Norwegian Breakaway Sails Through Rough Winter Storm Grayson

Norwegian Breakaway Sails Through Rough Winter Storm Grayson
Norwegian Breakaway Sails Through Rough Winter Storm Grayson
Winter Storm Grayson Slams East Coast Cruise Ports January 4
Winter Storm Grayson Slams East Coast Cruise Ports

On Friday, December 29, 2017, Norwegian Cruise Lines cruise ship Norwegian Breakaway departed New York City for a seven-night Bahamas cruise with calls at Ft. Lauderdale, Florida; Nassau, Bahamas and Great Stirrup Cay Bahamas,  before a scheduled return to New York on Friday, January 5. Days prior to  the cruise ship returning to New York, Winter Storm Grayson (see 9 video playlist below) developed in the Atlantic ocean.

On January 4, 2017, with estimated 30-foot-high seas, the cruise ship was tossed.  This was not an unexpected event. We reported on Winter Storm Grayson on January 3 at 0900 hours, before the north Atlantic high seas peaked. In that article, (seen with “Low Explosively Strengthens Off Northeast Coast” image), we warned, “Winter Storm Grayson is expected to affect travel to and from quite a few port cities in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Maine and north into Canada.”

Nine hours after we posted about the forecast storm, Norwegian Cruise Line posted on their website on January 4,Weather Update – Winter Storm Grayson. Winter Storm Grayson – January 4, 2018 at 4:00 PM ET (8:00 PM UTC). Due to winter storm Grayson, Norwegian Breakaway will have a delayed arrival into New York today. As a result, Norwegian Breakaway’s 14 day cruise that was originally scheduled to depart on January 5, will now depart on Saturday, January 6, at 3 p.m. Due to the ship’s late arrival today, and the ongoing weather situation, embarking guests are encouraged to arrive to the pier on Saturday morning. All guests must be onboard by 1 p.m. on January 6. Guests unable to adjust their travel are welcome to board on Friday evening between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. The ship will now sail a slightly adjusted itinerary, which will be communicated to guests onboard. All guests will receive a refund of one day of their cruise fare, in the form of an onboard credit. We sincerely thank our guests for their understanding of this unexpected change due to the weather and apologize to our guests for any disruption to their schedule,”

There is no mention of the fact that Norwegian Breakaway was damaged in the storm until a later post, “During the early morning hours of January 4, Norwegian Breakaway encountered stronger than forecasted weather conditions due to winter storm Grayson during the trip’s return to New York from the Bahamas. All guests and crew are safe. We sincerely apologize to our guests for these stronger than expected weather conditions and any resulting discomfort they may have experienced,”

The statement “stronger than forecasted weather conditions due to winter storm Grayson”, was simply untrue, as our  January 3 post indicated. The Norwegian Breakaway captain had choices, and he made the choice to sail into forecasted rough seas. Not only that, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Buoy Center Cams document the wave heights and show recent data collected from those Buoy Cams. As well, our Cruise Ship Weather Atlantic Wave Heights fed by NOAA,  forecasts current and 180 hour projections. This weather at sea was forecast by U.S. government authorities.

A cruise ship passenger aboard during the storm posted a video (see video below) of the scene aboard, “Went on a 7 day cruise leaving from NYC on The Norwegian Breakaway. We hit a storm as of January 5th on the way back To NY. The ship swayed all night and reached a constant tipping point of 15 degrees. Some cabins were flooded. The captain knew about the storm we were heading into but still decided to face it, which resulted in lots of damage to the ship.”

This was not the first time Norwegian Breakaway encountered rough seas. A YouTube video (see video playlist below), ‘Titled Norwegian breakaway 42.7 ft waves’ published on Aug 21, 2014, is described as “Morning of march 9 , 2014 we had 42.7ft waves. Security officer was mad at me and wanted me to get inside.” Another posted on October 24, 2016 titled, ” NCL Breakaway Oct 22, 2016. From Bermuda heading back to NYC” documents rough seas. Still another video documents a history of rough seas sailing. It was published on Feb 24, 2016, titled” A Hurricane over the Norwegian Breakaway: we are together praying for a good end!”

This incident reminds us of this article we wrote, ” On September 4, 2016, Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas was caught in Tropical Storm Hermine. The cruise ship was battered by high seas and winds which reached 120 mph.  Tropical storm watches and warnings were in effect from Virginia to Massachusetts, with special concern focused on New Jersey and Delaware.

At the time there were National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Hurricane Center warnings issued for Hurricane Hermine in the Atlantic ocean. We followed this hurricane live in real time, as we do all tropical storms and hurricanes on our Cruise Ship Weather website.”

In response to our article, Royal Caribbean sent us a video, “I loved the article on your site about cruise ship weather, – I thought you might be interested in our newest video today, “Keeping an Eye on the Radar: Royal Caribbean Signs on First Chief Meteorologist.” Casting a watchful eye on the world’s weather around the clock is a tall order, and James Van Fleet is the meteorologist for the job – the first of its kind in the cruise industry. Royal Caribbean’s Chief Meteorologist develops forecasts for the cruise line’s fleet of 24 ships. With his guidance, captains have the added support to continue making informed decisions and delivering the best possible vacation experience for the cruise line’s guests.”

Looks like it is time for Norwegian Cruise Lines to hire their First Chief Meteorologist, because a class action lawsuit is almost guaranteed as a result of this fiasco. We will be following any cruise line legal action resulting from Winter Storm Grayson.

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Video: Norwegian Breakaway Storm Video Playlist (9 storm videos)

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