Azamara Journey accidents and incidents

Azamara Journey cruise ship

Former names
Blue Dream, Blue Star, R6, R-Six (Renaissance Cruises)

Length (LOA)
181 m / 594 ft

  Tracker   Ship Wiki

CruiseMapper's Azamara Journey cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a 781-passenger vessel owned by Azamara Cruises. Our Azamara Journey 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could be arrests, filed lawsuits against the shipowner / cruise line company, charges and fines, grievances, settled / withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, virus outbreaks, etc.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 – 2014
  • pirate attack – 2012
  • Norovirus (passengers/crew)- 2004 (30 / 2)
  • Azamara Cruises bad publicity – 2013 (elderly couple abandoned in Turkey after onboard injury)

During its service history, the vessel was operating under the names R Six (2000-2003), Blue Star (2003-2005), Blue Dream (2005-2007).

25 February 2014Propulsion / Power Loss

On February 25, 2014, the vessel was on 14-day Asian cruise (itinerary Feb 17 - Mar 3) from Hong Kong China to Tokyo Japan, with ports of call in Taiwan (Keelung) and Japan (Ishigaki, Okinawa, Tokyo, Osaka). While approaching Tokyo, the ship experienced propulsion problems – one of its 2 propellers was damaged by ocean debris. The incident resulted in reduced cruising speed, itinerary change (call port Tokyo was dropped) and cruise cancellation.

Passenger disembarkation was on Feb 28 in Kyoto-Osaka (instead of Tokyo on Mar 3) where the ship remained docked for repairs. Passengers were allowed to stay on board until the voyage’s last scheduled date (March 3). Azamara Cruises provided all passengers with complimentary flights to Shanghai China. As compensation, all passengers received a partial refund (for the lost 3 days) plus 25% future Azamara cruise booking discount. The next itinerary from Shanghai (scheduled for March 3) was also canceled.

19 August 2013Crew / Passenger Injuries and Overboards

On August 19, 2013, an 89-year-old male passenger sustained an injury (broken hip) after falling on the ship. On August 21, the man (Dodge Melkonian, a WW2 veteran) and his wife (Jill Melkonian, also aged 89) were both disembarked in Bartin Turkey, left for treatment in a hospital ashore.

The incident involving the elderly US couple (both living in Clearwater Florida) was picked up by major US news media (including CBS, Disney’s ABC News, and Turner’s CNN). The case gained publicity after US Senator Bill Nelson (Florida) accused the shipowner Royal Caribbean of abandoning its elderly guests in a foreign (non-English speaking) country without any support.

Although the couple had travel insurance (purchased through the cruise company), the insurance company tried to cancel their transportation to a hospital in Istanbul for the needed hip surgery. The issue was resolved after their cruise booking agency contacted a local tour guide, who then contacted the US embassy in Turkey, which assisted the 6-hours long ambulance transfer from Bartin to Istanbul. Subsequently, RCCL Royal Caribbean paid all medical expenses.

23 November 2012Pirates / Terrorist Attacks

(Somali pirate attack) On November 23, 2012, while navigating in Oman waters, the cruise ship was approached (quote, “in an aggressive manner”) by Somali pirates. The incident occurred approx 17 ml / 28 km off Mazeira Island (Oman’s east coast). The ship was on 15-day Suez Canal transition cruise (itinerary Nov 14-29) from Greece to India (Piraeus-Athens to Mumbai) with ports of call in the region Muscat Oman and Fujairah UAE.

The two pirate skiffs were fast moving (equipped with large engines) and carrying 4 men each. One of the boats approached from front-starboard, the other approached from the rear. The attack lasted for ~10 min and was aborted after the ship’s security fired warning shots (flares) at them.

A curious fact is that among the ship’s security guards were former Marines, who during the pirate attack were on watch and armed with rifles. After the Captain commanded “safe haven” (via the PA system), all passengers were safely evacuated from the open-deck areas to the interior.

Notes: According to the USCG issued “Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act” (passed by CLIA in 2010), cruise ships sailing in certain high-risk areas are required to have acoustic hailing devices (AHD). These devices consist of specialized loudspeakers emitting a high-volume and high-power sound waves directed toward attacking marine vessels. The effect is intense pain to the ears of the attackers. LRADs were introduced in 2002. Such “sound weapons” are usually used for crowd control, mass notification, critical infrastructure protection, wildlife protection, and control. Such devices are used by law enforcement, military, and various commercial groups.

05 May 2007Structural and Technical Issues

On May 5, 2007, after the ship’s launch on May 4, the scheduled for May 5 Inaugural cruise (7-day Bermuda from NYC / Cape Liberty Bayonne NJ) was delayed due to unfinished refurbishment works. The maiden voyage was rescheduled for May 6. All passenger who flew to Bayonne to board the ship were accommodated overnight in local hotels. All passengers who drove to Port Cape Liberty were compensated with free parking. As compensation, all passengers received a full refund plus US$100 per person in onboard credit.

August 2004Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(Pullmantur MS Blue Star) On August 7, 2004, a Greek news media reported the ship experienced a Norovirus outbreak (gastrointestinal illness) with infected 30 passengers and 2 crew (or 3,8% of all). All sick suffered from Norovirus symptoms (a headache, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea) and were quarantined to their cabins. The ship was on 7-day Mediterranean cruise itinerary from Venice Italy to Piraeus-Athens Greece and carrying 785 passengers and 388 crew.

Note: When the itinerary doesn’t include US cruise ports, the ship is not required to report to CDC, thus no official illness report would be issued.

You can add more details on reported here accident or submit new / your own Azamara Journey ship incident ("Cruise Minus" report) via CruiseMapper's contact form.