East Texas Woman Talks About Chaotic Cruise - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

05/17/07 - Hudson

East Texas Woman Talks About Chaotic Cruise

by Ramonica R. Jones

It's hard to believe just two days ago, Hudson resident Janet Catron was on an Alaskan cruise with her husband. But instead of showing family and friends photos of her vacation, she'll show them pictures of her rescue.

What was supposed to be a seven-day trip ended much earlier when all of a sudden the Empress of the North crashed. Hundreds of passengers on board thought there had been an earthquake, but the 360-foot-long boat had hit ground near Juneau, Alaska.

"There were fishing boats, there was other cruise ships, helicopters; it was amazing," said Janet Catron. 

The past few years there has been some concern about the way cruise lines have handled onboard emergencies and crimes, but Catron is impressed with the way Majestic cruise lines dealt with the situation.

It was made more awkward because the Catrons were naked when the boat ran aground. Their luggage had not yet arrived from the airport in Washington, so they were rescued in their robes.

"I cannot say enough good things about the people that were on the boat and the people that worked the boat - how good they were and how helpful."

All of the passengers made it off the boat safely and no one got hurt. A ferryboat took the Catrons on to Juneau and they eventually ended up in Seattle where they were reunited with their luggage.

"They took us to a place to eat - a big convention hall - and they gave us a letter from the president of the company expressing what happened and he was very sorry, and that we would be getting a full refund for our trip and we will be getting another trip free."

The Catrons were one of the last families rescued from the ship. Authorities still don't know why the ship ran aground.

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