Anthem of the Seas accidents and incidents
CruiseMapper's Anthem of the Seas cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a 4825-passenger vessel owned by Royal Caribbean. Our Anthem of the Seas accidents page contains reports made by using official data from renown online news media sources, US Coast Guard and Wikipedia.
Here are also reported latest updates on cruise law news related to ashore and shipboard crimes still investigated by the police. Among those could be arrests, filed lawsuits against the shipowner / cruise line company, charges and fines, grievances, settled / withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, virus outbreaks, etc.
- propulsion/power loss - 2017
- ship listing/tilting - 2016 (Caribbean)
- Norovirus (passengers/crew) - 2016 (125 / 16), 2017 (total 98)
- deaths - 2015 (3 pax), drownings (2016, 2017), overboard (2018), 2020 (crew)
- injuries/crimes - drug busts (2018)
- medevacs - 2015, 2017, 2018 (9), 2019 (5), 2021
|19 November 2021||Coast Guard Medevacs|
In the evening on November 19, 2021, a female passenger (suffering internal bleeding) was medevaced from the ship en route from the Caribbean back to Port Cape Liberty NJ (NYC). The incident occurred at the end of a 7-day Florida-Bahamas cruise (itinerary Nov 14-21) roundtrip from NYC/Cape Liberty to Port Canaveral (Nov 16), CocoCay (Nov 17) and Nassau (Nov 18).
For the medical evacuation was contacted the USCG District 5 (in Virginia). Air Station Elizabeth City (North Carolina) dispatched for the operation two aircraft - an MH-60 Jayhawk (rescue helicopter) and a Lockheed HC-130 (search and rescue plane).
At the time of the medevac, Anthem OTS was ~230 mi (370 km) southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina. The woman (together with a family member) was hoisted up and flown to Wilmington NC (New Hanover Regional Medical Center).
|04 May 2020||Other Incidents|
On May 4, 2020, due to the upcoming fleetwide crew repatriation, Royal Caribbean cancelled two planned for June cruises on Anthem OTS and Vision OTS. The cancelled departures were for June 20 (Anthem OTS, 8-day "Spain and Portugal Cruise" itinerary roundtrip from Southampton UK) and for June 13 (Vision OTS, 12-day "Mediterranean Greek Isles Cruise" itinerary roundtrip from Barcelona Spain).
All affected bookings were provided with 2 option - 125% refund in FCC (Future Cruise Credit) with rebooking or 100% cash refund.
|08 April 2020||Other Incidents|
On April 8, RCCL (Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd / shipowner) signed a deal with Euler Hermes (2002-founded credit insurance company, subsidiary of Allianz) to amend two Hermes-backed credit facilities - the loans taken for financing the shipbuilding projects Anthem OTS and Spectrum OTS.
The deal allowed RCCL to skip some payments (without accruing additional interest on these loans) and also provided USD 200 million of liquidity in 2020-2021 (April 1 through March 31). The deferred payments were scheduled to be repaid in 8 equal instalments between April 2021 and October 2024.
|02 February 2020||Crew / Passenger Deaths|
On February 2, 2020, a 54-year-old male crew died on the ship operating in the eastern Caribbean Sea. The Filipino man was found dead in the engine room. The death was unrelated to Coronavirus, but the case was approached with an “abundance of caution”. The body was kept in a refrigerated compartment until the vessel docked in Port Cape Liberty (Feb 7), then sent for an urgent autopsy.
While en-route from The Bahamas back to NYC, a total of 27 Chinese passengers on the ship were tested for the deadly virus. Four of the patients tested positive for influenza. A total of 12 were quarantined due to possible Coronavirus infection. The ship’s departure (planned for Feb 7 at 3 pm) was delayed until Feb 10, awaiting CDC's results.
