Several major cruise lines, of which Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean (the world's largest and second largest operators) banned cruise guests and crew members from using Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones onboard their ships over fears of “dangerous explosions” caused by overheating.
The devices made by the South Korean manufacturer were recalled last month following various reports of them exploding due to a fault with the phone’s battery. One included a Jeep which appeared to have burst into flames after a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phone was left to charge inside the vehicle.
“Guests and crew in possession of an applicable Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphone are required to turn off their device, disconnect the device from any charging equipment, disable all applications that could involuntarily activate the device (e.g. alarm clock) and protect the power switch to prevent its unintentional activation”, Carnival says on its website.
Other cruise lines reported to have issued the ban include Cunard, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn, P&O Cruises, Costa Cruises and Fathom (all part of Carnival Corporation) as well as the Royal Caribbean International, Azamara Club Cruises, Thomson Cruises and Disney Cruise Line, according to Crew Center, a website run by former cruise ship crew members.
Windstar, a small luxury cruise line, is also said to have joined the ban.
Disney has posted notices within its cruise terminals reading:
“If you own a Galaxy Note 7 and have not replaced your recalled device, please power it off and do not charge it for the duration of the cruise. We recommend storing electronics and valuables in your stateroom safe,” the Disney Cruise Line blog states.
Passengers and crew members travelling with Crystal Cruises have reportedly been informed to stop using the phone immediately “unless the phone has already been sent to repair prior to this information,” a crew member from American cruise line Crystal Cruises told Crew Center.
German Cruise line AIDA was said to have issued a safety precaution to guests that read:
“Your safety is our priority. Therefore we would like to bring your attention of the risk when using your Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones on board.
“If you are in possession of such a device, we strongly recommend against using during your trip. Please turn your device off immediately."
It is yet to be confirmed how the phone ban is being enforced on board cruise ships, when it might be lifted, and whether there are any penalties for those who fail to comply.