Caribbean Princess accidents and incidents

Caribbean Princess cruise ship


Length (LOA)
289 m / 948 ft

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CruiseMapper's Caribbean Princess cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a 3766-passenger vessel owned by Princess Cruises. Our Caribbean Princess 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could be arrests, filed lawsuits against the shipowner / cruise line company, charges and fines, grievances, settled / withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, virus outbreaks, etc.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 - 2005, 2008, 2012 (several), 2016, 2017
  • pollution - 2013 (USD 40 million penalty paid in 2016)
  • Norovirus (passengers/crew) - 2007 (117), 2008 (172 / 13), 2010 (40 / 3), 2014 (181 / 11), 2015 (163 / 13), 2020 (371 / 32, 240 / 19)
  • deaths - 2006 (crew), 2010 (ATV crash in Aruba, bus crash in Tortola BVI), 2016 (Belize snorkeling), 2019 (onboard drowning)
  • injuries/crimes - 2010 (sexual), 2013 (taxi), overboard/rescued (2014)

April 2020Other Incidents

(crew repatriation) In mid-April 2020, Carnival Corporation developed a repatriation plan using 8 cruise liners from 3 of its brands - Princess Cruises (ships Caribbean, Crown, Island, Regal), HAL-Holland America Line (ships Nieuw Amsterdam, Veendam, Volendam) and Seabourn Cruises (ship Quest) to bring crew back home. The planned relocations (announced on April 18) included:

Caribbean Princess repositioning from The Bahamas to repatriate staff-crew to countries in the Caribbean and South America.

(two Transatlantic crossings) Regal Princess repositioning from Bimini Islands (Bahamas) to Europe (Southampton UK and Rotterdam Holland) to repatriate all European staff-crew. Crown Princess repositioning from Fort Lauderdale (Florida USA) to Asia and South Africa to repatriate all Filipino, Indonesian, Indian and South African staff-crew.

(Panama Canal transit) Island Princess repositioning from Fort Lauderdale to Asia to repatriate Filipino, Indonesian, Indian and South African staff-crew.

(three Panama Canal transitions) The 3 HAL ships (anchored near Great Harbour Cay Bahamas) - Nieuw Amsterdam, Veendam and Volendam - reposition to Asia to repatriate all HAL's Filipino, Indonesian, Indian and South African staff-crew.

(Transatlantic crossing) Seabourn Quest repositioning from Speightstown (aka Little Bristol, Barbados) to Europe, also carrying staff-crew from Seabourn Odyssey (also being anchored near Speightstown).

February 2020Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

In February 2020, CDC reported on voyage Feb 2 to 16, an epidemic Norovirus outbreak infected 371 passengers (out of 3035, or 12,2%) and 32 crew (out of 1161, or 2,8%). Predominant symptoms were vomiting and diarrhea. All sick were quarantined to their cabins. On February 10th, after the ship was denied entry to Trinidad's Port-of-Spain (due to the illness outbreak), the cruise was officially cancelled and the remaining call ports dropped from the itinerary.

The incident occurred during the 14-day "Circle Caribbean Cruise" roundtrip from homeport Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) with call ports Philipsburg (St Maarten), Charlotte Amalie (St Thomas USVI), Basseterre (St Kitts), Fort-de-France (Martinique), Bridgetown (Barbados), Port-of-Spain (Trinidad), Kralendijk (Bonaire) and Oranjestad (Aruba).

During the next voyage (14-day "Circle Caribbean Cruise", February 16 through March 1), the ship reported another illness outbreak with infected 240 passengers (out of 3039, or 7,9%) and 19 crew (out of 1162, or 1,6%). The 14-day roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale itinerary included as call ports Charlotte Amalie (St Thomas), Philipsburg (St Maarten), Basseterre (St Kitts), Fort-de-France (Martinique), Bridgetown (Barbados), Port-of-Spain (Trinidad), Willemstad (Curacao) and Oranjestad (Aruba). The vessel returned to homeport a day earlier (on Feb 29) and was boarded by a CDC sanitation team for thorough cleaning. The next voyage (10-day Panama Canal roundtrip from Port Everglades, itinerary March 1-11) departed on schedule.

