Thursday’s winter storm was tough to take around the Tri-State Area, but imagine being in the thick of it on a cruise ship in the Atlantic Ocean.
For 21 members of the Ross family, of Stony Brook, it was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime – cruising to the Bahamas for their patriarch’s 80th birthday. Instead, they returned Friday after what they called a nightmare onboard the Norwegian Breakaway.
“I thought I’d never be in a situation where I would say that’s the scariest moment of my life. This was the worst moment of my life,” said Karoline Ross, speaking exclusively with CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff.
Water poured from the ceiling, as the ship began leaking. Passengers described panic and seasickness on social media. Dozens huddled in the ship’s atrium to sleep.
“There were people crying, everyone was throwing up. it was a nightmare,” said Olivia Ross. “It was so tilted I was shaking.”
The family said there was broken glass everywhere and the showers were exploding.
“I’m completely traumatized. I’ll never go on any type of boat again in my life after this,” fellow passenger Emma Franzese told CBS2’s Andrea Grymes once the ship docked.
“I was holding on for dear life. I honestly wasn’t sure we were going to make it through the night. The boat was tilted like crazy,” said passenger Conor Vogt.
“Everything fell off our shelf, glasses broke in the middle of the night. There was no announcement made,” passenger Luisa Franzese said.
CBS2 asked Norwegian Cruise Line why the decision was made to sail back to New York in the middle of what was forecast to be a monster coastal storm.
The cruise line initially released a statement, apologizing to travellers that were delayed for the company’s next embarkment, but made no mention of those who weathered the storm.