The Princess Cruises ship was making its round-the-world journey from Sydney when the holiday took a dark turn.
Australian woman Caroline Jasinski, who was on board as a speaker, revealed what happened when the 1900-passenger vessel passed through dangerous waters.
For 10 of the 104 days on the itinerary, the Sea Princess became a “ghost ship”, according to Caroline.
The media specialist told news.com.au: “Captain Gennaro Arma addressed the ship. He apologised for alarming passengers. However, the threat, he said, was real and the ship must be prepared for a pirate attack.”
“It was made very clear on the Sea Princess, very quickly, that this pirate threat was not something to be joked about.
“Any remaining smirks soon disappeared as the pirate drill alarm sounded and the crew was instructed to move to their designated muster stations.”
The ship had sailed from Sydney to Dubai with a stopover in Melbourne and Colombo, Sri Lanka.
It then hit waters that carry a very real pirate risk, the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Aden and the Suez Canal.
One of the worst areas for piracy is off the coast of Somalia, where gunmen storm ships using ladders.
Caroline said: “If captured, cargo and crew are taken back to Somalia waters and are often held to ransom. Torture of crew is common.”
“Generally ships are kept for four to six months, but one ship was kept for 12 months.”
The traveller explained what life was like on board during those tense 10 days.
Lights were turned off from dusk until dawn, with no deck parties or late night outdoor bars allowed.
Curtains were drawn and shutters were closed throughout the ship as passengers prepared for the worst.
Passengers were sent back to their cabins to be counted, with advice to sit on the floor and hang on to hand rails should the boat have to quickly steer away from pirate boats.
Caroline said: “In the case of a real threat, those passengers in outside cabins were told to close and lock their balcony doors, then lock their entrance door to their cabin and take shelter in the corridors.
“That put two metal doors between passengers and pirates.”
Express.co.uk has contacted Princess Cruises for comment.
Thankfully there were no pirate attacks to report on the itinerary, but pirate attacks pose a very real threat to cruise ships the world over.
All ships have emergency plans in place in case the incident should unfold.
There have been six reported attempts of pirates attacking…