14 June 2019Crew / Passenger Deaths

(onboard drowning) On June 14, 2019, at ~5:15 am, while the liner was en-route from Mexico back to Florida, a 37-year-old male passenger was found unresponsive in Lido Deck's Neptune Pool (midship on Deck 15). The previous night, the young man had been heavily drinking - first during a pool-deck party (on deck 15) and later at Skywalkers (bar lounge aft on Deck 19). CPR was performed by ship's medical personnel but without success.

The man (Stephen Osakue, US Air Force employee) apparently entered the swimming pool at night, after it was closed (at 8 pm). Major Osakue was employed as research pharmacist at Columbus Air Force Base in Columbus, Mississippi. Stephen's wife told the investigators they "had a lot to drink" before the drowning, but she was not with him when he entered the swimming pool.

The incident occurred at the end of 7-day Western Caribbean cruise (itinerary June 8-15) roundtrip from homeport Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) to George Town (Grand Cayman), Isla Roatan (Honduras), Belize City, and Cozumel (Mexico).

02 January 2018Coast Guard Medevacs

On January 2, 2018, a 12-year-old male passenger (suffering from appendicitis) was medevaced by a USCG MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew dispatched from Air Station Clearwater. The boy and his father (of Canadian origin) were airlifted and transported to Miami. The ship was approx 370 km (230 mi) southeast of Miami.

The incident occurred at the end of 14-day Eastern-Southern Caribbean "Christmas and New Year" cruise (itinerary Dec 20 - Jan 3) roundtrip from PortMiami.

22 September 2017Propulsion / Power Loss

On September 22, 2017, due to propulsion problems, the 15-night itinerary (Sept 22 – Oct 7) was officially revised in advance (in June). This was a Transatlantic repositioning cruise from Southampton (England UK) to Fort Lauderdale / Port Everglades, Florida USA) with scheduled call ports Rotterdam Holland, Le Havre France, Vigo Spain, Lisbon Portugal, and Ponta Delgada (Azores).

Itinerary changes included dropping Rotterdam, Vigo and Ponta Delgada, and replacing them with Zeebrugge (Sept 23) and King’s Wharf Bermuda (Oct 4). Also, two port arrival dates were changed – Le Havre (Sept 24 instead of Sept 25) and Lisbon (Sept 27 instead of Sept 28).

08 May 2017Propulsion / Power Loss

On May 8, 2017, due to a technical issue, the ship’s scheduled visit to Kirkwall (Orkney Island, Scotland) was cancelled as the vessel was not able to manoeuvre for docking at Hatston Pier. The ship was on 12-night British Isles cruise (itinerary May 1-13) roundtrip from homeport Southampton.

03 August 2016Propulsion / Power Loss

On August 3, 2016, the vessel lost power for ~9 hours while cruising off Ireland's coast. The accident resulted in itinerary change - call port Dublin was skipped. According to the company’s announcement, the ship lost propulsion in the Irish Sea, approx 29 ml (46 km) southeast of Dublin. The onboard electrical power and all hotel services remained operational (including air-conditioning, kitchens, lighting, toilets).

The incident occurred on 13-day British Isles cruise (itinerary July 31 - Aug 12) roundtrip from homeport Southampton England, with call ports Guernsey Island, Cork, Dublin (dropped), Belfast, Greenock-Glasgow, Kirkwall, Invergordon, Leith-Edinburgh, Le Havre (Paris).

07 January 2016Crew / Passenger Deaths

On January 7, 2016, a 67-year-old female passenger died on a snorkelling excursion in Belize. The shore excursion was with full-service PADI-certified instructors. The accident happened at the Hugh Parkey’s Belize Adventure Lodge (located on a private island just 25 min drive from Belize City). The cause of death was unknown.

The woman (of US origin) suddenly went under water. The diving guides on the tour responded immediately to the emergency, but she was pronounced dead at the scene. During the incident, the cruise ship was docked in call port Belize City, on a 7-day Western Caribbean cruise (itinerary Jan 3-10) from homeport Houston Texas, also visiting Cozumel Mexico and Roatan Honduras.

December 2015Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

December 2015, CDC reported on voyage Dec 13 to 20, a Norovirus outbreak infected 163 passengers (out of 3239, or 5%) and 13 crew (out of 1154, or 1,1%). All sick were quarantined to their cabins for 48 hours. The incident occurred on 7-day Western Caribbean cruise roundtrip from homeport Houston TX, with call ports Roatan, Belize City, Cozumel.

