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Thursday, August 31, 2023

Breaking: Wonder of the Seas Encounters Overboard Incident Amidst Hurricane Reroute

Unfolding Challenges on the Largest Cruise Ship's Journey

In a startling turn of events, the cruise ship Wonder of the Seas, renowned as the largest vessel currently in operation, faced a harrowing incident amidst its voyage. The ship, measuring a staggering 1,188 feet across 18 decks and capable of accommodating nearly 7,000 passengers and 2,300 crew members, encountered an overboard incident on Tuesday evening. This incident adds to a series of overboard events that have recently plagued the cruise industry, shedding light on the critical importance of safety measures at sea.

Overboard Incidents Escalate: The overboard incident aboard Wonder of the Seas marks the sixth such occurrence in the past three months alone. Unfortunately, this incident aligns with a disheartening trend across multiple cruise ships. From the Carnival Magic and Carnival Elation to the Spectrum of the Seas, Emerald Princess, and Mariner of the Seas, passengers falling overboard have become an alarming reality. Disturbingly, the majority of these cases end without successful rescues.

These incidents, though rare, have far-reaching consequences, positioning them as a significant cause of passenger fatalities on cruise ships. Research conducted by Travis Heggie, a professor specializing in health and safety risks in the tourism industry, underscores the severity of these occurrences.

Statistics Spark Debate: Safety Measures in Question: A 2020 study commissioned by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) reveals sobering statistics: on average, approximately 19 individuals fall overboard from cruise ships each year, with merely four of them being successfully rescued. Such low success rates have ignited a debate within the industry about the need for enhanced safety measures, including man-overboard detection systems.

These detection systems, designed to automatically alert crew members when an individual falls overboard, have gained traction as potential lifesaving solutions. However, the discussion encompasses a broader spectrum of safety measures, as CLIA emphasizes that cruise lines deploy a variety of strategies to maintain secure environments on their vessels.

A Heartfelt Plea from the Family: Searching for Answers

In the midst of the unfolding events surrounding the overboard incident on the Wonder of the Seas, a poignant plea emerged from the depths of a family's despair. Savannah Ropich, accompanied by Maylanie Simina and several others, took to Facebook to share their heart-wrenching plea, transcending the digital realm to touch the hearts of all those who encountered it.

The post, addressed to everyone who would listen, bore an urgent request: "EVERYONE PLEASE SHARE ‼️ So they don't stop the search!!!!" The family, grappling with the unimaginable, implored for collective support to keep the search efforts alive. In a time of desperation, they turned to social media as a lifeline, amplifying their voice in the hope of finding any piece of information that could lead to answers.

Their words cut through the digital noise, identifying their brother, Sigmund Ropich, as the individual who had gone overboard. Their message became a rallying cry, urging anyone aboard the ship or with knowledge of the situation to come forward with updates. The emotional plea underlined the gravity of the situation and emphasized the urgency of keeping the search going.

The emotional intensity of their message was palpable, capturing the essence of their bond as a family. Describing Sigmund as their "boiboi" and "mwaneichi," their words painted a picture of a young life full of potential, now suspended in uncertainty. Their desperation echoed through their plea, a heartfelt cry to the universe, "PLEASE LORD!!!! PLEASE PLEASE IF ANYONE KNOWS ANYTHING PLEASE SHARE THIS!!!"

The family's plea for empathy did not go unnoticed. Savannah Ropich preemptively addressed the potentially insensitive comments, asking for respect and understanding in their time of pain. They were keenly aware of the limitations of time and the reality that the search efforts might be curtailed. Their plea bore the weight of their desire to bring Sigmund home, to reunite with their beloved family member and grant him the chance to experience life.

In the midst of tragedy, their plea reverberated far beyond the confines of social media. It was a stark reminder that behind every news story, every maritime incident, there are lives intertwined with profound emotion. The family's plea transcended digital platforms, reaching out to everyone willing to lend an ear and urging unity in the face of despair.

Passenger Insights: Eyewitness Accounts from Aboard the Wonder of the Seas

As news of the distressing "man overboard" incident aboard the Wonder of the Seas spread, passengers onboard during that fateful evening were quick to share their firsthand experiences. The events of the evening left an indelible impact on those who bore witness to the unfolding situation.

One passenger, who was among the first to alert the world to the incident, recounted receiving a message from another cruise-goer at 8:47 p.m., just moments after an "Oscar, Oscar, Oscar" announcement reverberated through the ship's PA system. This announcement, recognized as the maritime signal for a man overboard situation, immediately set off a chain of events that would ripple throughout the ship's corridors and cabins.

