Terrified holidaymakers were ordered to turn off all lights and music on a luxury cruise liner for 10 days because of the risk of a pirate attack.
The Sea Princess was on a 104-day world cruise, starting in Sydney, when the trip of a lifetime turned to horror for nearly 2,000 passengers on board.
Travellers, many who paid more than $50,000, revealed how the vessel became a ‘ghost ship’ as it passed through dangerous waters known for Somali pirate activity.
Carolyne Jasinski, a media specialist from Australia, said the cruise liner was shrouded in darkness as it passed through the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Aden and the Suez Canal.
‘Captain Gennaro Arma addressed the ship. He apologised for alarming passengers. However, the threat, he said, was real and the ship must be prepared for a pirate attack’ .
The live music, ‘dazzling magic shows’, comedy acts and bustling nightclubs promised on board the lavish ship were reportedly brought to a sudden halt.
Curtains were drawn and shutters were closed throughout the ship, while lights were turned off from dusk until dawn.
There were no lavish deck parties and late night outdoor bars were closed.
Ms Jasinski revealed how the 1,900 passengers on board were also put through a ‘pirate drill’.
‘It was made very clear on the Sea Princess, very quickly, that this pirate threat was not something to be joked about.
‘Any remaining smirks soon disappeared as the pirate drill alarm sounded and the crew was instructed to move to their designated muster stations.’
A Princess Cruises spokesperson said the company doesn’t discuss specific security procedures.
They said piracy specific is always conducted before any of their ships enter ‘areas of concern’.
‘Any measures aboard Sea Princess were simply taken out of an abundance caution and not in response to a specific threat and are common to international shipping sailing in the region,’ the spokesperson said.