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Rotterdam hits rough seas


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Got an email today (9-25) from someone on the Rotterdam, which is crossing the Atlantic. Said they hit 60 ft. waves and it lasted for 3 hours. They said everything was being thrown around the stateroom...chairs, mattress, etc. Tons of people waiting to see the doctor. I checked the Holland America web site and they don't say anything. The Rotterdam is bypassing the Newfoundland stop and going straight to Halifax. Does anyone have more information on this? Thanks.

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Thank you for your post. I hope no one was seriously injured :( and that HAL makes a statement about the problems soon! Another poster had suggested the Rotterdam was having mechanical difficulties, it would be nice to hear what has really occurred.

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Have made a couple of rough Atlantic crossings - not fun.


Two years ago, on Golden Princess, several windows along Prom Deck shattered, due to ship's flexing, fighting heavy seas.


August 98 was pretty rough off Newfoundland on Royal Princess, but she rides rough water very well - much better than Golden Princess or Maasdam, in my opinion.


Haven't been on Rotterdam, so can't speak to her "ride qualities".

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I am sure that HAL will be posting a note about sea conditions in the Atlantic at any moment. And I'll read it as soon as I have gone through the messages from the airlines about all of their flights that have, are or will be experiencing turbulence!


Come on folks this is the North Atlantic we're taloking about. There is a reason that the area is not flooded with cruise ships. The weather this time of year can be pretty crappy.


I see no reason for HAL or any other line to have to make announcements about sailing conditions on any given day. Rough seas happen and captains do not try to find them.

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Yes it was the Rotterdam that hit some huge waves last coming near the end of August / first part of September ???

I remember seeing those pictures that were posted here - incrediable.

Doubt if HAL will post anything about the Rotterdam htting big waves for 3 hours.

Aren't there some storms out in the Atlantic right now? Ivan spilt in 2 - could that be he making all those waves?

Hope no one got hurt but if they are skipping Newfoundland and going straight to Halifax, sounds like they have some passengers and/or crew who may need medical help.

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Doubt if HAL will post anything about the Rotterdam htting big waves for 3 hours.


Aren't there some storms out in the Atlantic right now?

The remains of Karl are Northwest of the Rotterdam's position and could cause some rough seas. I agree that "rough seas" is hardly call for the line to post advisories. Once that do get to Halifax, I'll bet there are news stories filed - especially if there were injuries or much damage.



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From reading other posts, I guess this is common in the Atlantic. I didn't realize that. And after reading the email from the Rotterdam, I was pretty alarmed. I called HAL and they only said they had a report of the Rotterdam losing power and some injuries. They didn't comment on the rough seas. I also received email from the Rotterdam the day before (9/24), and they said the ship was slowing down a bit because a hurricane was about 300 miles ahead of them.

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I am not surprised to hear of the heavy seas as it looked like Hurricane Karl would be right in the Rotterdam's path on her way to Newfoundland. Really sorry to hear this as I am sure Capt. Fred doesn't need another storm (or worse) like the one we hit last year. I pray that it doesn't do major damage to the ship and also the passengers, but I know that this Captain will do everything in his power to make them safe.

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Yes Captain Fred Eversohn was supposed to be back either August 1 or be joining the ship in Athens.


And yes again RuthC's August 15 2003 was the trip with the horrendous rogue wave (or 2) that was pictured crossing the bow. There were 6 pictures in the group and I don't remember who posted them, it might have been Tom.

We spoke to 6or7 people who were on the ship, in the dining room when it hit.

Ruth has her own great story about this, I'll let her tell it.


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It was lknick who posted a link to the pictures; let's give credit where credit is due! (No cash, however ;) ). I wish I had the info so you could access the link, but I do not.


I do have the pictures, but have no idea how to link them to this thread. If anyone wants to try to explain it (remember, I'm computer challenged), I'll make an attempt.

I can e-mail them.

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gliles, I see what you're referring to, but I don't think that's going to work. I have the pictures in a microsoft word document. I've tried before to copy them and failed miserably in the attempt. I can't even figure out how to get them from my e-mail to the "my documents" portion of this &%$(^%&$##!)*&! computer.


Thanks, anyway, for trying.

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This isn't going to work anyway. A web page is needed so eveyone can see the pictures.

I have them saved someplace on my PC and I will take a look and see if I can find them.


Who out there has a web page?

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Since people were wondering how the Rotterdam was doing....I got another email today (sunday) and wrote that they had cuts & bruises, but was doing OK. He said a passenger said the story was CNN. I haven't seen it myself. He also said, "several of the glass doors on the ship were shattered. All the liquor in the store was dumped out on the floor with broken bottles everywhere. All the windows in the stores had everything dumped out. During the worst time of the storm, they had people sit on the floor and not move." That's all I have for the moment.

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This isn't going to work anyway. A web page is needed so eveyone can see the pictures.

I have them saved someplace on my PC and I will take a look and see if I can find them.