The incident occurred during the 11-day Southern Caribbean cruise (itinerary January 27 - February 7) roundtrip from homeport Cape Liberty (Bayonne NJ-NYC) visiting Puerto Rico (San Juan), St Maarten (Philipsburg), Antigua (St Johns), St Lucia (Castries) and St Kitts (Basseterre).
|28 December 2019||Coast Guard Medevacs|
On December 28, 2019, a 70-year-old male passenger (suffering "severe abdominal issues") was medevaced by a USCG helicopter crew from the cruise liner navigating approx 27 km (17 mi) off Little Egg Inlet (New Jersey's southeastern coast). The elderly man was airlifted (hoisted from the ship) and flown to Atlantic City NJ (AtlantiCare hospital) for treatment.
The incident occurred at the beginning of 8-day Bahamas Holiday cruise (itinerary December 28 - January 5) roundtrip from homeport Cape Liberty (Bayonne NJ-NYC) to Florida (Port Canaveral) and Bahamas (Nassau, and Coco Cay Island).
|03 November 2019||Coast Guard Medevacs|
On November 3, 2019, a male passenger (with symptoms of internal bleeding) was USCG-medevaced from the liner navigating approx 95 km (60 mi) off North Carolina's coast (Cape Hatteras) and en-route from New York to Florida. For the rescue operation, from USCG Air Station Elizabeth City was dispatched an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew. The man, his wife and a crew doctor were airlifted (hoisted from the ship's helipad) and flown to Greenville NC's Vidant Medical Center.
The incident occurred at the beginning of 7-day Florida and Bahamas cruise (itinerary Nov 2-9) roundtrip from homeport NYC (Cape Liberty, Bayonne NJ) to Florida (Port Canaveral) and Bahamas (CocoCay Island, and Nassau).
|14 June 2019||Coast Guard Medevacs|
On June 14, 2019, a 55-year-old male passenger (suffering severe abdominal pains) was medevaced from the liner approx 100 ml (160 km) southeast of Cape Hatteras (North Carolina). The USCG dispatched two aircraft (MH-60 Jayhawk rescue helicopter and an HC-130 Hercules plane, for assistance) from Air Station Elizabeth City NC. The Canadian man and his wife were airlifted and flown to Carteret Health Care (Morehead City NC).
The incident occurred at the end of 9-day Bermuda and Caribbean cruise (itinerary June 6-15) roundtrip from homeport NYC-Cape Liberty (Bayonne NJ) to Bermuda (Kings Wharf), St Maarten (Philipsburg), Puerto Rico (San Juan) and Haiti (Labadee).
|16 May 2019||Coast Guard Medevacs|
On May 16, 2019, while en route from the Caribbean back to NYC (Cape Liberty NJ), due to a medical emergency the liner was rerouted to Nassau Bahamas. Reportedly, one of the staff needed treatment at a land hospital. The ship docked in Nassau ~1 am (May 17) to offload the man, then continued back to NYC. The incident resulted in nearly 24-hour delayed debarkation in Cape Liberty - at ~6 am (May 19) instead of the scheduled 7 pm (May 18). The next planned voyage was also affected - reduced from 5- to 4-day. The check-in (May 19) was rescheduled for 7-10 pm. The vessel left homeport at 11 pm, instead of the planned 4 pm (for May 18).
As compensation for the shortened voyages, all affected travellers received future RCI cruise credits and partial refunds. All cancelled bookings received full refunds.
The incident occurred at the end of 9-day "Bermuda and Caribbean" cruise (itinerary May 9-18) roundtrip from homeport Cape Liberty (Bayonne NJ-NYC) visiting Bermuda (Kings Wharf), St Maarten (Philipsburg), Puerto Rico (San Juan) and Haiti (Labadee). The next scheduled voyage was planned as 5-day Bermuda (to Kings Wharf) itinerary May 18-23.
|14 April 2019||Coast Guard Medevacs|
On April 14, 2019, a 71-year-old female passenger (suffering a possible heart attack) was medevaced from the liner approx 16 km (10 mi) east of Sandy Hook (barrier spit in Middletown, Monmouth County NJ). For the emergency evacuation was dispatched a USCG rescue boat crew from Jersey City NJ. The operation was assisted by a 47ft Motor LifeBoat dispatched from New Jersey's Sea Bright borough (Monmouth County).