Cruise Radio's Doug Parker, a seasoned blogger, wasted no time in bringing the situation to light. A fellow passenger who goes by the moniker "Cabana Girl" shared her experience on the Cruise Critic message board. Her post conveyed the gravity of the situation, relaying that a crew member had informed her that it might have been a child who had gone overboard. Her words captured the somber atmosphere aboard the ship as spotlights pierced the night, and a rescue boat scoured the waters in search of the missing individual. The heartbreak that this potential tragedy imposed on the passengers was palpable in her words.

Another passenger's account provided a timeline for the unfolding events. The ship's captain reportedly made the announcement of the man overboard at approximately 8:00 p.m., plunging the ship and its occupants into a state of shock and concern. Witnesses reported the deployment of a rescue boat, testament to the swift and coordinated response of the ship's crew. However, the search, already burdened by the darkness of the night and the challenges of the sea, was further interrupted by an unrelated medical emergency. The Wonder of the Seas, already navigating the complexities of Hurricane Idalia's path, made the difficult decision to redirect its course to tend to the medical needs of a fellow passenger in distress.

The ordeal left an emotional imprint on passengers like the one who shared a personal account of filming the search efforts. With a mix of hope and dread, they captured the sight of the small boat combing the water, hoping to spot any sign of the missing person. The ship's altered itinerary, necessitated by the hurricane, was further disrupted by these unforeseen emergencies. The collective sentiment on board transitioned from a desire for tropical escapes to a shared concern for the safety and well-being of all passengers.

As the Wonder of the Seas continued its journey, these narratives serve as a reminder of the unpredictability of maritime travel and the unwavering spirit of passengers and crew alike in the face of adversity. The night's events left an indelible mark on those who were there, uniting them in a shared experience of uncertainty, empathy, and resilience.

Commitment to Safety Remains:

CLIA's spokesperson asserts the cruise industry's unwavering dedication to safety and security. The industry deploys an arsenal of preventative measures, ranging from physical barriers around external decks and balconies to advanced video surveillance systems in public areas. Trained crew members ready to respond rapidly to emergencies are key components of these safety protocols.

Conclusion: Navigating Turbulent Waters with Vigilance:

The incident aboard Wonder of the Seas underscores the complex landscape of maritime travel, where the allure of adventure coexists with unforeseen challenges. As this incident takes center stage alongside a series of similar occurrences, the industry finds itself at a crossroads, debating the implementation of advanced safety technologies. In the face of adversity, the Wonder of the Seas and its counterparts serve as reminders that safety must remain paramount in the pursuit of unforgettable maritime journeys.

Planning to go on a cruise in the future? Check out our favorite cruise essentials that will make your cruising life easier! 

This water bottle tote is one of our favorite cruise items! It has an antitheft pocket for protecting your essentials on shore!

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Oil Spill and Potential Environmental Impact of Norwegian Epic Cruise Ship Oil Spill in Split Croatia Port

The idyllic coastal town of Split, Croatia, known for its stunning coastline and historic charm, was faced with a potential environmental crisis as oily bilgewater spilled into the sea and onto the coast from the luxury cruise ship "Norwegian Epic." However, thanks to the rapid response of the ship's crew and a specialized company, the incident was promptly contained, averting any lasting environmental consequences.

The Unfortunate Incident: The incident unfolded during the pumping out of oily bilgewater from the Norwegian Epic while it was docked at the outer berth of the Port of Split. Unfortunately, a pipe rupture occurred at the junction of the ship's pipe and the tank, causing the oily water to spill into the sea and onto a section of the coastline. The breakage, positioned above sea level, led to the unintended release of the oily substance.

Immediate Intervention: The quick response of the ship's crew and the involvement of a specialized company played a pivotal role in managing the spill. Recognizing the urgency of the situation, the crew and company personnel swiftly worked to rectify the rupture and prevent further leakage. Absorbent dams were installed to impede the spread of the spill, ensuring that the pollution did not extend to a larger area of the sea and coastline.

Minimizing Environmental Impact: Despite the spill's potential to wreak havoc on the pristine coastal ecosystem, the collaborative efforts of those involved managed to significantly mitigate its impact. The Ministry of the Sea, Transport, and Infrastructure revealed that the oil spill was contained within a relatively small area due to the effective intervention strategies employed. This timely action minimized the risk of damage to local marine life and habitats.

Expert Evaluation: Zvonimir Perkusic, the inspector for safety and environmental protection of Split City Port, provided assurance that the spill was not of a major magnitude. He emphasized that the rapid removal of the spilled oil from both the sea and the shore prevented any enduring environmental consequences. This immediate response helped to restore the affected area to its previous state.

This water bottle tote is one of our favorite cruise items! It has an antitheft pocket for protecting your essentials on shore!


