Storm Ciaran from a Cruise Ship in the English Channel

By Scarlett Shepherd

During our trip on the MSC Euribia, we had the unfortunate experience of encountering storm Ciaran while onboard.

We started our 7-night Northern Europe cruise from Southampton. We were due to visit the ports of Hamburg, Zeebrugge, Rotterdam and Le Havre.

After having a great time on board and enjoying the ports of Hamburg, Zeebrugge and Rotterdam, we got the unfortunate news that our call at the port of Le Havre was cancelled.

2 days prior to our scheduled call at Le Havre, we had an early morning announcement from the Captain. The Captain announced that due to the growing storm Ciaran that was coming from across the Atlantic, which was due to reach us on the Thursday morning. For safety concerns, we would no longer be calling at the port of Le Havre, and instead we would spend the day at sea and ‘seek calmer waters’.

As we were on a cruise which was embarking and disembarking passengers at each port, alternative arrangements had to be made for those who were due to embark and disembark in Le Havre.

The night prior to our day at sea during storm Ciaran, the Captain made an announcement prior to leaving Rotterdam, explaining that the outside decks would be closed, care should be taken when moving around the ship, some activities aboard would not be possible, and to not place luggage outside cabins for disembarkation until directed to do so.

Hearing this announcement did not fill me with hope. Especially because I am not the best with sea-sickness, and have been prone to being unwell in rough seas previously.

Upon leaving Rotterdam, the ship turned left and started heading for Southampton. I was initially very sceptical of this plan, as it felt as though we were heading straight into Storm Ciaran and not ‘seeking calmer waters’.

Throughout Thursday we continued to head towards Southampton, traveling through the English Channel.

At midday the Captain gave an announcement, updating us that the seas were 7m tall, the wind speed was 80mph and we were traveling at 7knots.

Looking out the windows of the ship, the sea had tall white topped waves, the wind was blowing spray off the top of the waves, and it looked very grey.

Despite the sea looking very rough and unforgiving, I was incredibly impressed with how the ship and the crew delt with Storm Ciaran.

Being someone who is very prone to sea sickness, I took some of the anti-nausea medication I bought with me, however, I don’t necessarily think I needed them.

The MSC Euribia is a brilliant ship to be on if you are going to encounter rough seas. Being down on the lower decks in the centre of the ship, the motion of the ship was very little. However, being in our cabin at the front of the ship on deck 11, the motion was noticeable, but not enough to make any of us feel unwell.

It had been many years since I had previously been on a cruise ship during a storm, but the MSC Euribia handled the sea and the weather better than any other ship I had been on. For example, a few months prior to this cruise, we went on an Alaska cruise on Brilliance of the Seas, which is a smaller Royal Caribbean ship. During the Alaska cruise we encountered waves which were smaller than what we experienced on the MSC Euribia, however we felt less motion on the MSC Euribia compared to Brilliance of the Seas.

Overall, if you are worried about seasickness and are looking for a cruise ship where you won’t feel much motion, then I would highly recommend the MSC Euribia. This ship is very large, and very new. These things in combination with an excellent crew made our experience of rough seas very good, and we were able to enjoy our day at sea by playing even an hour’s worth of bowling on one of the high decks, along with a lovely Japanese dinner at the Kaito sushi bar.

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