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Was anyone here on a cruise during 9/11/2001?


jetboy1
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If so, please share your thoughts. It was an awful time in my safe little corner of the world, being on a cruise in a foreign country must have added to the stress. How much info were you able to hear and see as to what was going on?

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  • 4 weeks later...

We cruised the week after 9/11/2001. We tried to cancel but were told we would forfeit our entire fare. In addition to the whole 9/11 scare, our first grandson (who was supposed to be born two weeks before our cruise), wasn't born until the week of our cruise. So we had two reasons not to leave....but went anyway. We had a great time, but were VERY aware of the increased security on the water and overhead. We were also offered a second week to make it a B2B cruise for a pittance, but couldn't take advantage of it because of our work schedules AND that new grandson waiting for us at home :D

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There were a bunch of Moms going with me who had to fly from the Northeast--I was single and only had to fly from FLL to Tampa--I remember being so proud of them for going in spite of the uncertainty of what was going on in our world--they were determind not to let horrible people from interfering with our American Dream way of life. I also remember how nice everyone was to us in the ports we visited, graciously telling us how sorry they were about what happened and graciously acknowledging their dependence on American tourism, thanking us for still coming.

 

Unfortunatley everything has changed since then, we have been at war for over 10 years, but...that is for another board.

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We were on a 7 day cruise out of San Juan which returned on 9/9/2001 to San Juan, and we had an early evening flight that evening to return to Philadelphia. I believe we were standing in line with other passengers to go through the metal detector [ I don't think they scanned hand luggage back then] when I was asked by a security person to come over to the side, to another area,for a baggage check. [This gave my wife quite a chuckle as I am of East Indian descent, and had 'attracted attention' on previous occasions, in airports, over the years.] I accompanied the security person over to a table, was asked to put my shoulder bag on the table, and asked what its contents were. I explained it was my camera bag with my video camera, still camera and equipment, and was about to open it, and was told not to do so. Another security person at the table had a pair of forceps, into which he clamped a 'piece of fabric' about 4 inches square, and rubbed it all over my camera bag, he then removed the fabric from the forceps and inserted it into a large piece of equipment behind him. I had never seen this done before, and asked if he was searching for drugs, and he replied,'no, explosives'.

 

Were they on 'high alert' for something about to happen, and desperately searching at ports of entry into the US?

 

We returned to Philly and our home on the Jersey shore, early in the morning of 9/10/2001, and was awakened the next morning by my distraught wife and the TV News that the Towers had fallen............................

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  • 3 weeks later...

I was booked on the QE2 for (I believe this is the correct date) 12 Sptember NYC - Southampton. I was to be in Europe for about a month.

 

Cunard had incorrectly mailed my tickets to an old adress - they were Fedex'ing them on the morning of 9/11.

 

I had some last minute shopping but decided to stay home until Fedex arrived(the shopping was across the street from the WTC).

 

I remember vividly the first airplane flying over my apt & then the news - I live in downtown Manhtattan......we were in the frozen zone and watched from the corner the entire event unfold.

 

Cunard was useless...they said if I was able to get uptown they would bus me to Boston where the QE2 was sent. They finally issued a credit for my trip - but were totally worthless as far as understanding the situation or my position as living in the frozen zone....

 

The fires burned - my home smelled of smoke through for months & we mourned....

Edited by Rotterdam
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  • 1 month later...

We were scheduled for a trans-atlantic on September 21st.

 

Almost didn't make it due to planes grounded.

 

We were the very first overseas plane to Amsterdam and then Barcelona on the 17th from our city.

 

Once in Spain we were constantly questioned by concerned people everywhere we went to dine and if they heard our American accents.

 

The news was everywhere in Spain and once on board Celebrity we found the ship only 1/2 full.

 

The stunning thing that happened on the cruise was the musicians played "God Bless America" in the dining room and every single person stood up and sang once they heard a few bars and then applauded.

 

Celebrity kept the guests on board informed by printing a newspaper every day and trying to keep CNN World in position most of the time.

 

It was a quiet cruise.

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My hubby's workmate was in Cancun and could not get home. She ended up going into Cozumel and getting on a Carnival cruise ship on it's way back to Tampa. By the time she got to Tampa flights were going in the US again -though not out of the country. She was able to fly home from Tampa. That was the only cruise she has ever taken. She says she does not like cruising. We tried to convince her the circumstances had effected her opinion and she should give it another try.

