Royal Caribbean has banned a passenger for life after he filmed himself jumping from his balcony cabin aboard Symphony of the Seas into the harbour waters at Port Nassau, Bahamas.
The video, posted on Instagram, had garnered more than 81,000 views and 1,100 comments at the time of writing, but attracted a lot of negative comments as it was posted the same week the cruise line confirmed a 16-year-old boy had died aboard Harmony of the Seas.
Laurent Mercer was fatally injured at the cruise line’s private Labadee enclave in Haiti Friday, after falling onto the dock from one of the ship’s balcony cabins. Haitian officials have said that the boy appears to have misplaced his cruise card, and was trying to access his cabin from an adjacent balcony.
He lost his footing and fell eight decks down to the dock. Mercer was on a 7-night cruise with his family.
Nick Naydev, the passenger subsequently banned for life by Royal Caribbean for his video stunt, has said he was surprised by the reaction to the video.
“I am truly astonished at how this video has spread throughout the internet. I did not think this through before I jumped,” he told FOX 13. “My idea was this would be a good laugh for my friends and I would just swim back to shore and continue my vacation and never thought this would be this serious.”
Instead, Naydev was plucked from the water by port officials and was told by Royal Caribbean staff to pack his bags and leave the ship immediately.
“Local police in Nassau, Bahamas were called in to pick us up from the ship, but fortunately the police thought the whole situation was amusing and did not proceed to file any legal actions,” he added.
Viewers on social media found the stunt less amusing, with many pointing out the unfortunate timing of the video’s publication.
Back home in Washington, Naydev acknowledged the potential ramifications of his stunt.
“I just hope I don’t inspire anyone to try this, because I don’t want to feel responsible for any injuries,” he said.
These latest incidents come during a rough week for Royal Caribbean, during which its Oasis-class leader, Oasis of the Seas, one of the largest cruise ships in the world, was forced to cut short a Caribbean cruise due to a rampant Norovirus outbreak.
Of the 6,285 passengers on board the ship, 561 (8.91 percent) reported being ill during the voyage out, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition, 31 of 2,169 (1.45 percent) of the crew members reported being ill.