Carnival Liberty accidents and incidents

Carnival Liberty cruise ship


Length (LOA)
290 m / 951 ft

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CruiseMapper's Carnival Liberty cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a 3574-passenger vessel owned by Carnival Cruise Line. Our Carnival Liberty 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could be arrests, filed lawsuits against the shipowner / cruise line company, charges and fines, grievances, settled / withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, virus outbreaks, etc.

  • fire - 2015 (St Thomas)
  • propulsion/power loss - 2006, 2007, 2010, 2012, 2016
  • ship listing/tilting - 2012
  • Norovirus (passengers/crew) - 2006 (536 / 143), 2009 (208 / 57)
  • deaths - 2010, 2011, overboard (2016, 2017)
  • injuries/crimes - 2007 (foiled robbery), overboard/rescued (2007, 2010), 2008, sexual (2010, 2011, 2015), 2012, 2013, drug bust (2014)
  • medevacs - 2011, 2013
  • Cuban refugees boat rescue (2014)

02 September 2019Other Incidents

Due to Hurricane Dorian, the 4-day Bahamas cruise (itinerary September 2-6) was canceled. The roundtrip voyage from homeport Port Canaveral (Orlando, Florida) was planned to visit Nassau (Sept 3, 10 am - 6 pm) and Princess Cays (Sept 4, 8 am - 5 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).

September 2017Other Incidents

In September 2017, two voyages from Port Canaveral were canceled due to hurricane Irma. The itineraries were September 7-10 (3-day to Nassau) and September 10-14 (4-day to Freeport and Nassau). All bookings received full refunds.

07 April 2017Crew / Passenger Deaths

(overboard) On April 7, 2017, a 32-year-old male passenger jumped overboard. The man (Reco Scott, from Decatur GA USA) was last seen jumping from his cabin balcony on Lido Deck 9.

The accident occurred ~5 am, while the ship was approx 15 km (10 mi) northwest of Bahamas’ Berry Islands, en-route from Port Canaveral to Nassau (3-day itinerary April 6-9). USCG helicopter was deployed from Air Station Clearwater to Great Inagua Island. The 29-hour operation failed to find the body.

01 November 2016Propulsion / Power Loss

On November 1, 2016, the Mexico cruise (itinerary Oct 31 – Nov 5) roundtrip from Galveston was canceled due to technical issues (diesel generator problems) resulting in reduced speeds. All passengers received a full refund plus 100% future onboard credit plus USD 90 PP reimbursement. The next scheduled cruise (itinerary (Nov 5-10) was also canceled.

Booked customers were fully refunded and also received 100% onboard credit in a future Carnival cruise. Itinerary Nov 10-14 was changed (Cozumel canceled, replaced by Progreso). All booked passengers received USD 50 PP in onboard credit plus 25% future Carnival cruise booking discount. The ship entered a 2-week drydock on Dec 1, 2016, then was repositioned to Port Canaveral FL (starting operations on Dec 15).

13 June 2016Crew / Passenger Injuries and Overboards

On June 13, 2016, just a few hours after departure from homeport Galveston TX, the ship returned to port due to a medical emergency. According to the Carnival's official statement, a 3-year-old girl slipped through the rail and fell down a flight of stairs (between decks 14 and 12).

Right after the ship docked, a team of paramedics offloaded the little girl and transported her by an ambulance to a hospital. Upon leaving the cruise ship, the girl was alert and in a stable condition. The incident occurred on a 5-day Mexico cruise (itinerary June 13-18) from Galveston to Cozumel and Progreso.

21 May 2016Propulsion / Power Loss

On May 21, 2016, as the ship experienced again bow thruster problems. The next 5-day Mexico itinerary (May 2-26) from homeport Galveston TX was also altered. The scheduled call port Progreso was canceled and the voyage was shortened (ending on May 25). As compensation, to all booked on May 21 customers was offered USD 100 in OBC plus the option to cancel with full refund. Cruising passengers were allowed to spend May 26th on the ship in Galveston.

13 May 2016Crew / Passenger Deaths

(overboard) On May 13, 2016, a 33-year-old female passenger went overboard at ~2 am. The ship was in the Gulf of Mexico, en-route from Galveston to Cozumel (approx 200 ml / 320 km off the Galveston coast). The woman (Samantha Joyce Broberg, of US origin) was reported missing by her travel companions. Reportedly, she climbed up and sat on a deck railing, then tumbled backward (head over heels) and plunged into the sea.

