It was supposed to be a New Year's escape. An escape from the dreary cold winter to the warmth, surf, and sun of the Caribbean. It turned out to be more of an adventure than any of the 4000 passengers had planned for.

The recent winter storm that brought subfreezing temperatures to Acadiana and mind-numbing amounts of snow to the northeastern United States also packed a wallop out at sea. Passengers aboard the Norwegian Cruise Lines ship Breakaway found out first hand what life on the storm Atlantic can really be like.

The video clearly indicates the difficulty passengers were having just walking aboard the vessel. The video also chronicles wind-driven water being forced into the ship through doors, skylights, and other openings. There is even video of water cascading down a stairwell inside the vessel.

To make matters even worse, by the time the ship made port in New York City the temperatures had dropped to well below freezing creating an icy facade to the structure of the ship. Many passengers have questioned the wisdom of the ship's crew for sailing through such horrific weather conditions. You can bet there will likely be refunds, free trip vouchers, and other extensions of goodwill from the cruise line in an attempt to make it right.

I have been on board a cruise ship in a strong storm and I can verify to you that it is not what you want to experience on your vacation or any other day of the year. My wife and I sailed out of Rome Italy, Civitavecchia, into 20-foot seas a few years back. I think I still wobble when I walk because of the undulations of that ship.



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