Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Royal Princess Accident Update

As people are looking for more information about what is happening on the Royal Princess in regards to yesterday's plane crash in Ketchikan, Alaska, I thought I'd update you on what we know so far.
  • Monday afternoon after our all-aboard time, an announcement came over the speakers in our cabin. We assumed it would be the standard passenger services desk call looking for those passengers not yet onboard. But it was the Captain with the sad news that one of Royal Princess' float plane excursions to Misty Fjords had been involved in an accident and that a second plane on an independent tour also had Royal Princess guests on it. He said there was a collision of the planes and the condition of the passengers was unknown. We were all asked to contact family and friends to let them know we were okay and that a care team was available onboard for those who would like to use it. We also learned at that time that our planned 3:15 pm departure from Ketchikan would be delayed.
  • Around 6:00 pm we saw passengers and crew with luggage being disembarked and driven away in vans. We later learned the crew members were going with the families to provide support while ashore. 
  • After the last of the families left, the Captain provided an updated announcement. When he came over the loudspeaker, the entire ship froze in their tracks. We were on the Lido deck and every single person stopped what they were doing and listened intently.
  • The Captain announced that nine passengers from our ship on the Princess excursion were rescued but one was still missing. He said on the other plane, four Princess passengers from our ship as well as the pilot had died. Counselors are available for passengers and crew. He also said the ship will arrive in Juneau at 10 am instead of the scheduled 8 am. Princess excursions are being rearranged, and if passengers were booked on any flightseeing excursions during the rest of the voyage they can ask for for a full refund if they wish to cancel. 
  • We attended the Most Traveled Guest gathering Monday evening. The Captain understandably was absent from the gathering. Considering the solemn mood of the ship, several passengers scheduled to attended opted out. We held a moment of silence during the gathering. 
  • Sometime Monday night/early Tuesday morning we received a letter in our cabin:
  • For the most part, passengers have been amazing in their level of respect being shown during this time. This ship, full of thousands of people, has a subdued tone. Lowered voices, slower pace. We did overhear some inappropriate speculative conversations last night. We just had to removes ourselves from the area. And already a this has kind of ruined my trip has come up. But otherwise we all have heavy hearts.
  • Our Internet has been spotty the last 12 hours or so. If you have friends or family you are concerned about, we will be in Juneau from approximately 10 am - 9 pm so I would recommend calling them on their cell phones during that time.
I'll continue to provide updates here on the blog as they become available. I don't do social media - no Facebook, Twitter, etc - but I have heard from others there is quite a bit of misinformation out there. I can't worry about that, but I can report straight from the ship. Let me know if you need anything from me. I'm more than happy to help if I can.

Tuesday afternoon:
We haven't received any new updates from the Captain and I expect we won't as it's now all over the news. I'm purposely avoiding reading or watching anything about it. We have plenty of passengers talking about it and I'm trying to avoid listening to those conversations as well. I don't think predicting or speculating serves any purpose so I won't be wading into those weeds. I've said this before, but I'm a just the facts ma'am kind of ma'am so I'm sticking to the experiences happening onboard.