Carnival Elation accidents and incidents

Carnival Elation cruise ship


Length (LOA)
260 m / 853 ft

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CruiseMapper's Carnival Elation cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a 2626-passenger vessel owned by Carnival Cruise Line. Our Carnival Elation 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could be arrests, filed lawsuits against the shipowner / cruise line company, charges and fines, grievances, settled / withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, virus outbreaks, etc.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 - 2000, 2002, 2005, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, 2020
  • sea pollution - 2020 (Port Canaveral Florida)
  • deaths - overboard (2000, 2003, 2005, 2017, 2018, 2023), shipboard murders (2009, 2018), other (2010, 2014)
  • injuries/crimes - 2006, 2012, 2013, 2017 (drug bust), sexual (2011, 2018m 2024), murder (2018)
  • medevacs - 2017

02 February 2024Crew / Passenger Crimes

(sexual) On February 2, 2024, while the ship was anchored in Freeport Harbour (Bahamas), two 31-year-old female passengers were drugged and sexually assaulted during a shore excursion (cost US$57 pp) booked through Carnival Cruise Line.

The American women (Amber Shearer and Dongayla Dobson, both residents of Kentucky) reported being raped at the resort complex "Pirate's Cove Zip Line and Water Park". The assaults were committed by two of the resort's employees/staff members, in broad daylight, after consuming spiked cocktails. The victims claimed to have lost consciousness and regained awareness during the assaults.

A resort's spokesperson has stated that the women’s version of events doesn't align with their security/CCTV footage. However, reportedly, CCTV footage from the resort showed both women were barely able to stand shortly after consuming their cocktails, then they were led away to a public bathroom by two employees.

A Royal Bahamas Police release published on Facebook confirmed the arrest of two male employees in connection with the assaults. According to the police, the arrested on sexual assault charges were a 40-year-old man (from Bahamia West) and a 54-year-old man (from Eight Mile Rock).

After boarding Carnival Elation, the medical staff examined them. The performed testing revealed the presence of opioids and the absence of alcohol in their systems. Toxicology results revealed benzodiazepines and other opiates in the victims' systems. Both women previously shared photos on social media showing cuts and bruises on their legs.

Through their lawyer, the women expressed frustration with the Bahamian authorities, alleging inadequate administration of rape kits (DNA testing) and feeling unjustly treated as criminals when they reported the assaults. They also expressed disappointment at not being informed by CCL about The Bahamas Travel Advisory (issued by the US Department of State) about the increased violence and assaults in the Caribbean country.

The resort claimed that the women refused to be transported to a hospital while the police stated that they allegedly declined emergency medical services. However, the victims announced on American media outlets that they were both traveling without their passports and were told by the police that the return to/reboarding the ship wouldn't be guaranteed if they went to a local hospital.

The incident occurred during the 4-day "The Bahamas Cruise" (itinerary Feb 1-5, roundtrip from JAXPORT/Jacksonville, Florida USA) visiting Freeport (Feb 2nd/port stay 12 noon - 7 PM) and Nassau (Feb 3).

23 July 2023Crew / Passenger Deaths

On July 23, 2023, while the ship was returning back to homeport Jacksonville (Florida USA), a 30-year-old male passenger (Jaylen Hill) was reported overboard. At the time, the ship was ~95 NM (110 mi/176 km) east of Melbourne FL (~30 mi to the south from Port Canaveral).

The man's disappearance was reported to the crew by a fellow passenger (his traveling companion) who hadn't seen him all day. The following onboard search failed to locate him. After reviewing the CCTVs/surveillance videos, Carnival Cruise Line confirmed that he had intentionally jumped overboard.

The USCG cleared the ship to continue the voyage and started an active search and rescue operation. For the search were dispatched 3 vessels - a Lockheed C-130 Hercules aircraft (from Clearwater FL) and an EADS HC-144 Ocean Sentry (from Miami FL) and the CG Cutter Tarpon (from St Petersburg FL).

According to the USCG, rescue crews searched an area of approx 1350 mi2/3500 km2 looking for the man. The ~60-hour operation was suspended on July 24th. Unfortunately, the body was not found.

The incident occurred at the end of the 4-day "The Bahamas Cruise" (itinerary July 20-24, roundtrip from JAXPORT-Jacksonville) that visited Freeport (Jul 21) and Resorts World Bimini/Bailey Town (Jul 22).