Who out there has a web page?

you can post the pics on clubphoto.com for free and then everyone can look at them

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i did hear that the electric was out for a few hours and at least 15-20 pax's were hurt due to the storm and that it was extremely rough hopefully things have gotten better i ws told this yesterday coming back from a statendam sail to alaska

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Sorry...being a newbie I entered my update on the Rotterdam as a new thread...but this was the thread I found while searching which brought me to this site in the first place! Anyway, here's the link to my thread with updated info or confirmations about the Rotterdam:



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Wednesday, September 29, 2004 The Halifax Herald Limited





Tim Krochak / Staff

Bruised cruise ship passenger Rita D'Alessio and her husband, Augie, speak with a reporter after arriving at Pier 21 in Halifax aboard the MS Rotterdam on Tuesday. The Florida woman suffered injured ribs and facial contusions as the ship sailed into the path of hurricane Karl and was rocked by 20-metre waves off Newfoundland last Friday.


Roughed up on high seas

Passengers bruised, battered as cruise ship sails into hurricane


By BILL POWER / Staff Reporter


Ambulances greeted a luxury cruise ship in Halifax on Tuesday after passengers and crew endured a harrowing encounter with monster waves generated by hurricane Karl in the North Atlantic.


About a dozen passengers were taken to the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre with suspected fractures and severe bruising after MS Rotterdam arrived at Pier 21 early in the day.


One passenger suffered a broken collarbone.


"It was the ultimate water ride," said passenger Sara Songy, as she and husband Mel, from Pennsylvania, recounted the Friday evening run-in with massive waves and wind in a powerless ship.


"We assume it's because we lost power that we could not get out of the path of the oncoming hurricane," Mr. Songy said.


The cruise ship was returning to New York from Greece, via London, when it hit rough water about 900 kilometres east of St. John's, Nfld., which was a scheduled stopover.


The ship was diverted to Halifax.


Various passengers described the increasing severity of the storm and brutal wave action, and the ship's eventual loss of power and control.


"The entire ship was just bouncing around out there. It was unforgettable," said passenger Augie D'Alessio of Florida, who was wheeling his injured wife Rita back to the ship in a wheelchair.


"We will remember this for the rest of our lives."


Mrs. D'Alessio, tossed from her bed in the storm, was hospitalized in Halifax with severe bruising.


She and some other injured passengers returned to the ship to complete the trip to New York.


"It was total darkness," Mrs. D'Alessio said. "It was terrifying."


Her bruise-covered face was evidence of the severity of the storm the ship encountered.


For about 3 1/2 hours, the 233-metre ship - which can carry about 1,300 passengers and 590 crew members - was tossed about unmercifully in the darkness.


Three baby grand pianos, several pieces of furniture and hundreds of glasses and bottles were flung about in the storm-tossed ship before power was restored.


Many passengers were instructed to stay on the floor of several public lounges on the ship.


Others were told to stay in their cabins.


"Windows on the port side were right under the water," said passenger Ed Dunlap, who lives in Pennsylvania.


Mr. Dunlap said there was a general lack of preparedness on the ship as rough waters were approached.


"You see a big grand piano go sliding by . . . you wonder why it was not strapped down."


He said it was frightening when a large lounge at the back of the vessel was evacuated out of fear that water would smash through its massive display windows.


Passenger Florin Vlasache and wife Camelia, from San Francisco, said "it was a pretty sad mess," but they and other passengers indicated they were comfortable getting back on board the ship to complete their trip.


The vessel is owned by Holland America Line.


Engineers with Holland America inspected the ship at Pier 21 in Halifax and cleared it to depart for New York.


Eric Elvejord, communications director for the cruise line, said from Seattle that a complete review of the loss of engine power and the encounter with the hurricane would be conducted.


He said the cruise line is awaiting crew and inspector reports.


"The ship went south to miss the hurricane. Being there (in the storm waters) was not out of the ordinary," he said.


"We know there were some injuries and damaged furniture but no damage to the structure of the ship," he said.


"The problem was the loss of propulsion, which we are investigating."


Peter Bowyer, at the Canadian Hurricane Centre in Dartmouth, said ocean conditions were turbulent Friday when the ship was headed toward Newfoundland.


"I'm wondering what that ship was even doing in that area in the first place," he said.


Hurricane Karl passed about 970 kilometres east of St. John's on Friday afternoon, generating waves "most definitely in the monster category," the hurricane expert said.


Wave heights in the region at that time were averaging about 20 metres.


"Remember, this is an average," Mr. Bowyer said. "Many of the waves would have been much, much bigger than that."


He noted that Karl was the seventh major hurricane this season and was being closely monitored by both the Canadian Hurricane Centre and the National Hurricane Centre in Miami.


The hurricane was rated a Category 1 storm by the time it arrived in the North Atlantic, but wave action is more of a hazard than wind in this region, Mr. Bowyer explained.


"There would have been a lot of pitching and rolling and twisting of the ship." Mr. Bowyer said modern navigational technology and hurricane tracking systems are designed to prevent exactly the sort of ocean trauma the Rotterdam experienced. "This situation could have been much worse," he said.

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