The Norwegian Epic: A Floating Luxury Resort: The Norwegian Epic, a jewel of the seas, is a testament to modern maritime engineering and luxury. Boasting a capacity to accommodate over 4,000 passengers, the ship offers a wide array of amenities, including multiple dining options, entertainment venues, and even an aqua park. With its impressive size and top-notch facilities, the ship is a testament to the heights of travel comfort and luxury.

Split, Croatia: Where History Meets Coastal Beauty: Nestled along the scenic Dalmatian Coast, Split is a city that harmoniously blends history, culture, and natural beauty. Diocletian's Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage site, stands as a testament to the city's rich past. The palace's ancient walls serve as a backdrop to a bustling modern city, with narrow streets filled with shops, restaurants, and vibrant markets.

Split as a Premier Cruise Destination: Split's unique blend of historical significance and coastal allure has made it a popular destination for cruise travelers. The city's strategic location offers a gateway to exploring the stunning Adriatic coastline and nearby islands. Cruisers disembark into a world where they can explore ancient ruins, walk along picturesque promenades, and immerse themselves in a rich cultural tapestry.

Planning to go on a cruise in the future? Check out our favorite cruise essentials that will make your cruising life easier! 


The incident involving the oily bilgewater spill from the cruise ship Norwegian Epic serves as a reminder of the potential risks associated with maritime activities. However, the outcome of this event highlights the importance of preparedness and specialized intervention. Thanks to the prompt actions of the ship's crew and the specialized company, the potential environmental impact was minimized. The incident stands as a testament to the effectiveness of rapid response strategies in averting ecological disasters and safeguarding our precious coastal ecosystems.

Monday, August 28, 2023

Video: Unexpected Storm: P&O Britannia's Harrowing Experience in Palma de Mallorca

When we think of cruise vacations, images of relaxation, exquisite dining, and stunning destinations usually come to mind. However, the recent incident involving the P&O Cruises ship Britannia serves as a reminder that Mother Nature can sometimes disrupt even the most meticulously planned journeys. See the update below what P&O's response has been from a damaged lifeboat and to compensate passengers.

The Storm and the Unforeseen Incident

On the morning of August 27, 2023, a sudden and powerful storm struck Palma de Mallorca, Spain. The storm brought heavy rain, high winds, and even hail to the area, creating challenging conditions for both residents and visitors. Among those impacted was the P&O Britannia, which was docked at the pier in Palma de Mallorca.

As the storm intensified, the cruise ship unexpectedly broke free from its mooring lines and began drifting away from the pier. Despite the best efforts of the ship's crew, the Britannia collided with a nearby tanker vessel named Castillo de Arteaga. Both ships sustained minor damage, including scrapes, scuffs, and bent railings. The collision also led to some damage to one of Britannia's lifeboats and debris in the water.

Safety Measures and Impact

Responding swiftly to the situation, the ship's captain instructed all guests to remain in their staterooms. Fortunately, despite the collision and the storm's severity, the ship's structure and safety were not compromised. Damage was reported primarily on Deck 5, and no significant injuries occurred among passengers or crew.

After the incident, Britannia anchored offshore for several hours to wait for the storm to pass and ensure safe docking. With the assistance of tugboats, the ship was later able to dock once again, allowing guests to return on board after their shore excursions. The crew's efficient response and adherence to safety protocols helped prevent a more serious outcome. This event comes as other ports in Spain are starting to regulate cruise ship docking.

Passenger Perspective: A Firsthand Account of the Britannia Incident

In the midst of the unexpected storm that struck Palma de Mallorca on August 27, passengers aboard the P&O Britannia found themselves in a situation that no one could have anticipated. One of those passengers, Ricky Stubbs, shared his harrowing experience, shedding light on the chaos and the remarkable response from both fellow passengers and the ship's crew.

A Sudden Turn of Events

Ricky Stubbs and his children were moments away from disembarking the Britannia when the unexpected occurred. He recalled, "We were at the stairwell next to the sunset bar. A loud crash came from the bar and the door flung open with people running in. Within seconds there was more crashing followed by chaos as people were trying to escape the onslaught of wind and rain."

The abruptness of the storm's impact caught everyone off guard. Stubbs vividly described the scene of panic and confusion as passengers sought refuge from the wind and rain, and some suffered minor injuries from falling debris or tripping over. The suddenness of the situation left people both frightened and distraught.

Calm Amidst Chaos

In the midst of the turmoil, Stubbs highlighted the efforts of both fellow guests and the ship's staff. He shared, "People were being ushered in by other guests and staff. You could clearly see some had injuries due to either falling over or debris flying around, and people were distraught."

However, amidst the chaos, he noted the impressive composure demonstrated by the ship's crew. He added, "A couple of minutes later the captain came over the speaker asking all guests to return to their rooms until further instructions." This quick response from the captain not only ensured the safety of the passengers but also kept them informed about the situation.

