(1:00 p.m. EDT) — Forty-four passengers on Rhapsody of the Seas were forced to abandon their cruise vacation after a large wave broke windows and flooded cabins early in the morning of April 25, the first night of a nine-night sailing in the Mediterranean.
Cruise Critic first learned of the incident from Cruise Critic forum member MindyJohn, who wrote: "Leaving Barcelona yesterday, Captain announced overnight rough seas were expected on way to Corsica. Between 4 and 5 a.m., a cabin announcement woke us up saying several windows had broken and some cabins were flooded but situation was under control. This morning we found many people sleeping in the Schooner Bar and Shall We Dance lounge."
According to a Royal Caribbean statement, five cabin windows on the third deck were broken, resulting in flooding. Six rooms were damaged, and carpeting in nearby hallways and rooms on deck three were soaked by water.
The ship docked in the Corsican port of Ajaccio as scheduled where repairs, including the replacement of all windows, were undertaken. However, because of the soaked flooring, which could not be immediately replaced without causing great inconvenience, 45 passengers were relocated to other cabins. Another 44 passengers departed the ship in Corsica.
All affected passengers received a full refund and a future cruise certificate worth the total amount of the cruise fare they paid for their sailing. Royal Caribbean arranged and paid for all accommodations and travel costs for those who left the ship.
Rhapsody of the Seas departed six hours late, but is expected to be on schedule for the remainder of the sailing.
According to MindyJohn, the ship’s captain said the wave was caused by a pressure point "created when the bow and stern of the ship were temporarily supported between two swells with the middle of the ship momentarily out of the water."