Five-Day Caribbean Cruise Turns Into Two Week Rescue Mission For Victims Affected By Hurricane Irma

What started out as a relaxing cruise turned into a rescue mission. Royal Caribbean ended the five-day cruise of The Majesty of the Seas ship one day early and gave the passengers the option of tagging along on its rescue and relief mission while riding out the storm at sea.

According to passenger Robert Mahoney, "We spent you know 16, 17 days together on the sea together and we all got to know each other in an environment, in a really tough environment." He and his wife were part of a group of around 70 passengers who stayed on board the ship after the crew announced their plans to head to the islands devastated by Irma.

The ship picked up passengers in Saint Martin and Saint Thomas and what's usually a party boat turned into a floating shelter housing hundreds of people.

Royal Caribbean chairman and CEO Richard Fain was touched by how many of the passengers stayed on board. Fain explains that "they would talk to them they would help them, they wanted to help us distribute supplies and so we were actually a little surprised but quite pleased. Sometimes disaster brings out the best and sometimes the worst -- here I think we saw the best in so many people." 

"I would do it again tomorrow. If there is anything I can do to help somebody, you know talk to somebody, bring somebody back from the lowest of low, would be my absolute pleasure" Mahoney said. The inspired passenger explains that he "saw people get off the ship the next day and they were almost whole again within 24 hours."

The cruise ship passengers have now return home.