 

Yes, I would imagine it is stressful whenever you can't get back home. We ran into a Scottish family at the Coca Cola museum in Atlanta a couple years back when the volcano ash prevented flights to Europe. They had been to FL, Disneyworld, etc. and was unable to return home afterward on their scheduled flight, so they decided to rent a car and drive up to Atlanta and see some of the attractions here. I really admired how they made the best of things. They seemed to be in good spirits. I would have been a basket case.

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My parents were on the Grandeur of the Seas doing a Transatlantic repositioning cruise (Barcelona to Boston) during 9/11. In fact, they had just gone around a hurricane. Then the captain got on the loudspeaker and everyone thought he had news about the hurricane, but he reported that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. Then, suddenly, all communications ceased on the ship -- no CNN, no news. People could use the Internet cafe computers for free to print out information -- that is the only way people knew what was happening. I sent a message to Royal Caribbean to let my parents know that my family was fine. One of my parents' fellow passengers had a son who worked for Cantor Fitzgerald and had no idea if he was alive. When the ship got to Boston on the 14th, I believe, people at the pier were shouting "God bless America!" as the Grandeur pulled in. There was no way to take a plane home -- first the captain said the passengers would stay on board for lunch, then for tea -- while they arranged for buses to take the New Yorkers home. My husband came up from Long Island to surprise my parents and pick them up at the pier. They had no idea of the magnitude of the tragedy. As they crossed the bridge from The Bronx to Queens, they could see the remains of the towers smoldering in the distance.

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  • 2 months later...

We were on a new ship on the same route as the Titanic had taken. We left England on 9/10/01. The next AM I was up and went to the sports bar for some coffee as they had TVs there. That's when I found out about the tragedy. CNN kept showing any pictures they could get until the 2nd plane came in and hit the other tower. Later in the day one man was giving some details and someone asked him how familiar with the area he was, he said "3 blocks closer than the cameraman to you right one building".

 

That night at dinner the table next to us had some people who looked very tired and in clothes with a lot of wrinkles. One of the men said to all around that the group had missed connections in Chicago and had flown from London to Paris and had been sent to the ship in a van from there. After spending some time looking for their luggage, they were told it was in Chicago, but nobody knew when the planes could fly! I think they got it in Iceland, but am not sure.

 

That Sunday we saw a subscript under the pictures on CNN saying the bridge from the mainland to South Padre Island (Note my location) had been destroyed and several people had been killed. We would have been on the Island that night if we had been home.

 

We were scheduled to sail past the Towers to our berth in NY, but all ship trafic was stopped there. For several days we sailed the route of the Titanic (But not into an iceberg) without knowing where we would disembark. The internet was free for a couple of days, and the phones were free for 24 hours. The ship finally docked in Boston. We had used ships air and transfers, so the cruiseline had made arrangements for our flight home but with a shipful of unexpected people I knew that they would bring in more planes and the airport would be very crowded, so we took a taxi rather than wait for the bus. BEST money I ever spent! With new security features and equipment, checkin was slow. We got home at the time we were originally scheduled for, however.

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I had just returned from a week on the Zaandam (arrived 9/9/01). I worked in the executive offices at US Airways at the time. Around 9:00 a.m. I was sending an e-mail to a friend that I had made while on the cruise when my superviser came in to ask if I could get online. She had heard a plane had hit the Trade Center and wanted to know if it was one of hours. And boy, did that day just get better and better. :-(

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I got married on 9/15/11 and was schedule to sail the 16th with a flight from Toronto to FLL. Everything was shut down here for flights to the US, it wasn't till 11:30 pm on my wedding night did we get the ok that our flight would leave at 6 am. Man was I in a panic for the honeymoon. Didn't know allot about cruising back then so don't even remember if we had insurance.

When we landed in FLL there were men everywhere with big huge guns..lol and the the security at the port was unreal.

Sure has calmed down since then...but what a sad sad disaster.

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  • 2 months later...

A little late to the party, but...

 

My wife, my parents, and I were booked on the old Ocean Princess (not the converted R-ship now in Princess' fleet) for the weekend following 9/11, Seward-Vancouver-San Francisco. The attacks occurred on a Tuesday. We were to fly out on Thursday from Northern California to Anchorage, and then transfer down to Seward, AK to meet the ship.