According to USCG authorities, at approx 12:25 am, both boat crews arrived at the cruise vessel. The elderly woman, 3 family members and a ship physician were offloaded and transported to Station Sandy Hook, from where the woman was transported by an ambulance to Monmouth Medical Center (Long Branch, NJ).
The incident occurred at the beginning of 7-day Bermuda cruise (itinerary April 13-12) roundtrip from homeport NYC (Cape Liberty Bayonne NJ) to Kings Wharf and Boston MA.
|13 January 2019||Structural and Technical Issues|
During the 12-day Southern Caribbean cruise (itinerary Jan 6-18), the liner experienced a technical issue resulting in lack of proper air-conditioning in the period January 12-18.
As the air-conditioning system was not functioning properly, some staterooms and public areas on decks 10-11 were too hot, with temperatures raging 80-90 F (27-32 C). As compensation, Royal Caribbean offered to all affected staterooms onboard credit (per cabin) - USD 200 (inside and oceanview), USD 300 (balcony) and USD 400 (suite).
The 12-day voyage was a roundtrip from homeport Cape Liberty (Bayonne NJ / New York) visiting Puerto Rico (San Juan), St Maarten (Philipsburg), Antigua (St Johns), St Lucia (Castries), Barbados (Bridgetown) and St Kitts (Basseterre).
|19 December 2018||Coast Guard Medevacs|
On December 19, 2018, a 79-year-old male passenger (suffering kidney failure symptoms) was medevaced off the ship, approx 645 km (400 ml) southeast of Cape Hatteras (North Carolina, USA). The elderly man and a crew nurse were airlifted by a USCG helicopter crew (MH-60 Jayhawk) and transported to Air Station Elizabeth City.
The incident occurred at the end of 11-day Eastern Caribbean cruise (itinerary Dec 10-21) roundtrip from homeport Cape Liberty (Bayonne NJ-NYC) visiting San Juan (Puerto Rico), Charlotte Amalie (St Thomas, USVI), Basseterre (St Kitts), St Johns (Antigua) and Philipsburg (St Maarten).
|18 October 2018||Coast Guard Medevacs|
On October 18, 2018, at ~6:30 pm, USCG Base Boston was contacted by the cruise liner, requiring medical assistance for a 34-year-old male passenger (experiencing “severe leg pain”). To the ship was dispatched Cutter Shrike (patrol boat). The man was offloaded to the boat at ~8:30 pm. An RB-M (Response Boat-Medium) from CG Station Jones Beach met with the Cutter. The man was transferred to the RB-M and at 11:30 pm transported by an ambulance to Nassau University Medical Center (East Meadow NY).
The incident occurred at the beginning of 9-day Canada and New England cruise (itinerary Oct 18-27) roundtrip from homeport Cape Liberty (Bayonne NJ, NYC) to Boston MA, Portland ME, Bar Harbor ME, Halifax NS, and St John NB.
|09 October 2018||Coast Guard Medevacs|
(CruiseMapper emailed report by Kevin Yarrow) On October 9, 2018, while sailing from Halifax NS to Saint John’s NB, my 55-year-old wife suffered a detached retina.
After evaluation by ship’s physicians, the Captain diverted the ship back to Port Halifax, arriving just before midnight. We were transported by paramedics to Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre (former Halifax Infirmary) and hours later she had successful emergency surgery. Cruise ship's crew could not have performed better and we are grateful for their quick decision that saved her sight.
|01 October 2018||Drug Smuggling|
On October 1, 2018, a 41-year-old female passenger (Meghan George, from Pennsylvania USA) was charged with drug possession. Upon boarding the ship in call port Royal Naval Dockyard (Kings Wharf, Bermuda), Customs officers found in her purse 2x bags of cannabis. After searching her stateroom, they found in a suitcase 3x marijuana smoking pipes, 1x grinder and 1x E-cigarette cartridge with cannabis.
The woman was arrested and remanded in custody. On Oct 5 (law news) she was fined USD 4,000 after admitting possession of cannabis and drug equipment.
