Stranded on a cruise ship....WWYD

Discuss those "what if" or "what would you do" scenarios you've been wondering about.

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Stranded on a cruise ship....WWYD

Post by Nightwing » Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:18 pm

http://gma.yahoo.com/passengers-text-di ... ories.html

Scenario: You are on a cruise ship having a great vacation when an on board fire takes out the engine. You are in the gulf of Mexico, round 4200 on board. Little fresh water, multi-hour lines for food, refrigeration is gone, sewage pumps gone, no air circulation.

"Conditions are getting worse by the hour," passenger Debra Rightmire told ABC News in a text message. "Cabin carpets are wet with urine and water. Toilets are overflowing inside cabins. We are having to sleep in the hallways. Onion and cucumber sandwich last night," she added.

I want ideas of on board preps underutilized, as well as a general wwyd in order to make it comfortably 4-5 more days. This scenario hits a little closer to home for me since I'm planning a Western Bahama cruise for my honeymoon. So these ideas might be put to use if Murphy has anything to say.
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Re: Stranded on a cruise ship....WWYD

Post by DarkandShiny » Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:25 pm

I've been on a dozen or so cruises and now you've got me thinking. With all those people I'm not sure what I'd do or if there is anything too do.

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Re: Stranded on a cruise ship....WWYD

Post by 5711usmc » Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:53 pm

To me this is one of the toughest senerios to deal with. Most people traval very light on this type of vacation so they dont have to deal with a lot of luggage. I go annually on cuises for one of my vacations and love it. Its one place/time I actually don't worry to much. This is great topic and I'd like to see the feed back on this one.
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Re: Stranded on a cruise ship....WWYD

Post by raptor » Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:59 pm

Honestly I do not see this as anything but discomfort. I would ensure I stay hydrated with clean potable water and camp next to a lifeboat. The lifeboat would be my plan B.

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Re: Stranded on a cruise ship....WWYD

Post by majorhavoc » Tue Feb 12, 2013 1:14 pm

raptor wrote:Honestly I do not see this as anything but discomfort. I would ensure I stay hydrated with clean potable water and camp next to a lifeboat. The lifeboat would be my plan B.
Just don't count on the crew helping you out with that plan B.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/1 ... 57403.html

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For the record, I had a great time on the one and only cruise I've ever been on. But this past year or so has not exactly inspired confidence in this industry.

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Re: Stranded on a cruise ship....WWYD

Post by Deenie7 » Tue Feb 12, 2013 1:32 pm

Several hours' wait in lines for food, human waste running on the floors and down walls... lovely! I would start suspecting whether any water was actually potable at that point.

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Re: Stranded on a cruise ship....WWYD

Post by Nightwing » Tue Feb 12, 2013 1:45 pm

They say they should reach shore Thursday. However previously they were told they would be reaching mexico by today. Extend the conditions and say something happens between today and Thursday and it gets pushed back a few days. From an individual stand point what "preps" that are available to you on the cruise ship would you want stocked before this happens. ( I don't know what items you can bring on board)

I just want to have a decent idea so that when I take my honeymoon cruise the only way I'm getting caught with my pants down is if the steward doesn't knock and walks in on me.
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Re: Stranded on a cruise ship....WWYD

Post by majorhavoc » Tue Feb 12, 2013 2:34 pm

Every situation is different of course, but I can't help thinking about what I know of human nature when I read news stories like these.

I get the strong suspicion that if the passengers had the wherewithall, or perhaps more properly the crew had the authority, to properly organize everyone onto some sort of emergency footing, these sorts of situations likely wouldn't be nearly so unpleasant.

But in this day and age cruise ship passengers expect to be treated with obsequious decorum. They see the ship's crewmembers more as bulters, waiters and conceirges than as trained sailors charged with the safe and efficient running of the ship under potentially difficult circumstances.

And the cruise lines expect their crews to treat the passengers with benign servitude, not a firm hand. There's no reason why sewage should be flowing in the hallways and people are scrambling for bits of food. If everyone were put on a strict regimen of when and what lavatories to use, and where and at what time to go for sandwiches and potable water, I bet we wouldn't be seeing quite the horror stories we're getting from these news reports.

The diminshed resources of that ship after the engine fire seemed adequate if only people didn't expect to be able to flush their toilets in every stateroom and expect to be seated for a multi-course meal thrice daily.
Last edited by majorhavoc on Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Stranded on a cruise ship....WWYD

Post by Zxc » Tue Feb 12, 2013 3:11 pm

Disclaimers:
I have never taken a cruise, using my experience of items found in a hotel room
I have never done what I am proposing and have no idea if it would work

Scenario assumptions:
You have access to a balcony
You have a ice bucket or other approx 1 gallon container


What about creating a solar distiller on your balcony using a plastic bag and duct tape? Use the bucket and para cord to lower the bucket and get salt water, use the solar distiller and get fresh water. Treat freshwater with iodine tabs and viola, additional potable water??

In terms of general prep, if I were to take a cruise to somewhere warm I would take a small backpack/camelback for excursions. Para cord could be brought along in case your luggage zippers break and iodine tabs seem small enough.