September 2022Other Incidents

Due to Hurricane Ian (September 19th-formed "Category 4" storm in the Caribbean that impacted the USA's Florida Peninsula), CCL canceled Carnival Elation's September 29th departure from Florida (JAXPORT Jacksonville). Two of Florida's homeports (Tampa Bay and JAXPORT/Jacksonville) were closed for maritime traffic, forcing cruise lines to reschedule and make itinerary changes. Carnival Paradise's Sept 29th departure from Tampa was also canceled. Both ships had their current voyages extended, changing the itinerary's route to avoid the storm and staying at sea until their homeports reopened.

Carnival Elation's canceled 4-day "The Bahamas Cruise" (itinerary Sept 29 - Oct 3) was planned as a roundtrip from Jacksonville visiting Freeport and North Bimini Island (Bailey Town).

Impacted bookings received a 100% refund plus 25% in FCC/future cruise credit.

16 January 2020Propulsion / Power Loss

On January 12, 2020, the ship suffered propulsion issues resulting in reduced cruising speed and itinerary changes. Both planned call ports - Amber Cove (Dominican Republic) and Cockburn Town (Grand Turk Island) were cancelled and replaced with sea days (4 in a row). Unscheduled, Nassau (Bahamas) was included as call port and visited on January 15.

The accident occurred during the 5-day Eastern Caribbean cruise (itinerary Jan 11-16) roundtrip from homeport Port Canaveral Florida, with scheduled / cancelled visits to Amber Cove (Jan 13, port stay 10:30 am - 6:30 pm) and Grand Turk (Jan 14, port stay 8 am - 4 pm).

02 January 2020Sea Pollution

On January 2, 2019, while berthed in homeport Port Canaveral (Florida USA), the liner accidentally discharged approx 22 MT / metric tons (6000+ US gallons) of greywater (wastewater). The dumping was unintentional, and according to company's official statement happened at ~ 8:50 am, while the vessel was offloading ballast water from its ballast tanks (located on deck 1 forward-midship). For a short period, a greywater valve inadvertently opened and was discharged treated wastewater. The issue was addressed and resolved quickly by the crew, and all appropriate authorities (including the USCG) were notified. According to Canaveral Port Authority, it was only treated greywater (from bathroom sinks-showers and laundry rooms) and no sewage (containing anything biological) thus no eco threat.

The incident occurred at the beginning of 4-day Bahamas cruise (itinerary Jan 2-6) roundtrip from Port Canaveral to Nassau and Freeport.

23 September 2019Propulsion / Power Loss

On September 23, 2019, while en-route from Florida to Florida to the Dominican Republic, the liner experienced technical issues (affecting its max cruising speed) that resulted in itinerary changes. Instead of the scheduled visit to Amber Cove, the ship arrived and docked overnight in Nassau Bahamas (Sept 23-25 / 8 am - 8 am). The scheduled call at Grand Turk Island was also canceled.

As compensation, all passengers received US$100 in onboard credit plus 50% future Carnival cruise credit.

The accident occurred at the beginning of 5-day Eastern Caribbean cruise (itinerary Sept 21-26) roundtrip from homeport Port Canaveral (Orlando) to Amber Cove (planned stay Sept 23 / 10:30 am - 6:30 pm), and Grand Turk (planned stay Sept 24 / 8 am - 4 pm).

02 September 2019Other Incidents

Due to Hurricane Dorian, the 5-day Eastern Caribbean cruise (itinerary September 2-7) was canceled. The roundtrip voyage from homeport Port Canaveral (Orlando, Florida) was planned to visit Dominican Republic (Amber Cove, Sept 4, 10:30 am - 6:30 pm) and Grand Turk Island (Sept 5, 8 am - 4 pm).

Note: Hurricane Dorian was a Category 4 tropical cyclone that mostly affected the territories of USA, Canada, Bahamas (Abaco Islands, Grand Bahama), Puerto Rico, Windward Islands (Barbados, Dominica, St Lucia), Leeward Islands (US Virgin Islands, BVI). Hurricane's reported max wind speeds were 295 kph ((183 mph). Formed in the Central Atlantic Ocean on August 24, the powerful cyclone was first moving west (towards the Caribbean), then turned north along the US East Coast and Atlantic Canada, affecting the coastal regions of USA (Florida, Georgia, South and North Carolina, Virginia) and Canada (Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Quebec).

