Passenger describes ‘dystopian’ scene on world’s biggest cruise ship after man ‘jumped’ overboard

Passenger describes ‘dystopian’ scene on world’s biggest cruise ship after man ‘jumped’ overboard

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A passenger described the “dystopian” scene on the world’s largest cruise ship after a man went overboard Sunday and died — including the premature celebration that broke out when passengers heard he was pulled from the water.

Zachary Normandin, 31, told The Post that some 300 passengers eating dinner on Royal Caribbean’s new Icon of the Seas cheered when the captain informed the ship that that the missing traveler was found.

The incident happened on Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas. Getty Images

“Everyone in the dining room clapped and we’re like ‘yeah,’” the Connecticut resident said. “We assumed that the guy was fine.”

But, then it emerged that the passenger — who has not been identified — was dead, and the 1,200-foot cruise ship continued on its voyage.

Normandin said he heard from several other passengers that the man jumped from the ship, though the Coast Guard only said he fell overboard.

The result was an almost surreal atmosphere as most travelers are continuing to party as if nothing has happened.

“I don’t think everyone knows about the guy dying. I think it’s kind of purposely silenced,” Normandin said, adding he doesn’t think Royal Caribbean wants to scare anyone.

The Icon of the Seas, which can carry up to 7,000 passengers and 2,000 crew members, was on the first day of a seven-day voyage around the Gulf of Mexico when the tragedy struck. It’s not due back in Miami until June 1.

It has made two ports of call, including in Honduras and Costa Maya, Mexico.

The Coast Guard told The Post Monday night the cruise ship deployed rescue boats and located the man and brought him back on board.

“He was pronounced deceased,” the Coast Guard said.

The man was recovered from the water.
The man was recovered from the water. X / @davidcanter

Normandin, a married father of one, said the Icon of the Seas’ captain initially revealed a man had went over the edge of the ship and the ship was forced to turn around in hopes of finding the missing traveler.

“I thought we were going straight back to Miami, I thought that was it. But, no everything just kept on going,” said Normandin, who posted part of the rescue mission on social media over the weekend.

Normandin said he’s surprised how many passengers went about their business during the search and in the aftermath even as news has spread the passenger died.

“I think people we’re just trying not to think about it, maybe, I don’t know,” he said.

“It just seemed like more people would have been like ‘oh my gosh, what’s going on,’ but no, people were just going about their day. It’s just kind of dystopian.”

Week-long voyages on the mega-ship cost generally around $1,500 to $2,000.

Normandin said the passengers he spoke to believe the man jumped from the ship, because the area where he was last seen has high glass barriers that would make it impossible to accidentally fall from.

Royal Caribbean hasn’t said much about the incident, citing the need to give the grieving family privacy.

“Prayers to the family, I just hope they get through this,” Normandin said. “I just wish I knew who they were so I could reach out to them and hug them or something.”




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