Just a couple ideas.

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Re: Stranded on a cruise ship....WWYD

Post by Alaskancouple » Tue Feb 12, 2013 3:20 pm

First and foremost!! : How much booze is left onboard...i'm gonna need A LOT of Margaritas, Mai Thais and most importantly, MOJITOS!

Secondly: Have you ever seen that episode of Malcolm in the middle where Rheese (the bullying, devious older brother) hordes and then bargains from nothing to the king of the gymnasium while trapped in a school with the town after a train wreck/chem spill? Lessons learned there, lemme tell ya...

Seriously, I assume that my wife and I are onboard with my wee one. We remain clustered together in as remote and clean a spot as possible, I get what we can (mini bar foods and things) to ration between us. Try to get grey water to wash with. Try to treat others with respect and administer basic care as needed. Wife and kiddo obviously get the lion's share of rations.

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Re: Stranded on a cruise ship....WWYD

Post by BigDaddyTX » Tue Feb 12, 2013 3:24 pm

Well, seeing as I'm actually leaving on this particular cruise ship on the first date it's not cancelled for YET... :shock: :evil: :(

I always bring a flashlight and a headlamp with me anywhere I travel, as well as a few bottles of water. Now assuming we don't get bumped I'll bring even more water on board. I might pack a battery powered fan as well as a small solar charger and a few sets of batteries. We upgraded to a pretty decently sized balcony so no sleeping in hallways, but maybe something tarp-like will be considered. IDK, the good thing is I just get to drive to Galveston so I don't have to fly all this crap with me, and it's a short cruise so I don't need to pack all that much so I'll have lots of room. I also always bring my Kindle so I won't be entirely bored, but my 2 yo would require a little more attention than normal.

Hopefully we don't have any repeats of this and our trip doesn't get cancelled. Fingers crossed.

Zxc: you certainly don't always have access to a balcony, it's an upgrade and while there are a reasonable number of them, most rooms are inside rooms, or porthole.

Alaskancouple: no mini-bars, maybe in suites, but even they just have the little bottles of alcohol provided as opposed to stocked.
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Re: Stranded on a cruise ship....WWYD

Post by cauldron » Tue Feb 12, 2013 3:47 pm

The beds should be above the water in the room/hallway. So I'd stay in the room.

Candy bars and bottled water

Save the bottles, use bleach if it's needed for ship water.

sit tight. wait.

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Re: Stranded on a cruise ship....WWYD

Post by shrimpwd » Tue Feb 12, 2013 3:57 pm

After hearing about the cruise ship problems a while back (don't remember the actual time. They had food and water drops and the ship was out for weeks?) I told my family I wouldn't go on a cruise without some extra gear.

2 saltwater purification systems, 2 weeks rations/MREs, nalgenes to hold 1-2 days water, solar recharger and spare batteries, 2 ebook readers, and the normal items I'd be wanting. And this is the low end of that list.

I think I'll stick to mountains and such...

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Re: Stranded on a cruise ship....WWYD

Post by raptor » Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:04 pm

majorhavoc wrote:
raptor wrote:Honestly I do not see this as anything but discomfort. I would ensure I stay hydrated with clean potable water and camp next to a lifeboat. The lifeboat would be my plan B.
Just don't count on the crew helping you out with that plan B.
Life boats have rations and potable water. My thought was if either become in short supply this would be good back up supply.

As for launching it so long as the vessel is underway and seaworthy that would not be wise. That would be plan C.

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Re: Stranded on a cruise ship....WWYD

Post by bean sprout » Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:43 pm

Deenie7 wrote:Several hours' wait in lines for food, human waste running on the floors and down walls... lovely! I would start suspecting whether any water was actually potable at that point.
This is one that boggles me. Why are people still crapping in the broken down toilets ? Buckets is what I would do for #2, # 1 off the fan tail for the men. Modified bucket for the gals, then off the fan tail.
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Re: Stranded on a cruise ship....WWYD

Post by Omerta » Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:48 pm

Honestly... I think people are overreacting.. and I would be yelling at people pissing on the floor and shitting on the walls.. like really? Shit in a bag and throw it overboard.. pee off the friggen boat.. People are friggen disgusting..
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Re: Stranded on a cruise ship....WWYD

Post by TacAir » Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:07 pm

Omerta wrote:Honestly... I think people are overreacting.. and I would be yelling at people pissing on the floor and shitting on the walls.. like really? Shit in a bag and throw it overboard.. pee off the friggen boat.. People are friggen disgusting..
I take it you've never been in a "public shelter"? After the power goes out and water stops running....
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Re: Stranded on a cruise ship....WWYD

Post by Omerta » Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:12 pm

I have not.. but I did lose power and water when we got hit with Hurricane Sandy.. People were looting.. and going crazy.. no gas.. it was pretty rough.. but I still pissed outside and shit in the corner.. not on the walls.. we still have to be civilized in a sense.
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Re: Stranded on a cruise ship....WWYD

