"All the Things that Can Go Wrong On A Cruise"


The table below lists "events at sea" occurring after January 1, 2013, including cruise ship accidents.  It is based on media reports, passenger reports posted at on-line boards and discussion groups, and reports sent to Cruise Junkie. In reviewing the information, please keep in mind that some cruise lines are given less scrutiny by the media than others, and it is not uncommon for events to not appear in the media.  This information reflects only that which has made it into the public domain.

Reported Cruise Industry Spending on Lobbying the US Congress, 1997-2014 (pdf)

Report of Investigation into the Fire Onboard the Carnival Splendor off the Coast of Mexico on November 8, 2010, which Resulted in Complete Loss of Power

THE Comprehensive list of Persons Overboard, 1995 - 2014

Pollution and Environmental Violations and Fines

Getting a Grip on Cruise Ship Pollution - Summary

Getting a Grip On Cruise Ship Pollution - Full Report

Poorly Cleaned Public Cruise Ship Restrooms May Predict Norovirus Outbreaks

To go to CRUISE JUNKIE DOT COM Home page, click here

Analysis of Reports of Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault on cruise ships, 2003-2005: Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises

Analysis of FBI Crime Data from Ships,
ct 1, 2007 - September 30, 2008

Useful Resources from Judge Thomas A Dickerson:

Cruise Passengers' Rights and Remedies

Travel Abroad, Sue at Home

Have you been onboard during an "event" or illness outbreak?
Let me know, and send along photos or video if you have them.