02 August 2014Crew / Passenger Injuries and Overboards

(overboard) On August 2, 2014, at ~8 pm, a 24-year-old male passenger jumped overboard but was rescued alive. The ship turned around and stopped for ~1 hour. The young man was found and brought onboard alive. The report said he jumped from Deck 8. He was disembarked in the next call port Charlotte Amalie (St Thomas USVI).

22 March 2014Other Incidents

On March 22, 2014, two cruise ships – the Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas and the Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Magic – were stuck outside Galveston Bay. Both were prevented from entering the port and docking. In the same time, the Caribbean Princess ship was unable to leave homeport Galveston TX and had to stay overnight.

This major inconvenience was caused by a ship collision accident between an oil tanker and a fuel barge. The barge ship partial sunk, while the tanker leaked over 150,000 gallons (~570,000 L) of fuel, causing huge oil spillage in Galveston Bay. The waiting outside Royal Caribbean and Carnival liners experienced delayed docking and disembarkation in Galveston.

January 2014Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

January 2014, CDC reported on voyage Jan 25 to Feb 1, a Norovirus outbreak (gastrointestinal illness) infected 181 passengers (out of 3102, or 5,8%) and 11 crew (out of 1148, or 1%). All sick suffered from Norovirus symptoms (vomiting, diarrhoea). The ship was on a 7-day Western Caribbean cruise from homeport Houston TX with call ports Roatan and Cozumel.

The incident forced the ship to arrive ~36 hours early in Port Houston, thus ending the itinerary 2 days early. At the end of a previous voyage (ending Jan 11) was reported a number of Norovirus cruise passengers. The vessel underwent intensive disinfection back then, which caused late embarkation and check-in.

26 August 2013Sea Pollution

On August 26, 2013, the ship’s crew deliberately discharged a total of 4227 gallons (16,000 L) of oil-contaminated bilge waste off England’s southern coast. The discharge involved an illegal equipment modification of the ship’s pollution control systems, as a “magic pipe” was photographed (on August 23) and released by a newly hired ship engineer.

When the cruise vessel docked in Southampton, the whistleblower resigned his position and reported the incident to the UK Coast Guard. Followed an investigation by the “US Department of Justice Environment and Natural Resources Division”. It found that the practice to pass the vessel’s oily water separator indeed took place on Caribbean Princess (and also on 4 other fleet mates) since 2005.

(law news) On December 1, 2016, the shipowner Princess Cruise Lines Ltd pleaded guilty to 7 felony charges and paid USD 40 million (GBP 32 million) penalty. The charges related to illegal discharges off the coasts of the US states Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, also USVI and Puerto Rico. The USD 40 million payment was the world’s largest penalty imposed on any company for marine pollution done deliberately by ship at sea.

  • As part of the plea agreement, company’s owner Carnival Corporation agreed to submit 78 vessels across its global fleet to a 5-year environmental compliance plan requiring regular independent audits.
  • Of the USD 40 million criminal penalties paid, USD 10 million went toward projects benefiting the maritime environment.
  • Following the lawsuit, Princess company’s president Jan Swartz published an official apology.

23 January 2013Crew / Passenger Injuries and Overboards

On January 23, 2013, an elderly female passenger sustained injury (cuts and broken bones) while ashore in Oranjestad Aruba. The woman was hit by taxi cab when she was crossing a street along with her husband. The couple was disembarked from the ship and taken to a local hospital.

15 December 2012Propulsion / Power Loss

On December 15, 2012, USCG reported the ship experienced an electrical power loss.

08 June 2012Structural and Technical Issues

On June 8, 2012, due to a technical issue, a departure from homeport Southampton UK was delayed and the ship had to stay overnight in port. Late departure caused an Itinerary change – on this British Isles cruise, call port Liverpool was dropped.

12 March 2012Propulsion / Power Loss

On March 12, 2012, the ship experienced a propulsion engine issue resulting in reduced cruising speed. The incident caused early return in homeport San Juan (Puerto Rico) and a major itinerary change (visiting only St Maarten on the way back). As compensation, all passengers received a full refund.

The next scheduled 2 itineraries (March 18 and 25) were cancelled as the vessel needed repairs. On both cancelled voyages, passengers received a full refund, plus 25% future Princess cruise booking discount.