Post by bean sprout » Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:42 pm

TacAir wrote:
Omerta wrote:Honestly... I think people are overreacting.. and I would be yelling at people pissing on the floor and shitting on the walls.. like really? Shit in a bag and throw it overboard.. pee off the friggen boat.. People are friggen disgusting..
I take it you've never been in a "public shelter"? After the power goes out and water stops running....
I have, and they managed not to pee and crap all over the place.
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Re: Stranded on a cruise ship....WWYD

Post by spanningtree » Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:25 pm

The wife and I have taken a west coast Mexican riviera cruise and a couple of Caribbean whole bunch of islands cruises. I find cruising to be a great way to see a bunch of places for a day or so, then you can make travel plans for more lengthy stays for the places you like (for me: Aruba, Bonaire and Grand Cayman). When we arrive at the port we check all of our heavy luggage and just keep our light packs with us. There is always a bunch of stores selling soda, water and snacks to take on the ship at the port. We load up on 1 liter bottles of water and buy some POS sack/pack to lug them onto the ship with. Some lines will let you take hooch on board during embarkation, if they do we might also grab a bottle of rum or two to keep the end of cruise bill down (buy a drink and spike it... ).

In my pack I carry two flashlights, several granola bars, a bag of hard candies, small first aid kit, all of my prescription drugs, paracord, carabiners, toothpicks, SPF 80 sun block and a space blanket. In addition to the usual tourist shit.

This might sound a bit greedy but I have a natural tendency to hoard food and water. During breakfast/lunch I usually grab and extra piece of fruit or two and keep them in the room. If they have bottled water out I grab an extra one/two. In a couple of days I usually have a pretty good stash going. If we are going for an off-ship excursion I'll throw extra water and fruit in my pack, we've been to a couple of places where I'm pretty sure what passes for food would make a rock vomit much less the water.

Overall I'm not sure exactly what I would do in this situation other than keep my wife safe, keep us both hydrated and scare up grub where/when you can. I think making sure you don't separate from your family/group would be incredibly important. Stay calm and watch out for folks getting squirrely. Listen to the crew.

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Re: Stranded on a cruise ship....WWYD

Post by MacAttack » Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:10 am

Ice bucket for a toilet.
If the toilets are gravity type like normal household ones then salt water will flush them fine. (never been on a cruse so don't know)

Exactly how much alcohol to water do you need to make it safe. Watered down beer to stretch the liquid rations.
If I was crew. They also have pools on board. Set up a watch to keep that water for drinking. You might get lucky and find its one of those new types that doesn't use chemicals to keep it clean. Just cover it and treat it to make it safe to drink.

I am also guessing but if this ship is like all the others I have been hearing about. The crew is just hired help from very poor and extremely undereducated areas of the world. They would never know how to makeshift or repair anything on board the ship. Like a solar still. Hell they might not even know how to break out the emergency rations. The only educated ones on the ship might only be the officers and not all educated people are good at improvisation with what they have on hand.

If I was crew I would have started to serve the vegetables right away. For the most part no need to cook.
Leave the frozen meat for later as it thaws.
I'm sure a few clever crew members could find a way to set up some grills outside on deck. If the stove tops on the ship are natural gas or propane powered then there is no reason for even that. Just keep cooking like normal.
Save ALL canned goods till later.

Tell the passengers to take care of their own bedding and cloths. No more laundry on this trip. Shower cut down to a minimum. Sorry but comfort takes a back seat to survival.

Helicopter the sick and injured off as soon as possible. Use the same helicopters to try and get real repair crews on board to make sure the boat stays safe for the rest of the passengers.

I wonder if they could have found a US coast guard or Navy ship to give them a tow or at least pass over power for utilities. Or even crew for emergency repairs to those systems.
The ship should have a lower cargo port that could be opened to make it easier for the crew to bucket up salt water and dispose of waste if need be.


I wonder if they have an reverse osmosis system on board? If they do could it be manually operated? I would at least look into it if I was the crew.

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Re: Stranded on a cruise ship....WWYD

Post by bean sprout » Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:44 am

Coast guard has been there and food and palatable water has been sent from another carnival ship as well as the coast guard. Mostly they are hot and stuck with the stench of human waste.
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Re: Stranded on a cruise ship....WWYD

Post by Dawgboy » Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:52 am

I don't cruise for reasons such as this, and damn near 4 years underway in my past.

If i was there, I would first help my family get setup comfortably, and then I would offer my services to the engineering crew in the hopes of maybe getting a genny up and running for the pumps...

In any event I always have snacks and water in a hotel room, and this would be no different. I would have a bag with snacks and stuff, and also a bottle of polar pure for the water.

It amazes me that these things burn up so easily and that the gennies go down too... Whatever happened to compartmentalization and redundancy? I will never get on a Carnival boat, screw that Panamanian and Liberian registration to get around US requirements.

Holland America or Cunard, Maybe. No way I'm getting on a Carnival tub.
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Re: Stranded on a cruise ship....WWYD

Post by RoneKiln » Thu Feb 14, 2013 8:55 pm

If you're worried about this happening on your trip, bring collapsable water bladders and fill them up when you first get to your room. Lugging a ton of water in your luggage will be a pain. Just use their water before the ship even sets sail. At the end of the trip, dump it out.
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