Cruise Line
Type of Incident
January 30 Voyager Voyages of Discovery From a reader: The ship is currently at anchor in Table Bay, Cape Town as a result of the port being fog bound. She was due to berth at 06h00 this morning. It is now 07h18. The fog is lifting and the port is expected to re-open soon. This should not affect her schedule as she will be in port overnight brining to an end to her South African cruise programme as she returns to Europe tomorrow evening. Vessel was finally alongside at 09h00 – 3 hours later than scheduled. Fog delayed arrival
January 29 Carnival Corporation Law 360 reports cruise line operator Carnival Corp. & PLC allegedly charged certain customers who booked cruises through a Marriott Vacation Club program inflated government and port fees for its own profit, according to a putative class action removed to Florida federal court on Wednesday. (See Finerman v Carnival, Case #1:15-cv-20311, South District of Florida). Lawsuit over charges and fees
January 29 Queen Elizabeth
Cunard Line
The Daily Mail reports on a lawsuit from a passenger for gastrointestinal illness on a cruise in February 2014. a British holidaymaker who went on a cruise while recuperating from throat cancer treatment says his trip was ruined after he was struck down with gastric illness. Robert Keywood, from Mexborough, South Yorkshire, was travelling on the Queen Elizabeth cruise ship with his wife, Verena, to get some rest and relaxation after undergoing radiotherapy and chemotherapy. But the 53-year-old said he was forced to remain in his cabin while experiencing stomach cramps, fever, diarrhoea, aches, lack of appetite and severe lethargy. He said: ‘This was meant to be a holiday where my wife and I could relax and take it easy. I had been having treatment for throat cancer and we just wanted to get away and enjoy ourselves.’ He claimed food was served lukewarm, fruit was not always fresh, the pool water was dirty looking, and public toilets wouldn’t flush properly. Lawsuit over illness
January 29 Carnival Dream
Carnival Cruise Lines
Cruise Law News reports a a 30 year-old man (passenger) sailing with his wife and other couples apparently fell from his cabin's balcony and landed on an exterior deck that runs above the lifeboats (deck 5 I believe). This occurred on Tuesday, January 20th. The cruise ship called on Cozumel on Tuesday, Grand Cayman on Wednesday and Montego Bay on Thursday. The FBI was suppose to board on Sunday when the ship returned to New Orleans. There have been no reports we know of foul play. He is from Missouri. Carnival flew his wife home during the cruise. Pax dies in fall from balcony to lower deck
January 28 Sapphire Princess
Princess Cruises
A poster at Cruise Critic reports a young man dived from deck 13 (we think) and the captain announced man overboard on the tanoid. A few people through life jackets to mark the stop. The ship turned and ribs and tenders were deployed and search lights. I thought he must have been killed in the fall and was devastated to have knowledge of it. I couldn't believe that they found him! A miracle in my view and all credit to the Captain and crew who saved his life. He was thrown off at the next port with his family(so we heard) Pax overboard - rescued alive
January 28 Not named
Carnival Cruise Lines
Jamaica Observer reports the police are reporting that 43-year-old Shelby Person and 45-year-old Tyrone Rideout, both of Weeping Willow, Maryland in the United States, who were reported missing on Tuesday, January 13 have returned. They are said to be in good health. Person and Rideout disembarked a cruise ship at the Falmouth Cruise Ship Pier in Trelawny shortly after its arrival in the island about 10:00 am on January 12 and left the pier for an undisclosed destination. OBSERVER ONLINE has learnt that the two were located after officials discovered updated postings on their Facebook accounts. They were allegedly in Ocho Rios, St Ann. The men reportedly turned up at the pier on Monday to board an outgoing ship. They were arrested for breaches of the immigration act. Arrest for not boarding ship in port
January 26 Horizon Croisieres de France El Universal reports reports that three people carrying 20 kilos of cocaine were arrested trying to smuggle the drugs aboard the Horizon cruise ship while in port in Margarita Island in Venezuela. Cruise passengers Andreina López Ramírez (26), Mercedes Salazar Benzaquén (22) and Arnaldo Salazar Rosas (34) reportedly intending to smuggle the drugs but a drug dog sniffed the cocaine out at the port terminal. Drug bust
January 25 Boudicca
Fred Olsen Cruises
