The nightmare of a massive storm at sea

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It was almost impossible to to stand up and very hard to even eat. The huge waves were shaking the ship from one side to the other. The storm was so massive that many crew were afraid and to be honest, at some point I thought we will end up in a lifeboat in the middle of the freezing winter sea.

How this happened? Let me tell you the story. We were docked in north Germany and supposed to stay there for other six weeks until the official delivery of the new cruise ship from the yard company to the cruise line. That week we were only 500 crew and expecting a large number of crew to arrive. This mega ship needs 1,600 crew to operate normally. It was never in the plan to leave the port until we heard a mega storm was approaching the north of Europe.

Suddenly, the gangways were closed, nobody could get off the ship. The big notice: we were going to sail in a couple of hours. You could see the surprise faces of the crew members, but we were fine with it. Hopefully we would move to a safer area instead of staying in the port. With the big waves, the ship would have suffered major damages.

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Minutes after noon, the ship sailed from Bremerhaven, Germany. Almost immediately it started to rain and the waves increased from tiny ones to big ones and you could see the strong winds blowing outside the windows. But, less say we were still ok. Just a few hours were necessary to transform the atmosphere to a concerning scenario. In my office in deck four things start to roll from one side to the other. Chairs end up in the opposite side, papers all over the floor and it was very hard to maintain the equilibrium to work.

Dinner was the worst, we had to go up to deck fifteen. First, we saw a little snow, but very little, not enough to take a nice picture. It was so difficult to walk in the buffet, because the sea was so rough that the ship was leaning too much. Of course, we all experienced “sailors” tried to remain calm in the middle of this massive storm. I have been working in ships for four years and this was the worst storm for me. During dinner, we had to hold the plates with our hands, because they were moving from one side to the other of the table. One of my friends had soup, but a big wave made the soup plate to just fly and spill over the table. Constant big waves were impacting the ship. Plates in the galley ended up in the floor and you can hear the noise of things coming down. This was becoming a nightmare and people were getting more nervous.

Strong winds on the open decks

Strong winds on the open decks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We came back to the office in deck four, this time via the stairs because the elevators were not working as precaution. In the office our bottles of water were all over the floor. This storm was getting worse, I can not imagine what would had happened if we had to stay in the port. We decided to secure our office, we taped the computers to the desk and put inside drawers everything that could fly. The strength of the sea remained the same, but not as bad as it was in the deck fifteen during dinner. That night, I was able to sleep without problem, because to be honest, I can sleep like a baby, I am used to do that in trains, planes, cars. But from my colleagues, one of them could not sleep all night because of the movement and the noise from the big waves hitting the ship.

 

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Working in the ship is an adventure, but is not always nice, for example when you have storms or accidents. This could be a perfect world without traffic, free food, shows, peace, orange sunsets, but sometimes is just like the normal life, you have good days and you have other you want never to be repeated. This was one of them.

 

Luckily, this new cruise ship of 144,000 tons survived this gigantic storm. Have you experienced a great storm? What do you feel about the huge power of nature?

 

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10 comments

  • Office on Deck 4- okay what is your job on board ship? Is Captain Rune still on board? Take everyone that everyone fared well except being a little sea sick and having a very restless night.
    I will be boarding as a passenger on the 16th of January in Southampton. I live in the Pacific Northwest of the United States.
    Stay safe and see you soon.

    • I work in the Finance department. Captain Rune is on board :), it was a very rocky night, but we are back in Germany. See you in the ship for the inaugural transatlanctic voyage. Have a great day!

  • Awesome blog David. Very interesting to see what the crew go through. I am sailing in February can’t wait. Send my regards to Klaus and Sean and Denis and Arvin and Rashida and Fritzie and the gang. Ha ha
    Keep writing I love reading your blog

    • Thank you for your nice comments Suzanne, I appreciate them. You have been very supportive with my site overe here and also in Facebook. I will give your regards to the team. I will keep updating as much as possible. Have a great day and see you in February :)

  • Thank you for taking care of the Getaway for all of us who are anxiously awaiting her! I will be on the Feb. 22 sailing from Miami with friends and cannot wait! :)

    • Great Clinton! She will be so ready for the Miami trips! Because winter holidays are coming and ship is almost ready so contractors can go on vacations. I am sure you and your friends will enjoy the cruise!

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  • what a great blog david! I hope I never experience a bad storm like that while on a ship. That is the only part that worries me about cruising. I dont like turbulence on planes either! thanks for giving us a behind the scenes look at working on a cruise ship!! I give all of you a lot of credit for dealing with life on a ship and some of the guests! ;-)

    • Hello Vinny, that storm was the worst one I have experienced in 4 years working in ships. Thanks for the comment, more posts to come with the behind the scenes about working and living in a cruise ship. Best regards.

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