The incident occurred during 5-day Bermuda cruise (itinerary Sept 29 - Oct 4) roundtrip from homeport NYC (Cape Liberty, Bayonne NJ) to Kings Wharf.
|17 August 2018||Coast Guard Medevacs|
On August 17, 2018, USCG helicopter medevaced 2 passengers (both with heart attack symptoms) from the cruise liner en-route from Haiti back to homeport Bayonne (NYC). The ship first contacted USCG Portsmouth on Aug 16 (in the morning), requesting assistance for an 18-year-old male passenger. The vessel was redirected closer to North Carolina's coast. However, by the evening, USCG was contacted again by the ship, reporting an 82-year-old male passenger.
On Aug 17 (in the morning), both men were airlifted and flown to New Hanover Regional Medical Center (Wilmington NC). The incident occurred during 9-day Bermuda and Caribbean cruise (itinerary Aug 9-18) roundtrip from homeport Cape Liberty (NJ-NYC) to Kings Wharf, Philipsburg (St Maarten), San Juan (Puerto Rico) and Labadee (Haiti).
|12 July 2018||Coast Guard Medevacs|
On July 12, 2018, a 48-year-old female passenger (suffering seizures) was medevaced from the ship off Sandy Hook (Middletown, New Jersey). The liner was navigating approx 29 km (18 mi) southeast of Ambrose sea buoy, after leaving homeport Cape Liberty (Bayonne NJ) and en-route for Bermuda. USCG Station Sandy Hook dispatched a boat crew. The woman and a crew nurse were transferred to a 47-ft lifeboat, brought to Station Sandy Hook, then transported by an ambulance to the hospital.
The incident occurred during 9-day Bermuda and Caribbean cruise (itinerary July 12-21) roundtrip from Bayonne (NYC) to Kings Wharf, Philipsburg (St Maarten), San Juan (Puerto Rico) and Labadee (Haiti).
|11 May 2018||Coast Guard Medevacs|
On May 11, 2018, an 83-year-old female passenger (experiencing kidney failure) was medevaced from the ship approx 160 ml / 260 km southeast of Elizabeth City, North Carolina.
The elderly woman was airlifted by a USCG MH-60 helicopter crew (assisted by an HC-130 Hercules airplane) dispatched from Air Station Elizabeth City. The woman, together with a family member and a crew nurse were transported to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital (Norfolk VA).
During the incident, the liner was en-route to homeport Cape Liberty (Bayonne NJ) returning from a 10-day Bermuda and Caribbean cruise (itinerary May 3-12) to Kings Wharf, St Maarten, Puerto Rico and Labadee (Haiti).
|27 April 2018||Coast Guard Medevacs|
On April 27, 2018, a 71-year-old male passenger (suffering from kidney failure) was medevaced by USCG helicopter team dispatched from Air Station Atlantic City to the ship located approx 50 ml (80 km) east of Ocean City NJ. The elderly man was airlifted and together with a crew nurse were flown to AtlantiCare (Atlantic City).
The liner was en-route back to NYC returning from a 7-day Florida-Bahamas cruise (itinerary April 21-28) roundtrip from Cape Liberty NJ to Port Canaveral, Coco Cay Island and Nassau.
|13 April 2018||Crew / Passenger Deaths|
(overboard) On April 13 (Friday) 2018, at ~4:45 pm a 24-year-old male passenger intentionally jumped overboard from an upper deck (near the vessel's stern). The liner immediately turned around and started a search and rescue operation with its lifeboats. The Anthem's search was suspended at ~7 pm and the ship continued towards NYC, while other vessels in the area (including a USCG aircraft) continued the operation.
The accident occurred while the ship was en-route from Nassau Bahamas back to NYC (New Jersey), returning from a 7-day Florida and Bahamas cruise (itinerary April 7-14) roundtrip from homeport New York (Cape Liberty NJ) to Port Canaveral, Coco Cay and Nassau.
|06 February 2018||Coast Guard Medevacs|
On February 6, 2018, while en route from St Kitts Island back to homeport NYC (Bayonne, New Jersey), the ship diverted to Bermuda due to a medical emergency. A 71-year-old male passenger was disembarked off the island's east end in the afternoon. In the open sea, the liner was met by a pilot boat. The patient and medical crew were transferred ashore, from where he was transported by an ambulance to King Edward VII Memorial Hospital.