27 February 2018Crew / Passenger Crimes

(sexual) On February 27, 2018, an 18-year-old female passenger was reportedly sexually assaulted onboard by a 23-year-old male passenger. The incident was reported by her mother and was publicized by Action News Jax.

According to the woman, she, her daughter (passenger with special needs / mental capacity of a 13-yo) and her mother embarked the cruise from JAXPORT on Feb 24. According to Carnival Cruise Line's official statement, ship's staff was notified of "an alleged act of misconduct".

The girl was in an outdoor hot tub (on Lido Deck 10) together with several kids when the man approached and entered in the Jacuzzi. Allegedly, he started a conversation with the girl, then sexually attacked her, leaving marks on her body. He was later detained. FBI and USCG started an investigation. Two witnesses of the crime confirmed that he repeatedly tried to put his arm around her. As she moved away from him, he became aggressive and forcefully touched her under her bathing suit. The girl told about the incident to her family, and the mother reported it to ship's security. Infirmary's personnel examined the girl and found abrasions consistent with the report.

The incident occurred during 5-day Bahamas cruise (itinerary Feb 24 - March 1) roundtrip from homeport Jacksonville Florida to Nassau and Freeport.

(law news) On October 22, 2018, the man (Brian James Holland, from Jacksonville FL) was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison after pleading guilty (in July 2018) to "aggravated sexual abuse by force".

19 January 2018Crew / Passenger Deaths

(overboard) On January 19, 2018, the shipowner reported an accident involving a female passenger falling overboard from her cabin's balcony (forward on Grand Deck 14) down to Verandah Deck 11. Ship’s med team responded immediately, but, unfortunately, she died from the sustained injuries.

After docking in Freeport, local police boarded the vessel and handcuffed the husband (Eric Newman, age 53, from Topeka KS). The ship was on 4-day Bahamas cruise (itinerary Jan 18-22) roundtrip from homeport Jacksonville Florida to Freeport and Nassau.

(law news) On September 5, 2018, the man was charged with murdering his wife during the January 18-22 voyage. The 50-year-old woman (Tamara Tucker, from Lawson MI) was celebrating her birthday. Details regarding the shipboard murder were not revealed.


19 January 2018Crew / Passenger Deaths

(murder) On January 19, 2018, a 50-year-old woman (Tamara Tucker, from Lawson, Missouri USA) died after falling from her stateroom's balcony on Deck 14 (Grand) down to Deck 11 (Verandah). Following the incident, the 53-year-old boyfriend (Eric Duane Newman, from Topeka, Kansas USA) was handcuffed and jailed on the ship. Bahamian police officers boarded the liner when it berthed at Freeport (Bahamas).

According to the conducted by the FBI investigation, at ~12:15 am (January 19), following a verbal argument in their stateroom the man physically attacked the woman. While strangling her (with both hands around the neck) he pushed her over the balcony's railing.

The accident occurred during 4-day Bahamas cruise (itinerary Jan 18-22) roundtrip from homeport Jacksonville Florida to Freeport and Nassau. The last onboard murder case was on Emerald Princess (July 25, 2017).

(law news) On September 5, 2018, the man was charged with murder and detained. On September 18, he was released on USD 50,000 bond and put under house arrest pending trial. On December 19, 2019, Eric Newman pleaded guilty to one count second-degree murder (intentional murder with malice aforethought, but not planned in advance), with sentencing scheduled for March 18, 2020.

30 April 2017Coast Guard Medevacs

On April 30, 2017, a 39-year-old female passenger was medevaced while the ship was approx 40 ml (65 km) east of Port Canaveral Florida. USCG Clearwater Station dispatched an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter team to the ship, hoisted and transported the woman to a Port Canaveral hospital.

25 March 2017Coast Guard Medevacs

On March 25, 2017, a 52-year-old male passenger was medevacked while the ship was approx 18 ml (30 km) from homeport Jacksonville FL. The man (suffering from stroke symptoms) was airlifted and transported to Jacksonville’s Baptist Medical Center via USCG MH-65 Dolphin helicopter dispatched from Air Station Savannah GA.

13 February 2017Crew / Passenger Deaths

(overboard) On February 13, 2017, a 24-year-old male passenger was reported fell overboard. The accident occurred while the ship was en-route from homeport Jacksonville Florida to Nassau Bahamas, approx 15 ml (25 km) southwest of Great Abaco Island (the Bahamas, near Great Harbour Cay).

