A young man jumped from the balcony of a Symphony of the Seas stateroom while the ship was docked. And while friends cheered on his antics, Royal Caribbean was not amused. In fact, he and his travel companions wound up paying a steep price for his actions.
“They Told Me I Need To… Leave The Ship”
They say that God watches over drunks, fools, and little children, and the poster, known as @naydev91 on Instagram, would seem to prove that true. The jump apparently took place earlier this week while the Royal Caribbean ship was visiting Nassau. Two different versions of the jump were posted to Instagram, one of which shows the jump while the other shows him landing in the water below.
After posting the video, the young man responded to some of those leaving comments asking him what happened once he landed. After sharing that the balcony from which he leapt was on the 11th floor of the mega-ship, he said that after hitting the water “a small ship” picked him up. “Ship was docked at Nassau,” he wrote, “and my plan was basically to swim to shore but when I got back to the dock, they told me I need to get my stuff and leave the ship.”
In a later comment, the young man indicated that he wasn’t the only one who paid the price for his foolish actions. “My whole group got kicked off,” he wrote, “and I got banned for life [from the cruise line].” He also claimed that he was “still drunk from the previous night. When I woke up, I just decided to jump.”
Things Could Have Ended Much Differently
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To say that the jumper is lucky is an understatement, especially given that on January 11, another young man fell off another Royal Caribbean ship… and died as a result.
The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported that after apparently locking himself out of his stateroom aboard Harmony of the Seas, 16-year-old Laurent Mercer tried to gain access by climbing from the balcony of the cabin next door to his own balcony. Instead, he lost his balance and fell to the pier below, dying soon after.
The ship was docked at Royal Caribbean’s private island, Labadee, at the time of the incident.
Truth be told, we here at Cruise Radio debated whether to share the story of the jump posted to Instagram. The last thing we would want to do is inspire copycats or, in any way, shape or form, endorse the kind of foolish, illegal and deadly behavior displayed.
And, had the young man in question and his entire group not been kicked off the ship (at which point they would have had to find their own way home, with no financial assistance or refund from the cruise line thanks to their blatant violation of the cruise contract), we might not have.
It is, however, our hope that where some in the comments posted to Instagram saw a daring stunt, most will recognize just how dangerous that stunt really was. And while the jumper in question was clearly old enough to know better, we can’t help but — perhaps foolishly — hope that parents heading out on a cruise vacation might warn their impressionable, social media-obsessed teens against doing anything so incredibly foolish. While the consequences, in this case, involved what amounts to a proverbial slap on the wrists and the cost of a plane ticket, the next person might wind up paying with their life.