10 Days In Darkness: Woman Describes Cruise Where Passengers Were ‘Prepared For Pirate Attack’
What was supposed to be a luxury cruise to exotic locales turned into 10 days in darkness as there was the threat of pirates attacking the massive ship. Carolyne Jasinski, one of the 1,900 passengers aboard the Sea Princess, revealed the frightening saga of Somali pirates possibly attacking the cruise ship at any moment. The 856-foot Sea Princess departed from Sydney, Australia for a 104-day world cruise in May and finishes in September, but the modern vessel was transformed into a “ghost ship” while traveling.
Passengers were forced to a dusk-till-dawn blackout by the captain because of the threat of pirates in the area. The blackout happened for ten days as the ship traveled across the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Aden, and the Suez Canal. Captain Gennaro Arma informed the passengers the threat was real and the ship “must be prepared for a pirate attack.” The captain set new rules, “No deck parties, no movies under the stars, no late-night outdoor bar hopping or pool dipping.”
“No lights, no party atmosphere, no lapping up tropical breezes on their balconies,” Jasinksi wrote in an article. “All around the ship, as the sun set, all curtains were drawn and all shutters closed. Bright lights, which normally signal the presence of the Sea Princess on the ocean, were dimmed or turned off altogether.” Jasinski added, “She was a ghost ship.”
“It was made very clear on the Sea Princess, very quickly, that this pirate threat was not something to be joked about,” Jasinski wrote in the essay. “Any remaining smirks soon disappeared as the pirate drill alarm sounded and the crew was instructed to move to their designated muster stations.”
Jasinski, who is a media specialist and was a guest speaker on the ship, said the ship played a documentary about piracy on the high seas. The doc revealed that Somali pirates are treacherous in the same seas they were currently traveling in and usually attack large ship. Traveling on small skiffs, the pirates are armed with guns and ladders to board ships. The program explained that when boats are captured they are often brought back to Somali waters and held for typically 4-6 months until a ransom is paid. The passengers, some of which paid a reported $50,000 for the entire cruise, were forced to participate in drills to prepare for a potential pirate attack.
Cruise employees set up water hoses on Deck Seven, which she was told was most vulnerable to an attack and would be used to blast would-be pirates. “If all else failed, there was the sonic boom — we were told it can knock pirates off their feet (or ladders if they get too close),” wrote Jasinski.
“Many calls were made to the bridge to report suspicious boats,” she wrote. “(The captain) had to ask passengers to stop calling and to trust in the officers who were on watch.”
Thankfully for the passengers of Sea Princess, there was no “I’m the captain now” moments.