Warwick family waits out scary storm aboard cruise ship

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Mercurio family stuck on cruise ship_258016

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A Warwick family is on their way back home Tuesday night after a rough weekend at sea.

Monday’s storm that brought snow and strong winds to Southern New England was a different experience for Jon Mercurio and his family, who were on board a Royal Carribean ship that went through the storm over the weekend.

The Anthem of the Seas had to turn around after sailing into 100 mph winds and 30-foot waves off the coast of Florida on Sunday.

Mercurio spoke to Eyewitness News on the phone Tuesday, saying he’s just thankful that his family is safe.

Mercurio said they boarded on Saturday and were trying to enjoy a meal Sunday when things started to go wrong.

“We were in the dining hall and plates and stuff started falling and smashing everywhere, which made it a little nerve-wracking,” he recalled.

The captain instructed everyone to go back to their rooms and wait out the storm, which took about 11 hours. Mercurio said the rocking of the ship wasn’t bad, as long as you were laying down.

“You kind of had to hold onto the light on the nightstand to kind of keep from rolling onto the other side of the bed at times,” he explained.

Mercurio said his family is being refunded for the cruise and given 50% of what they spent towards a future trip.

“We’re all safe and there were no fatalities or injuries so I’m thankful for that, and we’re just trying to make the best of it,” said Mercurio. “I took a five-day boat ride for free I guess, and you I guess go on to the next one, there’s not a whole lot we can do about it.”

Mercurio also said he’s a bit frustrated and confused as to why the ship sailed into such a large storm in the first place.

In a statement, Royal Caribbean apologized for the discomfort of their passengers and said the wind gusts were higher than forecasted. Meanwhile, a Florida Sen. Bill Nelson is calling for the National Transporation Safety Board to investigate.

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