The ship was on 12-day Southern Caribbean cruise (itinerary Jan 28 - Feb 9) roundtrip from New York.
|19 January 2018||Coast Guard Medevacs|
On January 19, 2018, an NYPD Aviation Unit came to rescue an 80-year-old male passenger suffering a cardiac attack. The medevac happened while the ship was in Ambrose Channel (main shipping channel for Port NYC).
The vessel had to change course and headed towards Coney Island. There it was met by Quick Reaction Force (QRF) 4-team aircraft. They boarded the ship and hoisted the man into the aircraft. He was transported to Staten Island Medical Center in serious condition. The cruise liner then resumed its planned course.
The ship was starting a 9-day Florida and Bahamas cruise (itinerary Jan 19-28) from homeport Cape Liberty NJ to Port Canaveral, Orlando, Miami, Nassau, Coco Cay Island.
|November 2017||Fire Accident|
November 2017, during the 7-day Bahamas cruise from NYC New York (itinerary Nov 4-11) a Norovirus outbreak affected a total of 98 passengers and crew. The NYC roundtrip visited Port Canaveral FL, Coco Cay, Island and Nassau.
|30 July 2017||Coast Guard Medevacs|
On July 30, 2017, an 82-year-old male passenger suffering from abdominal pains was medevaced from the ship at ~1:45 am. A USCG MH-65 Dolphin helicopter was dispatched from Air Station Atlantic City. The elderly man was airlifted and transported to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center (New Jersey). The ship was approx 70 ml (110 km) east of Atlantic City NJ, operating on a 5-day Bermuda cruise from NYC (Cape Liberty NJ, itinerary Jul 29-Aug 3) to Kings Wharf.
|28 March 2017||Propulsion / Power Loss|
On March 28, 2017, a technical issue (with a propulsion motor) resulted in reduced cruising speed (17 kN / 31 kph instead of 22 kN / 41 kph) and itinerary change. The scheduled itinerary (March 26 – April 2, roundtrip from Cape Liberty NJ-NYC) was to Florida-Bahamas (ports Port Canaveral, Coco Cay, Nassau). The revised itinerary was with 2 consecutive sea days (March 27-28), followed by CocoCay (Mar 29), then Nassau (overnight, Mar 29-30) then Port Canaveral (Mar 31) and Sea Day (Apr 1) before the return to NYC.
|17 March 2017||Crew / Passenger Deaths|
On March 17, 2017, an elderly female passenger was found dead in the ship’s swimming pool.
|18 February 2017||Coast Guard Medevacs|
On February 18, 2017, a 75-year-old female passenger was medevaced by the USCG while the cruise ship was 110 ml (180 km) off Cape Hatteras (North Carolina) coast. The elderly woman went into diabetic shock. She was airlifted and flown to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital by a USCG helicopter dispatched from Air Station Elizabeth City (NC).
|30 November 2016||Crew / Passenger Deaths|
On November 30, 2016, two male passengers (of US origin) were found dead onboard, after the ship docked in San Juan Puerto Rico. The bodies showed no signs of violence. Both men – Joseph Ambrussi (62-year-old) and William Forsytte (55-year-old) - were travelling with their spouses. Both deaths were attributed to natural causes.
The ship was on 13-day Southern Caribbean cruise (itinerary Nov 27 – Dec 9) roundtrip from NYC, also visiting St Maarten, Antigua, Barbados, Martinique, St Kitts.
|30 June 2016||Crew / Passenger Deaths|
On June 30, 2016, an 8-year-old boy nearly drowned on the ship. Soon after departure from Bayonne (Cape Liberty, New Jersey), the boy (of Dutch origin) was found unresponsive at the bottom of a swimming pool. The USCG was notified about the incident around 7 pm.
