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Florida Cruises Battered by Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy began hammering the eastern coast of the United States in late October. The storm hit states such as Florida, New York, and New Jersey with heavy winds and torrential rainfall. While the lands under the storm flooded and ripped apart, sea-bound vessels, such as cruise ships, rocked and wavered, injuring some and causing millions of dollars worth of damage.

Dozens of cruise ship lines shut down their services across the Atlantic Coast in preparation for the storm. Among the cruise lines affected were Carnival Cruises, Disney Cruises, and the Princess Cruise Line. The cancellations resulted in major profit loss for their respective companies, but the cost was well worth warding off disaster.

Not all cruise ships were able to make dock before the storm struck. The Disney cruise ship Fantasy was unable to return to port before it was caught up in the storm’s turbulent waves. The Disney Princess was launched in March 2012. The ship cost a reported 900 million dollars to build. It weighs in at nearly 130,000 tons and is an estimated 340 meters long. On October 26th, the hurricane began battering the ship while it was still at sea. The ship’s captain ordered passengers to their cabins and told them to secure themselves. Furniture in the ship undulated with the violent waves, sliding back and forth across open rooms. Pools on the ships’ deck spilled water, which flooded some of the ship’s inner compartments.

After experiencing significant damage, the Fantasy docked at Port Canaveral in Florida. The cruise line is still estimating the cost of the damages incurred during the storm. It was not immediately clear if anyone was injured aboard the liner. Passengers who were aboard the ship were given a discount of their next cruise for the rough time they experienced, and some have spoken out about what it was like to be aboard the ship during the storm.

Further south in the Bahamas, Norwegian Cruise Line apparently experienced damage to a number of vessels and seaside structures during Hurricane Sandy. The storm decimated one island resort identified as Princess Cay. “Due to Hurricane Sandy, Princess Cays has experienced extensive beach erosion, some downed trees and roof damage. The end of the observation pier was also lost,” a spokesperson from the organization said. Luckily, it does not appear as though any tourists were injured at Princess Cay.

Another island, owned by Holland America, also sustained some damages. The island known as Half Moon Cay had some of its structures damaged and the beaches were somewhat eroded. Countless other seaside resorts and cruise lines were also adversely affected.

Norwegian Cruise Lines has received sharp criticism regarding the way they handled cancellations during the storm. Some customers are upset because the company reportedly cut their vacation short by four days without giving them the option to cancel. The company says it will not offer a monetary refund, but will pay the customers back with credit towards expenses for future cruise trips. “I cannot overstate how unhappy I am with the process and how unprofessional the line is handling the situation,” on upset customer said. It is not clear whether Norwegian Cruise Lines will be facing any legal action.

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