Brilliance Of The Seas accidents and incidents

Brilliance Of The Seas cruise ship


Length (LOA)
292 m / 958 ft

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CruiseMapper's Brilliance Of The Seas cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a 2580-passenger vessel owned by Royal Caribbean. Our Brilliance 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could be arrests, filed lawsuits against the shipowner / cruise line company, charges and fines, grievances, settled / withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, virus outbreaks, etc.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 - 2007, 2012, 2024
  • ship listing/tilting - Mediterranean (2007-Rome, 2010-Alexandria)
  • Norovirus (passengers/crew) - 2004 (78/16), 2023 (70/8)
  • deaths - Mediterranean (2005, 2010)
  • Cuban refugees boat rescue (2016)

23 March 2024Propulsion / Power Loss

On March 23, 2024, while en route from Australia to the East Melanesian Islands, the ship reported a technical issue affecting the propulsion system and resulting in reduced cruising speed.

As a result, the current itinerary was altered and the voyage was officially canceled. On March 23rd, RCI/Royal Caribbean International also announced the cancellation of the next scheduled voyage (departure March 30th) out of Sydney Harbour.

As compensation for the altered/shortened itinerary, all passengers on the current voyage received a 50% refund (of the cruise fare paid) in OBC/onboard credit plus a 50% FCC/future cruise credit (of the original fare paid) and a full refund of pre-paid shore excursions for the canceled destinations (Noumea, Mystery Island, Port Vila, Luganville) paid in OBC/onboard credit. All passengers were also given 50% discount pricing on all beverages as well as free Wi-Fi and Internet. Pre-purchased drink packages received a 50% refund. Pre-paid internet packages were prorate refunded. Passengers were also reimbursed for travel expenses (US$250 per person for domestic travel, US$400 pp for international travel) and hotel expenses (US$250 per room per night/max 3 nights).

The accident occurred during the 11-day "South Pacific Cruise" (itinerary March 19-30, roundtrip from Sydney, NSW Australia) with planned visits to destinations in New Caledonia (Lifou Island/Mar 22, and Noumea/canceled). The other call ports - in Vanuatu (Mystery Island/Mar 24, Port Vila/Mar 25, Luganville/Mar 26) were canceled.

The canceled voyage was a 5-day "Tasmania Cruise" (itinerary March 30-April 4) roundtrip from Sydney with a planned visit to Hobart (April 1-2/overnight).

April 2023Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(email to CruiseMapper from a passenger who wanted to remain anonymous)

Brilliance of the Seas is taking measures to mitigate a "stomach virus". People boarding in Los Angeles on the 17th (bound for Vancouver) are being told to arrive 90 minutes after their assigned boarding time. This will enable the ship to get a "deep cleaning". Windjammer restaurant (Lido Buffet) on the current cruise is no longer self-serve. RCI (Royal Caribbean) has not said norovirus when communicating with passengers.

The reported accident occurred during the 6-day relocation voyage to Alaska (Los Angeles to Vancouver itinerary, April 17-23) with scheduled visits to San Francisco (Apr 19-20/overnight) and Victoria BC Canada (Apr 22).

The previous voyage (with a possible Norovirus outbreak) was a 14-day Panama Canal cruise (Port Everglades/Fort Lauderdale to Los Angeles itinerary, Apr 3-17) with call ports in Colombia (Cartagena), Panama (Colon, Panama Canal/transit on Apr 8), Costa Rica (Puerto Caldera/Puntarenas) and Mexico (Cabo San Lucas, Ensenada).

January 2023Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

In January 2023, CDC reported that on the voyage from Jan 16 to 21, a Norovirus outbreak affected a total of 70 passengers (out of 2160, or 3,24%) and 8 crew (out of 838, or 0,95%).

As predominant symptoms were reported vomiting and diarrhea.

The accident occurred during the 5-day "Western Caribbean Cruise" (itinerary Jan 16-21, roundtrip from Tampa, Florida USA) visiting Grand Cayman (George Town /Jan 18) and Mexico (Cozumel /Jan 19).

15 November 2019Other Incidents

On November 15, 2019, during the Transatlantic repositioning crossing (itinerary Nov 3-18) from Barcelona to Tampa FL, a total of 468 passengers attended a pasta tasting event (lead by Chef Alastair Gillott) that was later listed in the Guinness World Records book as world's "largest pasta tasting event".

The previous record was for 348 people - achieved in China (Beijing) on November 24, 2017, at the Grand Ballroom of Renaissance Beijing Wangfujing Hotel. The Transatlantic cruise left Barcelona on Nov 3 (5 pm) and visited ports in Spain - Cartagena Nov 4), Malaga (Nov 5), Cadiz (Nov 6), Portugal (Lisbon, Nov 7-8 overnight), the Azores (Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel Island), and on Nov 15 was at sea. The ship arrived in the USA (homeport Tampa) on Nov 18 (at 6 am).

15 June 2017Other Incidents

On June 15, 2017, the cruise ship was fined over an all-night party in call port Ibiza, Spain. Local officials received numerous phone calls with noise complaints. The port authority and the local police were alerted but were unable to get the onboard music turned down. The ship was docked for 2 days (June 15-16) in Marina Botafoch.

