Originally Posted by Ron
I was on RCCL'S Freedom of the Seas last week. We sailed Sunday Sept. 20th. We were a little late in sailing and the the cruise director came on the inter-com and stated we were running a little late because they were having an issue with one of the passengers. I was standing on my balcony and could plainly see the gang plank, parking area, etc. and had my binos to boot. In a few minutes a Sheriff's car came around to the terminal entrance area and I watched as a man was led off in handcuffs, followed by a lady, their luggage, and security. This was all before the ship was even untied from the dock. The man was placed in the Sheriff's car--I don't know where the lady and luggage went.
Would a cruise line quit porting there because someone had a problem before the ship even sailed ? I doubt it, just as I seriously doubt that Carnival is stopping it's call at Antigua because of the incident over the six who fought the law and the law won.
I later in the week asked a security officer what had happened and was told that the people had refused to go to lifeboat drill, had advised their steward they weren't going, wouldn't allow him into the cabin and wouldn't open the door for security when they were called. That was part of the problem but not all, according to the security officer I spoke to. Therefore the Captain had decided that if they were that much trouble before the ship had even been untied, he would be better off getting them off the ship then rather than after they had been aboard a couple of days and really created problems.
Everyone I heard mention it was very much in favor of what the Captain did and appreciated it.
I've expected to see something pop up about how RCCL unfairly threw
some passengers off the ship before it even sailed but so far have seen nothing.
Boarding was also delayed because the immigration officials could not locate one man-- one man holding up clearing the ship for boarding. They finally found him but fortunately for him they didn't identify him to the public, probably for his own safety and welfare !!
The incident on the Freedom was probably more than just him not wanting to do the drill. A lot of people don't go to the drill. My guess is that he had a warrant for his arrest outstanding. The reason why you can no longer just book a ticket on a cruiseship the day of sailing is b/c the cruiseline checks your information against local/national law enforcement agencies for outstanding warrants, terrorist watchlist, no-fly names, etc.
I bet this guy simply had an outstanding warrant.
Otherwise the sheriff would not have taken him away in handcuffs. That or he had drugs on him that was found before the ship sailed.
If you followed cruising news stories, it is almost without fail that whenever something untoward happens to a cruise passenger on one of these islands and it makes the news, the cruiseline coincidentally decides diverts ships from that port.
This is not the first time these two unrelated events happen at the same time.
As far as building a new terminal on another island, has there been any major news about Carnival adding/removing islands? This change seems to have come along suddenly. Let us just see if Carnival returns to Antigua after a time.
Personally I didn't care for St. Maarten. I found the people to be unfriendly, especially the women who were by and large out and out hostile and resentful of Americans. Not a conviction of the entire island just my observation during the limited hours I spent on this island.
I prefer Antigua. I found the people to be friendly and open.