Last updated: 08:00 PM ET, Sat December 05 2015

Cruise Ship Security Scare at PortMiami Strands 2,000-Plus Passengers in Terminal

Impacting Travel | Michael Isenbek | December 05, 2015

Cruise Ship Security Scare at PortMiami Strands 2,000-Plus Passengers in Terminal

Photo via Twitter/djangelic

Bon voyage for Norwegian Sky from PortMiami was delayed by several hours Friday when a passenger boarded without following keycard procedures — causing a security alert that had over 2,000 vacationers waiting in the terminal while authorities searched the ship, CBS4 Miami reported.

Norwegian Cruise Lines, via CBS4, revealed the specifics of the delay in a statement, saying, “At approximately 12:30 p.m. … a guest who had previously cleared a pier-side security checkpoint boarded Norwegian Sky without scanning their keycard.”

As a result, per the statement, the near-700 passengers already onboard were asked to disembark, while a combine force of Miami-Dade Police Department and U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers conducted “a secondary security sweep”

Over 2,000 passengers waited in the terminal for up to seven hours, CBS4 said. Emotions varied from accepting to frustrated.

“They’re not telling anybody anything,” said passenger Debbie Sullivan to CBS4. “Yeah, there is a lot of uproar.”

The news station did note that the delayed vacationers were given sandwiches and water, and voiced concerns about dying cell phones.

Some weren’t willing to wait around, not feeling safe enough to board. “It’s supposed to be freestyle cruising and no one is really at peace at this point,” a passenger said to CBS4’s Donna Rapado.

Then there was as CBS4 put it the “better safe than sorry” group.

“It’s an inconvenience to everybody. But again, it’s gotta be done. They gotta make sure nothing’s bad,” said passenger David Roth to the station.

The multi-agency sweep was finished by 8 p.m., and Miami-Dade Police Det. Alvaro Zabaleta revealed why they didn’t volunteer details to the waiting vacationers: “The information moves at hyper speed. And unfortunately the information that we broadcast in there to passengers that information will immediately get tweeted out on their phones. That information will go worldwide. And that works against us,” he said to CBS4.

With everyone accounted for on the ship’s manifest, investigators determined there was no breach, CBS4 said.

Norwegian Cruise Line representatives told the station that each stateroom would get a $50 ship credit, and those who left because they felt unsafe would get a refund.


You may use your Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook information, including your name, photo & any other personal data you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on Click here to learn more.

Honeymoon in St. Maarten With Sonesta Resorts

Hotels & Resorts