The overboard fall was confirmed after reviewing the CCTV (thermal-imaging camera) footage. The conducted by USCG 20-hour search and rescue operation failed to find the body. The accident occurred during a 4-day Mexico cruise (itinerary May 12 – 16) roundtrip from Galveston Texas.

(law news) On April 26, 2017, the husband (father of 2 children and 2 step-children) filed a federal lawsuit for negligence. He stated that shortly after boarding the ship, they both started drinking at various bars. Over the next 12 hours, bartenders "excessively served alcoholic beverages" to the woman. Around 2 am, she walked from Promenade Deck 5 to Panorama Deck 10. There, in a highly inebriated state, she approached the outer deck railing, stepped on a lounger (turning her back to the sea), sat on the rail and immediately fell backward overboard. As the ship lacked overboard alarm system, the video footage of the fall was reviewed approx 15 hours later.

05 May 2016Propulsion / Power Loss

On May 5, 2016, the vessel reported having propulsion problems with its bow pod thrusters. These units are required only during docking maneuvers and not for the ship’s normal operation (except when comes in and out of ports). It means that the ship can arrive/depart ports only when assisted by tugboats.

As the needed tugboat assistance in the port of Cozumel Mexico was not secured in time, the ship had to skip the call. As compensation, all passengers received USD 100 per person in onboard credit. The incident occurred during a 5-day Mexico cruise (itinerary May 2-7) from Galveston to Progreso (May 4) and Cozumel (May 5).

02 April 2016Crew / Passenger Deaths

On April 2, 2016, two cruise ship passengers (husband and wife) died ashore in a moped accident in call port Cozumel Mexico. The couple was riding a Honda scooter along the main road, when ~3:20 pm, the moped skidded off the road. The woman died at the scene while the man died ~3 hours later in a hospital. The accident occurred on a 4-night Western Caribbean roundtrip from Galveston TX.

12 September 2015Crew / Passenger Crimes

(sexual) On September 12, 2015, a 26-year-old male crew was detained and accused in sexually assaulting a female crew (of Australian origin). The man (from Zimbabwe) worked at the ship’s Casino. He was not identified by the shipowner, nor charged with the crime.

The investigation was done by the Sex Crimes Division of Puerto Rico’s CIC (“Criminal Investigation Corps”). According to CIC’s report, the alleged rape occurred at ~4 am in a crew cabin (Sept 12) while the ship was returning to homeport San Juan Puerto Rico, operating on a 7-day Eastern Caribbean cruise (itinerary Sept 6-13) to call ports St Thomas, Barbados, St Lucia, St Kitts, St Maarten. Local authorities were informed at ~11 am.

Strangely, the investigation was discontinued in the morning of Sept 13. The CIC’s commander announced that the assaulted woman doesn’t want to press charges against her co-worker. The case was closed.

07 September 2015Fire Accident

On September 7, 2015, while docked in call port Charlotte Amalie (St Thomas USVI), the vessel experienced an engine room fire incident. USCG investigators and local Marine Safety inspectors boarded the ship to investigate and assess the damages. No injuries were reported. The fire was quickly extinguished by the vessel’s automated fire suppression system.

During the accident, all passengers were safely offloaded and offered to wait at the reception of a hotel located near the port. Complimentary refreshments were provided. The departure was initially rescheduled from 5 pm to 8 pm the same day. While in the evening all passengers were reboarded, the vessel was not cleared by USCG and remained in port overnight for technical assessment. The shipowner officially reported that all onboard passenger services were fully functional, including air-conditioning and water/toilet systems. All onboard public venues and facilities (including dining and entertainment) were also operational.

The accident occurred while the ship was on a 7-day Eastern Caribbean cruise (itinerary Sept 6-13) roundtrip from homeport San Juan Puerto Rico to St Thomas, Barbados, St Lucia, St Kitts, and St Maarten.

On September 8, the vessel remained berthed in St Thomas, awaiting clearance (permission to depart) from USCG. The remainder of the cruise (all remaining call ports) was officially canceled. At first, passengers were given the options to either stay on the ship (returning to homeport San Juan) or to fly back home from St Thomas at the cruise company’s expense. As compensation, all passengers received a full refund, plus 50% future Carnival cruise booking discount and US$150 in onboard credit per person.

