealthy owners and then was acquired by Windjammer and refitted as a cruise ship.

 

She ran into Hurricane Mitch in October 1998. All passengers disembarked in Belize but she still had 31 crew members aboard while then trying to outrun the hurricane (apparently on the theory, expressed here, that ships are generally safer at sea than in port). Unfortunately, she encountered 180-mile per hour winds and 50-foot seas. Even though she was a huge, steel-hulled ship and had an extremely experienced crew, she and the crew disappeared without a trace.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The poster was asking about VOS. None of the Windjammer ships are any comparison to VOS or any of the other ships of the major lines except the "Xpedition" ships of Celebrity.

 

Would the poster get the same answer if asking about Windjammer ships or any ships similar in size. Absolutely not.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 10 months later...

After being in huge Hurricane Jeanne swells last year on Caribbean Princess, I don't see any reason why a modern day cruise ship would not be able to handle hurricane waves. We were heading to Nassau when we ended up in Hurricane Jeanne swells. The waves were very long allowing the ship to ride up the wave and then back down into trough. Veritical movement over the bridge had to be every bit of 50 to 75 feet. I have included a link below where you can actually see one of the swells. This went on for about 8 hours before the captain changed course to head toward the straights of florida. Mind you, the wave doesn't look all that impressive because the picture was taken from on top of the bridge on deck 15.

 

http://home.att.net/~joenkel3/cp2004pg2.htm

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The basic answer is yes.

 

Our CD on Millenium was on one of Celebrity's smaller than Millie class ships and they were forced to leave Bermuda to try to outrun a hurricane. In a hurricane ships are safer at sea then in port. They were not able to outrun it and the ship encountered 30' seas and while not many people went to dinner and there were no shows, the ship and all aboard were safe expect some expected sea sickness.

_________________________________________________________________

Small ships can handle storms too.

In 1989 we had the exact same experience during hurricane Hugo. We were on our first cruise out of San Juan, PR aboard the Cunard Countess which is a small 17,500 tons in size. My husband was a navy man on DE's and even he had concerns during the night.

The passengers and half the crew were very seasick so there was an almost empty dining room for the formal night. My husband was alone at his large table. :) We have done 20 more cruises since then and have no fear of a ship not being able to handle storms.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We went through a hurricane on the Maasdam while going transatlantic from London to Boston in 2000. The captain tried to go around it, but the hurricane turned so he could not. The waves were so rough and the wind so strong that they locked the doors to the decks; however i never felt that we were in danger.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The basic answer is yes.

 

Our CD on Millenium was on one of Celebrity's smaller than Millie class ships and they were forced to leave Bermuda to try to outrun a hurricane. In a hurricane ships are safer at sea then in port. They were not able to outrun it and the ship encountered 30' seas and while not many people went to dinner and there were no shows, the ship and all aboard were safe expect some expected sea sickness.

 

I think a friend of mine and her husband were on this sailing... they spent the rest of the cruise in their cabin, seasick.:(

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If some of those Alaskan Crab Boats (anyone see that show on the Discovery Channel?) can withstand those seas then a cruise ship should be fine. ....QUOTE]

 

I love that show! DH and I watch it whenever we can. I have a newly found respect for these crabbers and their bounty. Such hard work!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

People are on vacation not performing service. (USCG/NAVY, etc.)

 

You have folks of all ages and disciplines. Most have spent their lives sheltered and doing something called "career" that allows them to afford luxuries such as cruising. Thus it is up to the trained crew of the ship to guarantee the hospitality of their paid guests. Most of the time this works fortunately.

 

In the remote chance a vessel is in distress due to prevailiing severe hurricane conditions of SS CAT3 or better, comfort deterioriates very rapidly. It's something no one truly wants to experience and those that say they do have never experienced it before.

 

With the advent of satellite imagery, continuous updates from NHC/HHG and weather faxes, ships can be kept out of harm's way with a high degree of certainty. This is not to say it never happens, but the chances are very low. Rough seas? Well of course after all you're on a ship and regardless of the size of the vessel it's the size of the wave that matters - always.

 

I get a laugh how quickly people will complain about itinerary changes due to weather. HELLO! If you were flying to Grand Cayman last september your vacation would have been terminated because your five star resort is trashed but a cruise ship is still there for you. It's amazing how people don't see this. Schedule bedamned if I get "stuck at sea" because of a storm I'm happy. The homefront will always be there (providing the storm doesn't hit there LOL) waiting for us and we certainly know how to use a telephone. Additional sea days, food, entertainment at no extra cost and people are complaining and want credit? That's insane.

 

Ok sorry for rambling on but this time of the year brings this subject to the surface yet again...