Port authority’s proceedings resulted in a fine for the cruise ship agent. The ship was on a 4-night itinerary (June 14-18) roundtrip from Barcelona, also visiting Sete France.

18 March 2016Boat Rescue

(Cuban refugees) On March 18, 2016, the ship was en route from Tampa to Mexico, on a 4-day Western Caribbean cruise (itinerary March 17-21) to Cozumel. The ship was off Florida’s coast (west of Marco Island) when the crew spotted a homemade raft boat with Cuban refugees trying to get to the USA.

The boat was drifting, without any safety or navigation equipment, and at sea for 22 days. Unfortunately, of all the 27 migrants on the boat, 9 were already dead. The other 18 suffered from severe dehydration but were successfully rescued by the cruise ship.

Note: Cruise ship operators have agreed to inform the USCG if they spot Cuban refugees in the open sea and to rescue them if needed.

Similar cruise ship rescue incidents happened on Carnival Paradise (Mar 4, 2014, 24 people rescued), Carnival Ecstasy(Mar 25, 2014, 41 people rescued), Carnival Liberty (Aug 22, 2014, 11 people rescued), Carnival Breeze (May 9, 2015, 25 people rescued), Disney Wonder (Feb 13, 2016, 12 people rescued), Coral Princess (Apr 14, 7 people rescued). All the Cuban refugee boats were reported being both unseaworthy and overcrowded.

22 October 2012Structural and Technical Issues

On October 22, 2012, during a 10-day Canada New England cruise (itinerary Oct 12-22) roundtrip from Quebec City, the ship delayed its departure due to an undisclosed mechanical problem. Later, upon leaving the port of Sydney NS the Captain announced that the vessel’s anchor was lost and had to be recovered. On Oct 20, at ~2 am, a broken pipe incident caused flooding in deck 8’s hall.

14 December 2010Crew / Passenger Deaths

On December 14, 2010, a 56-year-old female passenger died during the heavy storm in the Mediterranean (see the "listing" accident). The woman (Barbara Davey, from the UK) died after being thrown around her cabin due to the ship’s rocky movements. The elderly woman was seriously injured in the head and 3 days later lapsed into a coma.

In January, her husband authorized doctors to remove her from life support. On Jan 30, 2011, the family filed a lawsuit against Royal Caribbean. It was mentioned, that during the storm, the Captain announced publicly that he had turned the stabilizers off.

14 December 2010Ship Listing

On December 14, 2010, a violent storm battered the ship en-route to Alexandria, Egypt, while on a 12-night Mediterranean cruise itinerary roundtrip from Barcelona, Spain. “Hurricane winds” (up to 80 mph / 130 kph) and 30 ft / 9 m waves were reported, causing the ship to tilt heavily several times in the middle of the night (~2 am).

There were numerous complains about furniture and beds tossed around, objects falling, broken glass. All 30 passengers suffered minor injuries (bruises, feet cuts), two sustained fractures, total 105 were medically treated at the onboard Infirmary.

The ship suffered interior damages, including broken TVs, furniture, windows (decks 3 and 4). Some staterooms lost electricity. Among the most damaged facilities were the beauty parlor, video games arcade, and disco nightclub.

As compensation, all passengers received a full refund and USD 200 in onboard credit.

22 August 2007Ship Listing

On August 22, 2007, while docked in Civitavecchia (port to Rome, Italy), at ~1:45 pm a freak storm with heavy winds hit the ship, causing it to list to portside. Soon the aft mooring lines snapped, and the vessel swung out to the middle of the Civitavecchia harbor. During this bad weather-caused incident, both gangways (telescopic bridges for passengers) fell in the water. Local divers were contracted to locate them.

02 January 2007Propulsion / Power Loss

On January 2, 2007, the ship experienced a power loss for ~2,5 hours during the "New Year Cruise" roundtrip from Miami FL.

05 July 2005Crew / Passenger Deaths

(overboard) On July 5, 2005, a 26-year-old male passenger was reported missing when the ship docked in Kusadasi (Turkey). The young man (George Allen Smith IV, of US origin) was presumed fallen overboard. He was on a 14-day Honeymoon Cruise in the Mediterranean, visiting ports in Greece, Turkey, and Italy. The man married Jennifer Hagel 11 days earlier,

Evidence (blood stains found in his cabin) suggested foul play. The man might have been either tossed or fallen overboard. The local police suspected homicide.

On July 29, 2005 (law news), FBI started Smith's disappearance investigation. On June 29, 2006, the shipowner agreed to pay compensation to Smith family's estate.

In 2012, the case was referred to the FBI's Mafia division. The new theory was that the man's death was most likely a robbery gone bad. Jennifer Hagel Smith accepted compensation of US$1,1 million from RCI in June 2006. She believed the accident was caused by George's intoxication. Jennifer remarried in 2009.

February 2004Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

In February 2004, CDC reported that on the voyage from Feb 16 to 27, a Norovirus outbreak (gastrointestinal illness) affected a total of 78 passengers (out of 2187, or 3,6%) and 16 crew (out of 842, or 1,9%).

All sick suffered from Norovirus symptoms (vomiting, diarrhea) and were quarantined to their cabins.

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