BBC reports the ship was left without power off Morocco after an engine room fire. Holidaymakers on board the Boudicca put on life jackets, according to the son of one passenger. The fire at 04:00 BST left the ship "listing" and "in pitch black", said Dave Tonkin, whose father is onboard. Fred Olsen, the company which owns the ship, said it was now fully stable and had five engines running with two still not working. Spokeswoman Rachael Jackson said Boudicca listed for "a short period" but was now stable and travelling again, although more slowly than normal. "The fire was in the engine room, but has now been extinguished, and no guests or crew have been injured," she said. She said two main engines and three auxiliary engines were running, while two other engines were still being mended. The ship will aim to arrive in Lanzarote, Spain, on Monday as planned, she added. Update Jan 28: Fred Olsen Cruises says repairs to the ship will take time so passengers are being flown home from Tenerife. The cruise line is giving pax a full refund on the current cruise and a 50% discount on a future cruise. Fire
January 24 Serenade of the Seas
Royal Caribbean International
Cruise Law News and WDSU report the ship suffered a major power loss today. A passenger says that the cruise ship was partially flooded during a heavy rain storm. The Coast Guard says a broken water pipe caused the problem. This reportedly caused a large part of the cruise ship to experience electrical problems. Royal Caribbean sent this message to the passengers scheduled to board the ship today: "Serenade of the Seas "Hello, this is Royal Caribbean International. We would like to provide you an update regarding your sailing today onboard Serenade of the Seas out of New Orleans. The U.S. Coast Guard is currently onboard inspecting the ship. We are waiting for authorization from the Coast Guard to begin boarding. Because the cruise terminal in New Orleans is very limited in space, we ask that guest explore the local area until we can begin boarding. We will contact you again once we have received permission to begin the boarding process. We appreciate your patience and understanding, and we look forward to welcoming you onboard."
A few hours later, it sent this message: "Hello, this is Royal Caribbean International with an update your sailing today onboard Serenade of the Seas. The U.S. Coast Guard has given us permission to begin the boarding process. Please return to the terminal so that we may check you in for your cruise. Our entire onboard team look forward to welcoming you onboard, and will do their very best to make your sailing as enjoyable as possible."
Serenade of the SeasOne passenger who was apparently on the Serenade when it returned to port in New Orleans said that power was lost to around 175 cabins. Apparently, according to this passenger, 400 passengers will not been to cruise because their cabins have no power. Nonetheless, the Coast Guard cleared the Serenade to be boarded. The ship is staying in New Orleans until it is cleared to sail. Royal Caribbean has not commented on the condition of the vessel or whether some of the passengers will remain in New Orleans.
Update: Media reports say 417 cabins affecting some 800 passengers have been affected.
Electrical loss to 417 cabins; 800 pax have reservation canceled
January 22 Carnival Triumph
Carnival Cruise Lines
Courthouse News reports an employee of Carnival Corporation followed a female passenger to her room and raped her in front of her minor children, a federal lawsuit claims. Dana Hastings says she and her family were passengers on a Carnival cruise ship in February 2014, when the incident occurred off the coast of Florida. According to a complaint filed in Miami Federal Court, "On or about February 20, 2014, the Plaintiff was sexually assaulted and/or raped by an employee/crewmember of Defendant, believed to be the pit boss of the casino aboard Defendant's vessel. "The crewmember followed the Plaintiff to her passenger cabin, and he raped and/or sexually assaulted the Plaintiff inside her cabin while the Plaintiff's two minor children, Ramsey Hastings and Trey Hastings, were also inside the cabin," the complaint continues. "The Plaintiff's two minor children heard and/or witnessed their mother ... being raped and/or sexually assault." Hastings says she reported the incident soon after it happened, but "Defendant's security officer(s) attempted to dissuade the Plaintiff from pressing charges and forced the Plaintiff to write a statement stating that she would not press charges against the alleged assailant." Hastings claims that rapes and other sexual assaults occur on Carnival's vessels at an alarming rate, "Yet Defendant failed to take adequate steps or provide adequate security and/or training and/or supervision to prevent such rapes and/or sexual assaults, and failed to warn its passengers of the growing epidemic of rape and sexual assault at sea." She says the reason for this is purely financial -- the cruise line doesn't want to scare potential passengers away. Hastings seeks unspecified damages on claims of vicarious liability for the rape/sexual assault, negligence, and multiple counts of negligent infliction of emotional distress. Lawsuit - sexual assaul
January 20 Discovery Voyages of Discovery From a reader: The ship left Cape Town on Sunday 18th Jan and was due in East London at 08h00 this morning, 20th January. She is currently mid-way between Port Elizabeth and East London, obviously way behind schedule. No explanation has been given for the delay and she is currently cruising at a mere 11 knots. Delayed - propulsion problems?
January 19 Opera
MSC Cruises

