A sea escape is usually a vacation, but the newly minted cruise ship now named Scoundrel of the Seas has topped them all. Arrest warrants are for people, but this one was issued for a cruise ship. Sometimes when a fugitive flees, there’s a trail or other information which helps with the capture. When an entire cruise ship tries to flee, there are not too many options. You can’t hide a ship in a barn or behind a tree. 300 passengers suddenly found themselves unable to go home.
A Crystal Cruises ship, the 848 guest Crystal Symphony, is now a fugitive. The court document says the reason for this unusual warrant is the ship, owned by parent company Genting Hong Kong, could not pay for its fuel. If you think filling up your car’s gas tank is expensive, you’d have to get a second, third and fourth mortgage if you had a ship that size to fill. When you’re that big, you get 30 to 50 not MPG but GPM (Gallons per mile)
Let’s reveal the back story. After the ship was fueled, a dock attendant walked the bill up to the bridge. While waiting for someone with a credit card for the $1.3 million plus dollars of fuel cost, the captain realized his card was maxed out and even after asking the crew to ‘pony up’ some cash, they were never going to meet the cost. Passengers were then asked to take out their own personal credit cards and see if they could help out, but many said this fee was not on the cruise package they booked.
A floating crap game brought in a few more dollars but not enough. Seeing they were in trouble, crew members excitedly pointed the dock attendant towards a school of playful Dolphin and while he watched, surreptitiously slipped the hawsers holding it to the pier and slowly moved the vessel away and toward international waters. Passengers waiting to disembark
Needless to say, the ship could not dock at Fort Lauderdale to dis-embark passengers because of the warrant and needed time to sort things out, so it headed for the Bahamas. Passengers were told that this was a bonus visit and was their prize for keeping good social distancing.
It all started to ‘go south’ for them as the ship ran out of fuel and without cash, couldn’t go anywhere to fuel up. It was then that the ship’s gym announced a fun spinning class for all passengers, but when they arrived on deck, they were issued long oars and told to row in the direction of the Turks and Caicos Islands. While some thought this was a fun way to work out, others soon had sore arms and complained about the ‘man with the drum’ who shouted nasty things at them as he beat out a slow rhythm. Others, who had spent a long night in the ship’s bar on an endless bender, thought
Handing out free drink coupons to the bewildered passengers who couldn’t disembark in Fort Lauderdale was a non-starter. Passengers also had to make a decision to either be a pirate and join the crew or get ferried home in inclement weather where their sea sick pills would be tested as thoroughly as their patience.