 

The ship would sail for Vancouver, tragedy or not. Since we had committed to go, my wife and I hit the phones pretty heavily the night before we left. This was because, of the three Bay Area airports, only SFO would re-open on Thursday. Our flight was to have left Oakland, with a change of planes / airlines in Seattle. Finally Alaska Air said they could get us as far as Portland. We said yes, figuring we could drive from Portland to Sea-Tac and make our evening connection on Delta.

 

We arrived at SFO shortly after dawn. The lines went every-which-way and it was difficult to tell which line went to which ticket counter. We boarded a Horizon Air puddle-jumper which, true to Alaska's word, got us to PDX. Once again, lines all over the place. While checking in at SFO, we were able to book a connecting flight to Seattle from PDX.

 

Sea-Tac was more lines, stretching from the front door through the food court and back to the ticket counters. An auditorium in the main terminal had been converted by the Red Cross to an emergency shelter for passengers stranded during the week. We boarded our connecting flight to ANC without further delays.

 

At ANC, more lines. The cruise ships continued to disembark passengers at Seward, busloads of them, but there were no planes to fly them out during the week. We had booked hotel rooms for ourselves to see Anchorage and the surrounding area for a few days. Those passengers who were turned away by the hotels wound up on Red Cross cots in the Anchorage Convention Center. I remember walking past the Center, and an endless line of cruise tour and Grey Line buses lined up to take weary travelers to the airport to meet their long-delayed flights.

 

We caught the Ocean in Seward and it left on schedule, only two-thirds full. We arrived in Anchorage, walked around for a couple of hours, and re-boarded the ship to sail back to San Francisco.

 

We had a great time. But we knew things would never be the same...

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Not a cruise, but my aunt and uncle were supposed to be flying home from Singapore after adopting their new daughter a few days prior in Vietnam. They made it onto the plane, but everyone was forced to get off the plane and the airline explained what had happened. They ended up staying in Singapore for a full week (fully paid for by the airline - go Singapore Air!) because they could return to the US.

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I was aboard QE2 with family sailing to New York. The ship left South Hampton Sunday 9/9. Planes hit Tuesday. I was in my cabin when the Captain announced over the PA that they were cancelling some activities due to the events that occurred in NYC. I had no idea what he meant, so I turned on the TV and it was on the news. Satellite reception was marginal by Tuesday, and gone by Wednesday. We had to get our info from the ships news bulletins each day. QE2 was diverted to Boston. We arrived early am on 9/15, but had to wait outside the harbor as a bomb threat had been called in for the harbor. We waited several hours until we sailed into the harbor with small gun boats all around us. We finally got of the ship after 5 pm and had to be bussed up to our hotel rooms in Manhattan, just a few blocks from the towers. Police were everywhere in Manhattan and several roads were closed. The smoke was terrible as we made our way. We finally made it to our hotel and that's when I finally could watch the news and was horrified/infuriated with what I saw. We flew out of JFK the next morning, Sunday. As flights had only recently resumed, I was worried that it would be a nightmare to fly that day. To my surprise, however, the airport was deserted so we made it through quickly. That was one memorable cruise.

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Yup, QE2 was diverted to Boston, and not long after I was on a cruise on her to Bermuda, originally to depart from New York. I was scheduled to go with my mother and wife. Wife was frightened and made some mention about a "moving target". I told her to stay home, and I called a male business associate of mine up who lives in Tennessee, and told him, "share the cabin with me, the cruise is free, just buy my drinks for me".

 

Mother and I arrived at the Black Falcon terminal and there was my friend waiting for us! We had a great time on the cruise. It was his first, and he got hooked after that and has done many more on his own.

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A little later but we cruised to Bermuda on 10/13/01. Since the piers in NYC were being used for other things, our cruise had to leave out of Baltimore.

 

Even though nearly 3,000 people lost their lives and here we were alive, well and going on a vacation, many complained loud and clear about the "inconvenience" of going out of Baltimore.:( Celebrity gave everyone a 25% discount on a future cruise. DH and I considered it blood money.

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  • 6 months later...