On September 9, the shipowner Carnival Corporation flew all the passengers home, primarily via chartered flights from St Thomas. The vessel returned to Puerto Rico at reduced speed. Next itinerary (September 13-20) was on schedule and not affected.

31 August 2014Drug Smuggling

On August 31, 2014, a 31-year-old male passenger was arrested upon disembarkation in homeport Port Canaveral Florida and charged with drug smuggling. The man (from Granada) was caught with 6 kilos of cocaine hidden in his suitcase. Arresting officers obtained the necessary warrants in federal court before the ship arrived in port. The incident occurred after the ship returned from 7-day Southern Caribbean cruise with call ports Grand Turk, Aruba and Curacao.

22 August 2014Boat Rescue

((Cuban refugees boat)  On August 22, 2014, while at sea, the vessel’s storm system suggested itinerary course change due to Hurricane storms. The ship was on 7-day Eastern Caribbean itinerary with call ports St Thomas, St Maarten, Puerto Rico, Grand Turk. The alternated course took the vessel close to Cuba. On the next day, officers received a distress call from a small makeshift raft floating nearby.

The ship deployed a rescue boat and saved all 11 Cuban refugees (migrants). The liferaft was abandoned and the ship continued towards St Thomas USVI. To prevent the Cuban refugees from reaching US territory and taking advantage of the situation, USCG ordered a rendezvous. The Cubans were offloaded onto a USCG cutter and transferred back to Cuba.

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 Carnival cruise ship incidents happened on Carnival Paradise (March 4, 2014, 24 Cubans rescued), on Carnival Ecstasy (March 25, 2014, 41 Cubans rescued), on Carnival Dream (May 7, 2014, 39 Cubans rescued) and on Carnival Breeze (May 9, 2015, 25 Cubans rescued). All refugee boats were both unseaworthy and overcrowded.

14 March 2014Coast Guard Medevacs

On March 14, 2014, a 51-year-old male passenger was medevaced by USCG helicopter approx 130 ml / 210 km southwest of call port Key West FL. The ship’s call for medical assistance was made in Gulf of Mexico and en-route to Florida. The man was airlifted and transported to Key West’s Lower Keys Medical Center.

02 March 2013Coast Guard Medevacs

On March 2, 2013, a male passenger with cardiac problems and difficulty in breathing was medevaced by USCG assets to Key West and transported by an ambulance to Lower Keys Medical.

25 November 2012Structural and Technical Issues

On November 25, 2012, USCG reported electrical power loss.

08 January 2012Ship Listing

On January 8, 2012, at ~8:30 am while sailing in calm seas, the ship suddenly turned sharply and started to list/tilted portside. The sudden motion caused panic among passengers. In both Dining Room restaurants (serving breakfast) dishes and glasses flew to the floor and shattered. Great amounts of water from the Lido deck’s swimming pools were sloshed out, flooding stairwells and hallways.

Information on what caused the listing incident was never revealed. Possible causes are a computer glitch or human error. Rumor has it that the listing was caused by the navigation computer sending a command “avoid a crash”, which caused the sharp turn and tipping.

19 November 2011Crew / Passenger Crimes

(sexual) On November 19, 2011, a 35-year-old male crew was arrested and charged with sexual assault of a minor. According to the filed complaint, the man (Kert Clyde Jordan, from Granada) worked on the ship as a waiter. He engaged in 2 sexual acts with a 14-year-old female passenger traveling with her family.

Both incidents occurred in international waters (on Nov 4 and 5), about which she told her family on their return home. Both rapes of the minor were done in a bathroom on Lido Deck 9. The ship was on a 7-day Caribbean cruise (itinerary Oct 29 - Nov 5) from PortMiami.

08 July 2011Crew / Passenger Deaths

On July 8, 2011, a female passenger died in her cabin while the ship was at sea. The woman was suffering from a preexisting medical condition and took the cruise against her doctor’s advice.

28 May 2011Coast Guard Medevacs

On May 28, 2011, a female passenger suffered an abdominal pain (starting the night before) which became more severe. Still, the woman presented herself to the infirmary ~3 hours after departing from homeport Miami. After she was diagnosed, she was medevaced via USCG Helicopter and transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital. The case was filed as resulting from a preexisting medical condition.

24 May 2011Crew / Passenger Deaths

On May 24, 2011, a male passenger died in his cabin. He was found unresponsive. The case was filed as death from natural causes.

