CruiseNewsCruise Ship Passengers Receive Warning About Pirates

Cruise Ship Passengers Receive Warning About Pirates

Passengers on Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas have received a letter from the captain warning them of the possibility of a pirate attack as the cruise ship sails through the Gulf of Aden.

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Mariner of the Seas has finished its season in Singapore and is now sailing its final two cruises before a massive remodel.  After the cruise ship receives a multi-million dollar makeover, the vessel will begin sailing three and four night cruises to the Bahamas from PortMiami.

Before the ship heads to dry dock, it has to make its way through the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea.  Since the Gulf of Aden is known for pirates, the cruise ship will take on extra safety precautions.  The Gulf of Aden is located between Yemen and Somalia.

The outer decks of the ship will be closed from sunset to sunrise between April 24-27, 2018. The upper decks will be open during the day. Several of the external lights will be turned off to improve visibility for the crew. Passengers will be asked to keep their curtains closed and balcony lights off.  Crew members will be positioned around the ship as lookouts.

During the ship’s transit of the Gulf of Aden, the ship will likely encounter many small fishing boats.  If any of the boats sail in the direction of the cruise ship, the ship will change its course, or will weave from side to side to discourage them from getting too close.

The letter goes on to say that in the unlikely event of a pirate attack, passengers will be asked to move away from the sides of the ship.  Guests in inside cabins can stay where they are and those in oceanview or balconies will be asked to move to the center of the ship.  The ship is using the code word “Safe Haven” if these actions are necessary.

At 10:30 am on April 24, the ship will conduct a test drill for all guests and crew members.

Captain Arild Hansen of Mariner of the Seas concluded the letter saying that the safety of the guests and crew members are his highest priority.  He said the crew members are capable of handling any situation that might arise. You can read the full letter below:

This is not the first time that a cruise ship has added extra safety protocols when sailing through this region. Last year, a cruise ship from Princess Cruises added similar measures when sailing through the Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, and the Suez Canal.

The first 10 days of their 104 day world cruise were under strict rules at sunset.

Also, other Royal Caribbean cruise ships and vessels from sister cruise line Azamara Club Cruises have passed through this region without incident.

It is worth nothing that pirate attacks on cruise ships are extremely rare.  The most notable attack took place 10 years ago when the Nautica cruise ship was fired on by two pirate boats.  The ship increased its speed and was able to move to safety.

Photo Credit: Rolf H. via Wiki Creative Commons 2.0

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Ben Souza
Ben Souza
Ben is a world traveler who has visited 40+ countries, taken over 70 cruises. He is one of USA TODAY's experts for their 10Best Readers' Choice Awards. His writings have appeared and been cited in various media outlets such as Yahoo News, MSN, NPR, CNN, Fox, and ABC News. Ben currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio. Follow Ben on Instagram. Visit Ben Souza on Linkedin. You may email Ben at [email protected].
CruiseNewsCruise Ship Passengers Receive Warning About Pirates


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