 

Cheers,

 

Norman

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11-86, on the little Golden Odyssey, a 10,000 tonner, we were caught up in the tail end of a typhoon in the China Sea.

 

We had green water over the bridge, screws out of the water, and the inclinometer was pegged several times. It was rough, lasting about 24 hrs until we could steer clear.

 

Halsey's fleet lost three destroyers to capsizing in the same waters, closing days of WW2.

 

I went through several typhoons while stationed on Okinawa with the Army in the 50s, and I would rather be at sea than on land - at least you can steam away from it!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To really appreciate the making of a ship and it's endurance, I have enjoyed the few bridge tours DH and I have taken. We have asked, along with others, many questions of the Captain and crew and really gotten a good look into the dynamics.
How do you ask for a tour?? I sent an email requesting a tour and was turned down..any ideas??

Thanks ryan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

_______________________________________________________________

From my earlier posting _______________________________________________________________

"Small ships can handle storms too.

In 1989 we had the exact same experience during hurricane Hugo. We were on our first cruise out of San Juan, PR aboard the Cunard Countess which is a small 17,500 tons in size. My husband was a navy man on DE's and even he had concerns during the night.

The passengers and half the crew were very seasick so there was an almost empty dining room for the formal night. My husband was alone at his large table. :) We have done 20 more cruises since then and have no fear of a ship not being able to handle storms. "

________________________________________________________________

I get a laugh how quickly people will complain about itinerary changes due to weather. HELLO! If you were flying to Grand Cayman last september your vacation would have been terminated because your five star resort is trashed but a cruise ship is still there for you. It's amazing how people don't see this. Schedule bedamned if I get "stuck at sea" because of a storm I'm happy. The homefront will always be there (providing the storm doesn't hit there LOL) waiting for us and we certainly know how to use a telephone. Additional sea days, food, entertainment at no extra cost and people are complaining and want credit? That's insane.

 

Ok sorry for rambling on but this time of the year brings this subject to the surface yet again...

 

Cheers,

 

Norman

________________________________________________________________

Oh how true that is.

For me to go into detail on our hurricane Hugo cruise is all fact.

The Captain announced that we would sail and try to outrun the storm that was coming. We would try to stay out of the way and far enough from it. The next morning was sunny and beautiful and we thought great!

Then it hit. We sailed around out in the Caribbean for days and most of the islands and ports were so damaged that no one could let us dock. I finally was able to call my family and let them know that we had indeed survived a frightening adventure. it cost me 90+ dollars in those days for 3 minutes to reach them by satelite.

We were finally allowed to come into St. Thomas. The natives came down to the dock and shown their car headlights for us to see where to dock. To see a banana truck pull up and load some fruit was wonderful. There were no lights and no power anywhere on the island. The site that we saw was total destruction everywhere. Vacationers in the hotels were waving white flags from their place asking for help. There was no way off of the island for them. There were a tremendous amount of passengers from another cruise line who's ship put them off on the island and sailed out to sea to better handle the hurricane without the passengers.

We were allowed to get off the ship and only walk around by the Havenstraw mall shops. We were warned that we could not go anywhere else. There was a door to a shop with a sign on it that read. I am unlocked, please do not break the door to get in. That was because the looting was so bad.

There was a lady in one of the shops whom we stopped to talk to. Her livingroom and part of her house had slid down the mountain overnight. But, there she was trying to get on with her normal day.

We were running out of water by now and were asked to kindly conserve it, by just brushing our teeth and etc. Arriving in San Juan we were put off the ship and driven to the airport. That was a horrow story in itself with thousands of people stranded there for the better part of a week with no electric, no food, no water, and no toilets. It was by far the worst stench and sight I had seen. The first American airlines plane allowed to land in Puerto Rico was ours. It flew down to get a lot of us from the cruise off the island. I felt quilty getting on that plane because there were whole families there with babies and small children with no facilities or diapers, food, water who were just sitting and waiting for a plane to get them home.

The pilot boarded us and told us we would be sitting on the plane for a long time, but at least that way we had a bathroom. We sat out on the runway for a very long time waiting to take off. The crew brought cheese and crackers down from the US for food because in San Juan, there was none to put on board for meals.

I realize this was long, but when I hear people complain about changing course, they should be thankful that they have food and water and all the luxury of their cruiseship.

After what I saw that time, I don't care where they take me. I saw the worst of what a storm can do and I realize that the Captain is the final say in where his ship goes. I must add for the defense of our Captain. He sailed with us from San Juan because we knew it was going to hit there full force the next day. He was trying to keep us safe by sailing. The storm just was larger than predicted.

He didn't get to be a Captain by putting his passengers in "Harms Way."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • Q&A: Princess Cruises - Medallion Masters!
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...