By all accounts the first 5 days of the most recent 7 day cruise on the Disney Fantasy were fantastic. Sure they had to skip Castaway Cay due to hurricane Sandy, but sometime you have to roll with the punches when you travel during Hurricane season. Well, the last night of the cruise the Fantasy did a lot of rolling. The ship and is passengers encountered 12 hours of 40-50 foot swells and 80 MPH winds as it sailed back to Port Canaveral overnight. It sounds like Captain Tom Forberg was at the helm, which means the ship was in capable hands, but still a frightening experience for any guest to endure.
The question being debated online is whether Disney intentionally sailed into rough weather hoping to keep to a tight turnover schedule for the ship or if they found the storm stronger than expected. The ship was within 200 miles of the storm, well within the tropical storm strength winds of the 1000 mile wide Hurricane Sandy. I tend to believe Disney Cruise Line thought the storm would weaken as it moved north, but instead it strengthened and slowed down capturing the Disney Fantasy in its impact zone. In the end, not an ideal scenario for Disney Cruise Line. They probably could have erred more on the side of caution, but it sounds like the close encounter with a hurricane wasn’t intentional.
A few videos have surfaced and things look like they got pretty severe. There were many reports of damage on the ship from broken doors to smashed furniture. Remy and Palo apparently were a mess with many dishes and glasses lost in the rough seas. Additionally, some rooms experienced slight flooding as pools overflowed and flooded those decks. Luckily there were no reports of injuries.
This iReport from CNN has some of the most dramatic footage.
More videos from onboard the Disney Fantasy below the jump:
This shows more of the post-hurricane damage in the stores. Looks like a combination of cast members purposefully removing merchandise and tipping over shelves and some real damage.
The reports I’ve read from passengers say that all Disney’s cast members were wonderful and went out of their way to help where they could. As compensation, passengers were offered 25% off their next Disney cruise booking. Do you feel that was appropriate compensation from DCL for enduring such a scary night?