I'm REALLY late to this party and the cruise was later but here goes anyway. I had booked a cruise on the Yangtze to leave the US about 9/25. While air traffic was starting to get back to normal security was still very tight and a lot of vacations got cancelled. I think my tour (Uniworld) was supposed to be something in the neighborhood of 20 people but when I got to Beijing there were only 6 of us, the other 5 all friends or related and mostly Canadian.

 

The small group really bonded (surprising to me since I was the lone "outsider") and we still visit when I pass through Toronto.

 

Roy

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  • 2 years later...

I'm really, really late to this thread but I couldn't pass it up. My 50th birthday was 9/11/2001. To celebrate such a milestone, DH and I were sailing on the Paul Gauguin from Papeete, Tahiti on a 7 cay cruise around the islands--Moorea, Taha'a, etc. I'm a scuba diver so I was diving on each island. We would take the ships zodiac runabout to the dive site then run back to the ship. We were in Bora Bora on 9/11. The ships captain sent a birthday cake to our stateroom. While getting ready for the morning dive, the captain came on the PA and said there had been some sort of terrorist attack in America. That was it. So? Any more information? None. So, we went diving. One of the best dives of my life. When we got back, people were gathered around the TV in the lounge, trying to make out what the French commentator was saying. A few people were at the customer relations desk demanding to get off the ship and flown back to America. They were told no one was getting off the ship. That afternoon, the ship was closed up tight----all exterior doors shut, the water sports platform was raised and exterior doors closed. We did a night dive that night but the zodiac had to come along the side of the ship to a small door and the crew had to carry our scuba tanks from the dive platform to the zodiac thru the ship. Awesome night dive, by the way - saw my first lionfish! After that, it was complete chaos. At 3am, we woke up because of the dead silence...no engines, no a/c, no power. We went up on deck where one of the engineers, who was on his way to the bridge, told us that one of the computers had shut down the engines due to a malfunction. Great. Some passengers were getting hysterical - one woman come up on deck dressed for winter and was telling others to get their passports and dress in warm clothing. Huh? Anyway, eventually the power came back on and we went back to bed. After a few days, we realized that we were going to be spending some time in Papeete when the ship got back since there were no flights to the United States. We were offered a flight to Paris but we declined. So we hung out on the ship since no passengers for the next cruise were able to get to Papeete. Finally, the guy who was our dive master took us to the airport, muscled us up to the head of a line of about 500 people and got us on the only plane leaving for the US that day.

We arrived in Los Angeles the next morning amid chaos and confusion. Long lines everyhwere of people trying to get where they were supposed to be, since flights had just resumed the previous day. We were finally put on a flight back to Miami on a plane that was supposed to be in Rio de Janeiro. There were about 10 passengers and 20 crew members on a Boeing 757.

I was never so happy to touch down in Miami. Our nephew was getting married on Sept 20 in Kentucky but everyone in Florida opted out. No one wanted to fly anywhere. We joke about being stranded in the South Pacific on 9/11 now but it was no joking matter then.

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We were on The Rotterdam on 9/11. We had just left Rhodes headed to Kusadasi when the news broke on CNN. We sat in our cabin in stunned silence as we watched the events unfold on television. The Captain came on the PA and told us that the internet would be available for all passengers to use (at no cost) so that we could make contact with family and friends. Very few people had international cell phones at that time. Our friend had a World phone with him so we were able to phone home. The next day we were at sea. The captain came on the PA and announced that we should all stand for the playing of The Star-Spangled Banner....a very tearful and memorable moment! When we arrived in Turkey, we were told that the planes were grounded so we had no choice but to continue on our journey until the end of our cruise. On the last day,September 18, many passengers found out that they were stranded as their flights were still not taking off. We were lucky and ours took off the following day and we were allowed to remain on the ship overnight for a very nominal fee. Very few new passengers were expected for the next cruise, since planes were still not flying. Those passengers who had booked their air arrangements through Hollland America were offered the option of remaining on the ship as it began its next cruise itinerary for a very discounted rate and hopefully the company would find flights for them at a future port. Needless to say people were quite distraught when they realized that they were stranded...it was a very scary and chaotic time.

Edited by cruzemaven
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  • 2 months later...