From a reader: Vessel currently outside the port of Cape Town which is wind bound. Three attempts to dock earlier this morning were unsuccessful. Ship arrived early this morning from Mossel Bay and is due to sail for Walvis Bay at 16h00. As at 13h13, she remains outside the port. Subsequently Posted on MSC Cruises South Africa Website: We regret the unfortunate delay in the departure of the MSC Opera which has been caused by very high winds which have prevented the ship from being able to enter the port of Cape Town. MSC Opera will not be able to enter the port today due to prevailing high winds and all our guests are advised of the below in respect of alternative arrangements. Passengers residing in Cape Town are advised to return home and to return to the port at 09h00 tomorrow the 20th January 2015 when check in will commence for the sailing. UPDATE: Berthed in Cape Town just after 05h00 this morning, 20th January 2015, one day late as a result of high winds. Vessel will sail to Walvis Bay at 14h00 today, 20th Jan and omit Luderitz.

Delayed arrival/departure
January 19 Queen Elizabeth
Cunard Line
Cruise Critic reports weather across the Atlantic will result in the late arrival of Queen Elizabeth into New York today, with the ship's next departure to be delayed by 24 hours. According to a spokesperson from Cunard Line, Queen Elizabeth will arrive at the Manhattan terminal around midday on Sunday instead of its original early morning arrival time. "Embarking passengers will still board the ship on Sunday, albeit slightly delayed, and will be looked after in New York until this time," said Jackie Chase, public relations manager for Cunard Line. Queen Elizabeth will remain in New York overnight to ensure passengers are able to visit the city, Chase said. The cruise line is assisting disembarking passengers with their return travel arrangements and those booked on Cunard air will have their travel arrangements changed. Due to the extended stay in New York, Queen Elizabeth will arrive at Fort Lauderdale on Thursday 22 January, one day later than scheduled. Delayed arrival (24 hrs)
January 14 Not named
Carnival Cruise Lines
Jamaica Observer reports 2 American men (aged 42 and 45) went missing Monday after they disembarked a cruise ship at the Falmouth Cruise Ship Terminal in Trelawny. Information received is that both disembarked the vessel shortly after its arrival in the island about 10:00 am and left the pier for an undisclosed destination. Police have conducted checks at various hospitals as well as the surrounding communities but their searches have proved futile. Diappearance ashore
January 9 Pleasure Cruise in Costa Rica NY Daily News reports a catamaran carrying dozens of foreign tourists on a pleasure cruise capsized off Costa Rica on Thursday, killing three people, emergency officials said. The boat, which was on a day trip to the popular Tortuga (Turtle) Island, sank completely about nine miles off the country’s central Pacific coast. Firefighters corps director Hector Chavez said initial reports of an explosion and fire were mistaken. Survivors reported that strong waves filled the boat with water and caused it to sink, he said. Chavez said three people died. The public security ministry said in a Twitter posting that the victims were a US citizen, a Canadian and a man from Britain. Vice-president Ana Helena Chacon said at a news conference that 106 people were rescued, meaning all of the cruise’s 99 passengers and 10 crew were accounted for.  
January 8 Oasis of the Seas
Royal Caribbean International
Cruise Law News reports A Mexican newspaper reports that U.S. cruise passenger from Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas fell overboard as the cruise ship sailed to Cozumel. The Disney Magic, sailing the same route, then rescued the passenger, identified as Frank Jade. The newspaper reports that the Oasis didn't even realize that the passenger had gone overboard. After spotting the Royal Caribbean passenger floating in the sea, the Disney Magic stopped and lowered a rescue boat. The Magic reportedly docked at the dock of Punta Langosta and transferred the passenger to a private clinic for medical care. Passeneger overboard (rescued alive)
January 7 Empress Pullmantur Cruises Fox News reports a protest by Brazilian fishermen in the southern state of Santa Catarina has been preventing the departure for Uruguay and Argentina of a cruise ship with 1,800 tourists on board, the vessel's operating firm reported Tuesday. More than 100 fishing boats since Monday morning have been blocking the Itajai Port Complex canal, on the northern coast of Santa Catarina, and the fisherman are demanding the nullification of a measure implemented by the Environment Ministry prohibiting fishing for certain endangered species. The cruise ship Empress, with capacity for 1,877 passengers and 645 crewmembers, set sail last Sunday from the port of Santos, in Sao Paulo state, and was scheduled to stop in Montevideo and Buenos Aires before returning to Brazil. Blocked from departing
January 6 Ship unknown DIsney Cruise Line Inquisitor dot com reports a large family decided to all take a sailing together aboard one of the Disney Cruise Line ships right after Christmas. The cruise was heading for the Bahamas, but a few members never made it that far as they were asked to pack up and disembark the ship in Nassau after their baby got sick. According to WPTV, Dave Berg of Naples, Florida, hopped aboard a Disney Cruise Line ship and departed from Miami on December 30. Actually, Berg departed with 31 family members, one of which is his cancer-stricken mother-in-law who was doing the cruise as part of her bucket list. On Thursday morning, Berg’s four-month-old granddaughter began spitting up. She was brought to the ship’s infirmary by Jennifer Moak, Berg’s daughter, and the infant was given medicine for seasickness. Later in the day, the Disney Cruise Line infirmary contacted Moak’s husband to advise them that another checkup was needed for the baby. Once arriving downstairs, Moak said the family was told they would have to disembark the ship. “He said because of her age, she wasn’t supposed to be on the ship and that they would be — I think the word that he used was ‘terminating’ our stay on the ship.” Per the family, the medical staff aboard the Disney Cruise Line ship said that the age of the baby and safety needs were reasons that the family couldn’t stay on board. Early in 2014, Disney Cruise Line had changed the policy for infant travel and pregnant women. Babies used to be able to travel at 12 weeks of age, but Disney did change things. “For reservations made after July 17, 2014, on sailings commencing in 2015 and beyond, the minimum age to sail aboard any Vessel is 6 months of age on most itineraries, and the minimum age for Transatlantic, Hawaii, and Panama Canal itineraries is 1 year of age.” The reservation of the Moaks was not to be affected, which would allow them to travel with the baby younger than six months old. Family evicted
January 3 Oasis of the Seas
Royal Caribbean International
10 News reports a child is in critical condition after nearly drowning on board a cruise ship, deputies said. The ship had just left Port Everglades on Saturday when a bystander noticed the child was caught in a wave pool on the 15th deck. Authorities say the child may have been underwater for about five to ten minutes before he was pulled out. Crews administered CPR while the ship was diverted back to port. The Broward Sheriff's Office said the child was revived and taken to Broward Health Medical Center. The child was not identified by deputies. Sun Sentinel gives more detailed information. Child near-drowns
January 3 Not relevant The Press reports Akaroa (New Zealand) police are on the hunt for a possible anti-cruise ship protester who has been vandalising the town's public toilets. Senior Constable Lyle Pryor said toilet door hinges had been removed and toilet bowls filled with gravel on several occasions this summer. The affected toilet block is one of three in the township and was specifically built near the Akaroa Wharf to cater to cruise ship visitors. Pryor said there were some in the town who were against the cruise ships because they changed the character of the isolated community. "These things seem to occur on a cruise ship day or just before," Pryor said. Onshore response to cruise tourism
January 2 Unknown
Heritage River Journeys
Big News Network reports a member of the crew suffered slight injury after a fire broke out in a luxury cruise liner in Calcutta on Friday, a day before it was slated to embark on its maiden voyage. Two fire tenders managed to douse the fire within a short time, fire brigade sources said. A short circuit is suspected to have caused the fire in the ship anchored at a jetty on the Ganga in the neighbouring Howrah district.
"One member of the crew was slightly injured. Some furniture damaged. It was a minor fire," said a fire brigade official. The cruise liner is slated to leave for Murshidabad with passengers Saturday.
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