Passengers aboard Spectrum of the Seas, sailing her maiden cruise from Europe to China via Dubai, have been told to avoid the open decks after dark and keep curtains and shutters over windows closed when using the lights inside their cabins.
The measures were ordered by the captain as the brand new US $940-million mega cruise ship approached the Gulf of Aden after transiting the Suez Canal. She is on a 16-night cruise from Barcelona to Dubai, and will cruise from Dubai to Singapore on May 4th.
— Cruise Lifestyle ⚓️ (@cruiselifestyl) April 29, 2019
“The promenade deck has been closed to passengers until May 2nd, all curtains have to be closed to night with lights out after dark,” said Laura, the editor of CruisingLifestyle.co.uk, who is a passenger aboard the ship.
On May 2nd, Spectrum of the Seas will be off the coast of Muscat, well into the Gulf of Oman, which is considered threat-free when it comes to piracy.
“Today we held a Safe Haven drill, the code word for a pirate attack, during which all passengers have to assemble within the ship, away from windows and external doors,” she added.
According to Laura, Spectrum of the Seas also took on-board additional security, in the form of three armed security officers who have just safely ensured another Royal Caribbean ship Explorer of the Seas, got through the Gulf of Aden safely.
Explorer of the Seas departed Dubai in April bound for Europe. Now, it’s Spectrum of the Seas’ turn to run through the pirate-prone waters.
“One other security officer was already onboard – we’ve been told all are top security officials from Britain,” said Laura.
Spectrum of the Seas is the newest cruise ship in the Royal Caribbean fleet, having been launched just a few weeks ago. She will be one of the largest and most advanced ever to cruise from Dubai.
She is a sister ship to Quantum of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas, both of which also cruised from Dubai on their way to China in 2015 and 2016.
At 169,379-gross tons and carrying 4,905 passengers at maximum occupancy, with a bionic bar staffed by robots, a virtual reality bungee experience, sky dive simulator and North Star viewing pod, she would be a tempting target for any pirates off the coast of Somalia.
Fortunately, however, the threat of an attack on a cruise ship in the Gulf of Aden is now much reduced thanks to an international naval coalition, but Royal Caribbean is known to take the security of its brand new China-bound cruise ships very seriously.
“Although the whole experience seems slightly surreal, it’s reassuring to know that every precaution is being taken to protect the cruise ship and its passengers,” said Laura in a blogpost about the situation.
Categories: Middle East Cruise News