Admiration for the Crew

Ricky Stubbs extended his admiration for the ship's crew, particularly the captain, for their professionalism and leadership during the crisis. He expressed, "Huge respect for the captain and all the staff as they managed to stay calm and keep everyone updated. The captain made announcements every 10-15 minutes once we were back in our cabins, and they did a great job in a stressful situation."

Stubbs' account of the incident sheds light on the crucial role that well-trained and composed crew members play in maintaining order and ensuring the safety of passengers during unexpected events. Their ability to provide timely updates and guidance in the face of adversity helped alleviate the tension and uncertainty that naturally arises in such situations.

A Reminder of Resilience

As the P&O Britannia's passengers and crew navigate the aftermath of this incident, Ricky Stubbs' firsthand account stands as a testament to the resilience of both human beings and the cruise industry. Despite the unexpected challenges presented by the storm, passengers and crew worked together to ensure safety, and the experience showcased the importance of staying composed in the face of adversity.

In the end, this incident serves as a powerful reminder that travel, even on luxurious cruise ships, can be met with unforeseen challenges. It underscores the importance of preparedness, flexibility, and the unwavering commitment to safety that guides both passengers and crew through unexpected circumstances.

Potential Itinerary Changes

The incident occurred during Britannia's ongoing 14-night Mediterranean cruise, which departed from Southampton, UK. The ship had visited Cadiz, Cartagena, and Ibiza before its scheduled visit to Palma de Mallorca. Following the incident, it's uncertain whether the ship will need to remain in Palma de Mallorca for repairs, potentially affecting the rest of the cruise's itinerary.

The ship was slated to visit Gibraltar before returning to Southampton on September 1. The extent of the damage and the time required for repairs will likely determine whether the call to Gibraltar will be adjusted, canceled, or proceeded with as planned.

A small group of individuals were also receiving care on the vessel after experiencing minor injuries, as stated by P&O earlier. The captain informed passengers beforehand that there was no structural damage. Russ Dawson, residing in east London, was requested by cruise personnel to disembark earlier on Monday, but he stated that he refused to leave the ship. He recounted, "We received a call to our cabin, instructing us to bring our passports to the reception because we were scheduled to disembark at five o'clock, but I informed them that I wouldn't be departing." He further added, "I assumed people would be asked to leave the ship based on their muster station's proximity to the damaged boat, but that didn't appear to be the situation because it wasn't the case for us."

People on board the ship captured videos and images of the incident, depicting the emergency response and debris floating in the sea. Mr. Dawson was observing the weather from his balcony when the collision occurred, noting that the weather had suddenly turned stormy and the sky had darkened. "I noticed this boat beginning to turn around, and I thought, 'It's going to collide with us'," he recounted. "There was a loud bang upon impact, followed by screams, shouts, and panic." Mr. Dawson mentioned that P&O had extended a 20% discount on his next cruise as a goodwill gesture, although he felt it fell far short of compensating for the situation.

Safety First: Lessons from Recent Incidents

While cruise ships are designed to withstand a variety of weather conditions, incidents like the one involving Britannia serve as a reminder that unforeseen events can still occur. Recent incidents involving other cruise ships breaking free from their moorings underscore the importance of vigilant monitoring and prompt action in response to adverse weather conditions.

In recent times, several cruise ships have faced incidents where they broke free from their moorings due to adverse weather conditions. Here are a few notable instances:

  1. MSC Musica (MSC Cruises): In February 2023, the MSC Musica, operated by MSC Cruises, broke free from its moorings in Brazil during a sudden squall. The ship drifted away from the dock, leading to a temporary evacuation of passengers and causing minor damage to the ship and the terminal.

  2. Queen Mary 2 (Cunard Line): Also in 2023, the Queen Mary 2, a Cunard Line ship, experienced an incident in Civitavecchia, Italy. Strong winds caused the ship to break free from its moorings, leading to the collapse of both forward and aft gangways. The ship was safely secured, and no injuries were reported.

  3. Norwegian Prima (Norwegian Cruise Line): In July 2023, the Norwegian Prima, operated by Norwegian Cruise Line, broke free from its rope moorings while docked in Zeebrugge, Belgium. The ship lost gangways in the incident, and crew members worked quickly to stabilize the situation.

These incidents underscore the importance of cruise ship crews and port authorities closely monitoring weather conditions and taking necessary precautions to prevent accidents when adverse weather strikes.


The P&O Britannia's recent encounter with a sudden storm and subsequent collision is a testament to the unpredictable nature of travel, even in the realm of luxury cruise vacations. It also highlights the resilience and preparedness of both the crew and the ship itself when faced with unexpected challenges. As the cruise industry continues to prioritize passenger safety, incidents like this one serve as valuable reminders of the importance of flexibility and adaptability in the face of changing circumstances.