The night that we cruised out of Bergen, our Captain made the announcement that we would be hitting very rough seas that evening. She requested that we hold on to something if we were going to walk around the boat that night.
And hit rough seas we did.
I had never been on a cruise where it felt as though we were literally in a washing machine. As we stood in the middle of the ship, also called the Centrum, we could feel each and every wave–I found it helpful to avoid focusing on one thing for too long in order to avoid the feeling of dizziness and nausea. Most of the party decided to call it a night earlier than usual in order to avoid
getting sick falling down.
Around midnight we awoke in our dark room to the Captain’s panicked voice as it came over the PA system. “We have experienced a blackout,” she said, “and at this point, we have no engine power. We will continue to keep you updated until we are up and running again.”
Um, Excuse me?
What did she just say?
Did I hear no engine power?
For a moment I thought it was just a dream, however as the grogginess and sleep induced haze wore off, I realized that what had just happened was in fact very real.
My first thought was, if we are in high seas with no power, I am not going to be stuck down below in this tiny room and in these tiny halls should the worst case scenario play out (aka: midnight swim, anyone?). I sat up and began thinking about the essential items that had to come with us should we need to evacuate.
As we were on the lower decks we could feel the engines trying to turn over as the minutes ticked by. We laid there in bed as we felt the desperate putter again and again and again, to no avail. I couldn’t help myself as I began to pace the room. Anxiety mixed with claustrophobia was not a good combination.
After what felt like hours the Captain came back on the PA system and announced that they had been successful in getting one of the engines up. She stated they would continue to keep us updated. For the next ten minutes the same announcement was replayed in over five different languages (I stopped counting at five).
Having at least one engine calmed my nerves enough to the point that I was able to lay back down and anxiously listen for the next announcement. Not long after the first engine was successfully restarted, the announcement was made that we had both engines back up and running.
To be honest, I don’t know if I got much sleep for the rest of the night. That next day was our last day at sea and I noticed that we were much closer to shore than compared to our first day at sea. On our first day land was nowhere in sight, and now on our way back, we were hugging the coastline for the entire day. It may have been a slight case of paranoia, but it seemed as though we always had at least two or three boats close behind us, next to us, and at times out in front of us–I couldn’t help but wonder if they knew something we didn’t.
Late that afternoon we finally got word from the Captain that the cause of the engine failure was due to a significant amount of water contaminating the fuel. That’s it; no more updates. No more explanations. None. Nada. Nei.
We can only speculate as to what really happened or why water got into the fuel, but I wouldn’t want something like that to ever happen again. I’ll admit that I’m a complete worrier, sometimes excessively. Some people–who will remain unnamed–may have just turned over and went back to sleep after the first announcement; however I had to make sure that my family and I were safe, no matter what happened.
I guess it’s another story for the record books. Anything scary like this ever happen to you during your travels?