The ship had to return back to Bayonne NJ, where the kid was hospitalized and placed on life-support. He was part of a 49-passenger group from Holland. Royal Caribbean provided 2 buses to pick up and transport all of them to a nearby hotel. Sadly, on July 2nd the boy died.
|07 February 2016||Ship Listing|
On February 7, 2016, while en-route from New York to Florida (off the South Carolina’s coast), at ~ 3:30 pm, the vessel (carrying 4529 pax and 1616 crew) was caught in a severe storm. The storm was classified as category 2 hurricane equivalent – with extreme winds (over 120 mph / 190 kph) and rogue waves (up to 30 ft / 9 m).
The result was severe listing (~20 degrees on occasions), 4 passengers sustaining minor injuries, ship interior damages (in cabins and public areas- broken glassware, crockery, furniture, balcony doors and partitions, floodings, ceiling panels) and eventually – cruise cancellation.
The Captain ordered all passengers to remain in their cabins for safety. The cruise liner experienced not expected "extreme wind and sea conditions". Passengers, tweeting from the ship, described giant waves and hurricane-force winds rocking the vessel, smashing glassware, overturning furniture. The ship departed New Jersey on February 6 (Saturday). but returned into Bayonne's Cape Liberty port 3 days early (on February 10).
The ship operated on a 7-day Bahamas cruise round-trip from Bayonne New York (itinerary Feb 6 – 13) with scheduled call ports Port Canaveral, Nassau and Coco Cay (RCI’s private island). The ship arrived late in Port Canaveral (on Feb 8).
Considering the rough sea conditions, Royal Caribbean decided to cancel the voyage and to return the ship to Cape Liberty (Bayonne NJ /port arrival Feb 10, at ~9 pm). All passengers were given the option to immediately disembark or stay on board overnight. They were also fully refunded and given an additional 50% in future RCI cruise onboard credit. After the inspection, USCG reported the vessel’s propulsion system was partially damaged during the storm. The portside azipod was rendered inoperable so the ship had to manoeuvre with a single thruster.
|February 2016||Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks|
February 2016, the 12-day Southern Caribbean cruise (itinerary Feb 21 - Mar 4) roundtrip from Cape Liberty New Jersey (New York) was cancelled on Feb 28. The ship returned to NYC 2 days before schedule (on March 2) skipping 2 Caribbean port calls (Barbados and St Kitts). The RCI’s official statement was that the decision was based on a “weather forecast”.
However, cruise ship passengers reported over 65 people with Norovirus symptoms (vomiting, diarrhoea) being quarantined to their cabins for 48 hours. As compensation for the cancelled cruise, all passengers received a 2-day refund plus 50% of the current cruise price applied to a future Royal Caribbean cruise. Airline change fees were also covered by the company. On March 3, CDC issued an official report on the Norovirus (gastrointestinal illness) outbreak on the ship, which affected a total of 125 passengers (out of 4061, or 3,1%) and 16 crew (out of 1592, or 1%).
|21 November 2015||Crew / Passenger Deaths|
On November 21, 2015, the ship returned a day early to homeport Bayonne NJ (New York) due to a major medical emergency. Via the PA system, the Captain only mentioned “four critically ill passengers” – stating specifically they were in a critical condition. According to unofficial information, 3 of them had died. The incident occurred at the end of a 12-day Southern Caribbean cruise from NYC (itinerary Nov 10-22) to Puerto Rico, Barbados, Martinique, St Kitts and St Maarten.
|02 September 2015||Coast Guard Medevacs|
On September 2, 2015, in the evening, via the PA system, a code “Alpha” was alerted (meaning “medical emergency”). On the next day (Sept 3) at ~11 am, a male passenger was medevaced together with his family by helicopter and flown ashore to a Portuguese hospital. During the airlifting procedure, all public areas and the sports facilities on Deck 16 aft (the simulators FlowRider and RipCord, and the rock climbing wall) were closed. The incident occurred in the Atlantic waters, off Portugal’s coast.
The ship was on 14-day roundtrip Mediterranean cruise itinerary (Aug 29 – Sept 15) from homeport Southampton England to Gibraltar, Cartagena, Rome, La Spezia, Marseille, Cadiz, Lisbon.
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