My DH and I live in NJ but we worked in the City. My office was on 34th and 8th with a beautiful view of downtown and the Statue of Liberty - until 9/11. Fortunately we both got back home to NJ but it was very surreal. We had a cruise scheduled for 9/30 in Royal Princess out of Manhattan and we thought it might not happen. But Princess adjusted the itinerary and bussed us from NY to Boston where we stayed overnight before sailing on Oct 1. We had wonderful people at our dinner table (3 couples from Australia) who were so kind. The cruise was great and relaxing, just what we needed. Princess handled everything well given the situation. We had no problems returning home but the airport security, as expected, was tighter than it ever had been. New world.

 

I know this thread is about 9/11 but I just have to add this. A few years later we booked a cruise with friends we had met on our Alaska cruise in 1997. It was a 14-day roundtrip from Southampton to the British Isles and Iceland. We flew in a few days early to spend a time at their home and touring London before the cruise. We arrived on 7/7/2005 - the day of the London bombing! Needless to say we never got to tour London. We were all glued to their TV watching the news. It was like 9/11 all over again. Fortunately the we still made it to the cruise and we had an excellent time. Naturally security at Gatwick on the way home was on high alert but the flight was fine. It was very good to get home.

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We were on the Paul Gauguin cruise ship docked on the island of Bora Bora, getting ready to go diving, when the captain came on and said there had been an attack in America and that they were trying to find out more info.

We looked at each other and said 'well, that's too bad but what has that got to do with us?'. Little did we know. We didn't find out until I think the next day what was going on and we thought it was strange that the crew members were battening the ship up tight. No one on or off the ship - except for a few of us who were doing a night dive (one of the best dives I've ever done!). Saw my first lionfish. The ships captain had sent a cake to our cabin for my 50th birthday (yeah, it's no fun having a birthday on 9/11 anymore). There were quite a few French people on the ship and they translated the French CNN type network for us. We didn't see the pictures until the next day. Some people from New York got hysterical and wanted off the ship now but no one was allowed to leave. When we got back to Papeete the following Saturday, only 1 flight was taking off to Los Angeles and there were about 500 people trying to get on it. There were only half the passengers waiting to board for the next cruise. We were invited to stay over or try to get onto the plane - the dive master from the ship muscled us up to the front of the line at the airport, among a lot of nasty cat calls and we were on the plane. When we got to LA, it was chaos as the planes had just been cleared to take off. A supervisor got us onto a plane that was supposed to be in Rio de Janeiro and off to Miami we went....with almost more crew than passengers. We almost kissed the ground when we got back to Miami and we were home by midnight on the day that we were supposed to get home. But, I can joke now that it was tough being stranded in the South Pacific....oh yeah!

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  • 2 years later...

Just seen this thread, my hubby and I were on our first cruise on the QE2 full of plans to visit the Twin Towers and take in the view. I think we were a day into our crossing when the news came through with everyone milling around the tvs taking in the news. We went back to our cabin to watch in private, and saw both towers come down. The boat was a very subdued place for the rest of the day & the trip to be honest. We were unsure whether we would be turning back or not. The captain kept us up to date with news as for most of the trip after that day we were unable to pick up any news on our tvs. We had the ships 'newspapers' which I have kept from that time and also the condolence letter that the captain sent to the Mayor of New York. We were unable to dock as planned and were diverted to Boston. On arrival there we were anchored outside the port for a period due to a bomb scare. Clear blue skies but so quiet as no planes were flying. We eventually docked and were then coached to New York. Driving in to the sight of hundreds of candles by the side of roads and 'missing' posters everywhere was heartbreaking. The Empire State viewing platforms were closed, armed police were on the streets and so we wandered around for the couple of days we were there. One memory was that we ate at the Hard Rock Cafe and there was lots of firefighters in there as they were able to eat for free. It took 15 years for me to go back to New York

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  • 2 months later...

We were on the Carnival Spirit southbound Alaska. We were cruising the inside passage. The captain made an announcement about 7am. We turned the TV on in time to see the second plane hit the twin towers. It was our 25th wedding Anniversary. They took us out to the shipping lanes. The ship was very quiet, several people crying and others in the chapel. We were delayed getting into Vancouver. We ended up staying in a hotel 4 extra days. We ended up taking a bus to Seattle, them Am Track into Cal. We had insurance, it covered our transportation, hotel and meals. Air fare was refunded. Carnival gave each of us a $250.00 credit each towards another cruise. Our happy occasion was no longer happy.

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