04 February 2012Propulsion / Power Loss

On February 4, 2012, passengers reported the ship was arriving late in all ports of call and was running at reduced speeds.

28 September 2011Other Incidents

On September 28, 2011, the ship was docked in call port Portland ME, when a record low tide prompted the Captain to leave berth ~3 hours ahead of schedule. The vessel was moved out into Portland Harbor. All the left ashore passengers were ferried to the ship via tenders.

28 December 2010Crew / Passenger Crimes

(sexual) On December 28, 2010, a 40-year-old male crew (of Filipino origin) was charged with sexual attack on a 26-year-old female crew.

(law news) On February 4, 2011, he was arrested in Miami and brought to Bermuda for trial. The lawsuit was filed in Bermuda being the vessel’s flag state.

October 2010Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

October 20, 2010, unofficial data suggests a Norovirus outbreak affected ~40 passengers and 3 crew. All sick were quarantined to their cabins for 48 hours. The next scheduled NYC New York cruise embarkation ((Oct 23) was delayed due to sanitation.

09 May 2010Ship Collision / Allision

On May 9, 2010, homeport NYC departure was delayed several hours.

The vessel hit the pier's gangway (telescopic bridge for passengers) at the Brooklyn cruise terminal.

Note: Actually, this type of marine accident is called “allision” (striking a fixed object) as opposed to “collision” (striking another vessel).

22 April 2010Crew / Passenger Deaths

On April 22, 2010, a 41-year-old male passenger was killed and his wife (aged 37) was seriously injured in call port Oranjestad Aruba. The couple was involved in a collision accident, on which their rented ATV crashed head-on into a truck (Dodge Ram). The incident occurred on the main road connecting the cruise port with all popular beach resorts on the island. The investigation report mentioned that police found drugs in the Dodge.

01 April 2010Ship Listing

On April 1, 2010, the ship experienced a steering issue, causing a 20-degree listing to starboard. The incident caused ~1-hour late arrival in the next call port. The vessel sustained interior damages, among which broken glassware and dishes, water draining from swimming pools, flooded interior spaces.

23 February 2010Crew / Passenger Deaths

On February 23, 2010, on a sponsored by Princess Cruises shore excursion in Tortola BVI, the tour bus veered off road, crashed into the embankment and flipped on one side. Of all 20 cruise passengers in the bus, 1 man (aged 24) was killed and 2 were seriously injured. The injured were taken by an ambulance to a hospital. The young man who died was from Rochester NY travelling with his parents.

The ship was on 7-night Southern Caribbean cruise from homeport San Juan Puerto Rico. The bus driver was charged with dangerous driving.

April 2009Other Incidents

On October 23, 2008, a total of 5 cruise itineraries scheduled in April 2009 were cancelled due to a US government conference held onboard the ship. The cancelled 7-day cruise departures were April 5, 12 and 19, plus two back-to-back cruises (14-day combined itineraries).

05 October 2008Propulsion / Power Loss

On October 5, 2008, upon arrival in homeport NYC New York, the vessel experienced power loss incident and had to be towed into New York Harbor. The ship was berthed in Brooklyn (Pier 12) ~2 hours late.

October 2008Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

On October 24, 2008, CDC reported on a Canada New England cruise from homeport NYC New York, a Norovirus outbreak infected a total of 172 passengers (out of 3081, or 5,6%) and 13 crew (out of 1161, or 1,1%).

07 July 2008Propulsion / Power Loss

On July 7, 2008, engine issues (diesel generator fault) resulted in reduced cruising speed, itinerary changes (St Maarten replaced with Tortola BVI) and shortened port stay.

April 2007Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

On April 8, 2007, CDC reported a Norovirus outbreak affected a total of 117 (passengers and crew) out of 4500, or 2,5% of all.

04 January 2006Crew / Passenger Deaths

(murder) On January 4, 2006, a 30-year-old male crew was found dead in his cabin. FBI investigated a possible murder case after the ship’s security found 2 packages with drugs (1 kg of heroin) stashed in the crew cabin. The man (of Portuguese origin) was working on the ship as a waiter.

28 July 2005Propulsion / Power Loss

On July 28, 2005, engine problems resulted in reduced cruising speed and itinerary changes – call port Princess Cays (Bahamas) was dropped. As compensation, all passengers received US$100 in onboard credit, and the Bahamas port taxes were refunded.

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