16 November 2010Crew / Passenger Deaths

On November 16, 2010, a male passenger was found dead in his cabin. FBI investigated the case as possible criminal conduct.

08 November 2010Crew / Passenger Deaths

On November 8, 2010, a 36-year-old female passenger died in her cabin. The woman was found by another passenger lying in bed, not breathing, unresponsive, cold to the touch. CPR was unsuccessful. She was pronounced dead 2 hours later. Investigation revealed the woman had a heart surgery scheduled for April 2010, which was canceled as deemed too risky.

05 November 2010Structural and Technical Issues

On November 5, 2010, the ship experienced malfunction of a Diesel Generator (number 5). The unit had to be stopped. Diesel Generator number 1 shut down by automation (cooling water was leaking from its turbocharger and all cylinder heads). Generator 5 was repaired and operational on the next day (Nov 6). Generator 1 was repaired and operational 6 days later (on Nov 11).

25 July 2010Crew / Passenger Injuries and Overboards

(overboard) On July 25, 2010, upon entering into Half Moon Cay (private island in Bahamas), a male crew jumped overboard. He was working as musician on the ship. Code “Bravo starboard side” was announced, the ship lowered a boat and the man was rescued. The incident lasted for ~10 min.

28 May 2010Crew / Passenger Crimes

(sexual, overboard) On May 28, 2010, while the ship was docked in call port Ocho Rios Jamaica, a male passenger jumped overboard to avoid arrest for sexual assault of a minor. The man (Harold Crooks, of Canadian origin) was soon arrested by the local police.

19 November 2009Crew / Passenger Injuries and Overboards

On November 19, 2009, a medical emergency (male passenger suffering from possible heart attack) forced the ship to return to port San Juan, ~3 hours after leaving Puerto Rico. The incident resulted in itinerary change (Grand Turk dropped).

April 2009Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

April 2009, CDC reported on voyage Apr 18 to 25, a Norovirus outbreak affected 208 passengers (out of 3253, or 6,4%) and 57 crew (out of 1163, or 4,9%).

12 November 2007Propulsion / Power Loss

On November 12, 2007, while en-route from Fort Lauderdale to Puerto Rico, the ship's propulsion problems caused ~1 hour late arrival in port San Juan.

02 July 2007Crew / Passenger Injuries and Overboards

(overboard) On July 2, 2007, a 29-year-old male passenger fell overboard but was rescued. During the incident, the ship was approx 50 ml / 80 km off Boca Raton FL. USCG assets started rescue operation with 1 helicopter and several boats. After ~1 hour, the man was found alive and pulled from the water.

Reports said he was heavily intoxicated, drinking for ~12 hours (since the Fort Lauderdale departure). After he and his friends left the onboard Casino, they went on an open deck where he climbed into a lifeboat and started cutting the ropes. When the ship’s security staff came and started to climb toward him, he jumped into the water.

22 February 2007Crew / Passenger Crimes

On February 22, 2007, senior passengers foiled a robbery attempt in call port Limon Costa Rica. They were on a privately arranged bus tour when 3 men tried to rob them. One of the passengers (man in his 70s) put one of the robbers into a head lock and eventually killed him after braking his clavicle. The other two criminals fled after all passengers started to defend themselves.

November 2006Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

November 2006, the ship left port Civitavecchia (Rome Italy) for a Transatlantic repositioning crossing from Europe to Florida USA (Rome to Port Everglades / Fort Lauderdale). CDC reported, that during the 16-days long Transatlantic cruise (itinerary Nov 3-19), a major Norovirus outbreak (gastrointestinal illness) infected a total of 536 passengers (out of 2804, or 19,1%) and 143 crew (out of 1166, or 12,2%). All sick suffered from Noro virus symptoms (vomiting, diarrhea) and were quarantined to their cabins.

On November 15, Carnival Cruise Lines officially announced they will shorten the next scheduled itinerary by 2 days for the ship’s extensive cleaning. The November 19 itinerary (4-day Bahamas) started out of Fort Lauderdale on Nov 21. To prevent another illness outbreak, self-service at the Lido buffet was fully suspended. On the next “cleaned ship” itinerary, another 60+ passengers contracted Norovirus.

22 March 2006Structural and Technical Issues

On March 22, 2006, at 11 pm, the vessel experienced a complete power loss for ~1 hour.

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