CCTV records showed the man (Kevin Wellons, from Warner Robins, Georgia USA) going overboard from Verandah Deck 11, at ~2:45 am. A USCG team was dispatched from Air Station Miami to conduct search and rescue operation.

The man was reported missing by his wife at ~11 am, or ~3 hours after the cruise ship berthed in Nassau. The body was never found. The ship was on a 5-night Bahamas cruise (itinerary Feb 11-16) from Jacksonville to Nassau and Half Moon Cay Island.

06 February 2017Drug Smuggling

On February 6, 2017, a 26-year-old male passenger was arrested and charged with drug trafficking. The man (Marty Hall, from Chattanooga TN USA) was arrested at JAXPORT (Jacksonville) cruise terminal when a sniffer dog alerted the patrolling police officers. He told police that while in call port Nassau Bahamas (Feb 4), he purchased a total of 33 codeine pills (medication requiring a prescription), then ground them up for sneaking the drug into the USA.

30 May 2016Propulsion / Power Loss

On May 30, 2016, in the end of a 4-day Bahamas cruise (itinerary May 26-30) from Jacksonville FL to Freeport and Nassau), the ship suffered power (and propulsion) loss approx 60 ml / 100 km off Florida’s coast. The power outage lasted for ~1 hour, during which time the ship drifted. Several tugboats accompanied the vessel as it returned to JAXPORT (~1,5 hours behind schedule).

20 February 2014Crew / Passenger Deaths

On February 20, 2014, a male passenger died from acute respiratory failure (death from natural causes).

09 March 2013Propulsion / Power Loss

On March 9, 2013, while on a 7-day Mexico cruise from homeport NOLA New Orleans, the ship experienced a steering problem with one of its 2 Azipods (propulsion units). Tugboat escort was requested as the ship maneuvered away from the dock and into the Mississippi River.

07 April 2011Crew / Passenger Crimes

(sexual) On April 7, 2011, a 19-year-old male passenger was arrested for abusing a minor.

24 April 2010Crew / Passenger Deaths

On April 24, 2010, a male passenger died from natural causes on a 3-day cruise San Diego to Ensenada Mexico. The conducted by FBI onboard investigation delayed passenger disembarkation in homeport San Diego ~3 hours.

20 October 2009Structural and Technical Issues

October 20, 2009, while transiting San Diego Bay, the vessel had a propulsion issue with one of its Azipod units (failure of the unit’s electronic control system).

16 July 2009Crew / Passenger Deaths

(murder) On July 16, 2009, FBI agents boarded the ship to investigate the murder of a 55-year-old female passenger. The vessel was on the second leg of 7-day Mexican Riviera cruise from San Diego CA. The incident was a result of a domestic dispute between the woman and her husband.

06 November 2006Crew / Passenger Injuries and Overboards

On November 6, 2006, 4 passengers suffered minor injuries due to an incident during disembarkation in homeport Port Canaveral Florida. A welded part of the gangway (telescopic bridge for passengers) gave way and fell ~1 ft / 30 cm, being stopped by its safety ropes. The jolt threw 4 of the passengers onto the gangway.

25 June 2005Propulsion / Power Loss

On June 25, 2005, while in Gulf of Mexico waters, the ship experienced power loss for ~1 hour.

24 June 2005Crew / Passenger Deaths

(overboard) On June 24, 2005,  a 40-year-old passenger went overboard. The woman was traveling with her family. She was reported missing at ~11 am when the ship was off the coast of Yucatan Mexico. A full search and rescue operation was conducted, but the body was never found. The incident report applied to suicide.

26 January 2003Crew / Passenger Deaths

(overboard) On January 26, 2003, a 35-year-old female passenger jumped overboard. The woman was reported missing by her husband the next morning.

27 October 2002Other Incidents

On October 27, 2002, a 7-day Mexican Riviera cruise from San Diego was canceled due to propulsion problems causing reduced cruising speed. The ship entered drydock for repairs in San Francisco CA.

August 2000Other Incidents

On August 25, 2000, two itineraries were canceled (Oct 29, Nov 5) for preventative ship maintenance on both Azipod propulsion units.

31 July 2000Crew / Passenger Deaths

(overboard) On July 31, 2000, a 42-year-old male passenger jumped overboard off the coast of Yucatan Mexico.

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