Carnival Spirit accidents and incidents

Carnival Spirit cruise ship


Length (LOA)
292 m / 958 ft

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CruiseMapper's Carnival Spirit cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a 2680-passenger vessel owned by Carnival Cruise Line. Our Carnival Spirit 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could be arrests, filed lawsuits against the shipowner / cruise line company, charges and fines, grievances, settled / withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, virus outbreaks, etc.

  • fires - 2007 (explosion), 2012 (sauna room)
  • propulsion/power loss - 2002, 2005, 2010, 2015
  • deaths - 2012, overboard (2013, 2014-crew, 2019)
  • injuries/crimes - overboard/rescued (2012), 2015 (class action lawsuit over Australia itinerary change)
  • superyacht rescue (2016)
  • medevacs - 2017, 2019, 2023
  • pollution in Alaska - 2010
  • Norovirus (passengers/crew) - 2003 (102 / 10), 2007 (116 / 8)
  • Coronavirus - 2022 (100-200 ?)
  • boat rescue - 2023 (24 people)

28 April 2023Coast Guard Medevacs

At ~12:30 California time (~19:30 UTC) on April 28, 2023, an 84-year-old female passenger (suffering from stroke-related symptoms) was airlifted by a Coast Guard helicopter crew (approx 90 mi/140 km from San Clemente Island/Channel Islands) and flown to USCG Sector San Diego.

The medevac occurred during the 16-day Panama Canal relocation voyage from the Caribbean to Alaska ( April 16 - May 2, from Miami Florida to Seattle Washington) with call ports in Colombia (Santa Marta/Apr 19, Cartagena/Apr 20), Costa Rica (Puerto Caldera-Puntarenas/Apr 23) and Mexico (Cabo San Lucas/Apr 27).

Curiously, the CG aircrew from San Diego conducted two more cruise medevacs in a 24-hour period (from Carnival Panorama and Majestic Princess) recording a total of 7.2 hours of flight time.

11 April 2023Boat Rescue

On April 11, 2023, while en route from Grand Turk to Aruba, the ship changed course to assist a small motorized boat drifting in the waters between Puerto Rico and Dominicana. The boat's 24 passengers (all in good health) were embarked and the ship contacted Puerto Rico's Coast Guard (USCG Sector San Juan) and Armada Dominicana to conduct the transfer.

At ~3 pm Puerto Rico time (~19:00 UTC), a USCG cutter arrived near La Romana (Dominicana), where the rescued were offloaded/transferred and Carnival Spirit continued the voyage as scheduled.

The incident occurred during the 8-day "Southern Caribbean Cruise" (itinerary Apr 8-16, roundtrip from Miami) with call ports in The Bahamas (Half Moon Cay), Turks and Caicos (Cockburn Town on Grand Turk Island), and the Netherlands Antilles (Oranjestad Aruba and Kralendijk Bonaire).

May 2022Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(Coronavirus) On May 4, 2022, several American newspapers reported that the Alaska-deployed Carnival Spirit experiences a COVID outbreak. While CCL-Carnival Cruise Line refused to announce the number of infected (as well as the total number of tourists+crew on the current voyage), passenger reports suggested between 100 and 200 cases. Many passengers also reported poor ("chaotic") response to the medical emergencies by the overwhelmed crew. Some of the infected and their close contacts were disembarked and quarantined at hotels in Seattle.

Carnival suggested that cruise guests obtain travel insurance to defray hotel and any medical expenses related to their quarantines. CCL's press release stated, “Normally, guests are responsible for quarantine costs [undisclosed], but because so many of our guests were far from home, we made the hotel arrangements and have offered to share the cost of their lodging while they remain in Seattle to complete their five-day quarantine”.

The incident occurred at the beginning of the 7-day Alaskan roundtrip from homeport Seattle WA (itinerary May 3-10) with call ports Tracy Arm Fjord, Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan, and Victoria (BC Canada).

April 2020Other Incidents

(Coronavirus issues) On April 1, 2020, the NSW implemented Australian Government's ban on foreign-registered cruise ships and required all vessels currently in Australian territorial waters to leave promptly. The decision also affected all liners managed by Carnival Australia (CCL-Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises) and P&O Australia. All ships were officially banned from any Australian port until the country's Coronavirus-related travel alert is canceled. All RCCL-owned ships (RCI-Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises) departed Australia on April 4.

First departed Australia 5x Carnival Corporation-owned ships - Pacific Explorer, Pacific Aria, Pacific Dawn, Sea Princess, Sun Princess. Carnival contacted the governments of The Philippines and Indonesia to allow docking and crew debarkation (repatriation of their citizens). For the remaining staff/crew, Carnival chartered flights to their home countries.

On April 7, Carnival Australia announced its plans for Carnival Spirit and Carnival Splendor, after receiving approval for technical port stops (for refueling-provisioning) and exchanging staff-crew. Both vessels were scheduled to leave Australia's territorial waters on April 12. Carnival Spirit carried Filipino crew and disembarked them first in Manila, then in Cebu and Davao. Carnival also arranged charter flights to Manila to transport staff-crew (previously flown to Manila from other Carnival-owned ships and accommodated in hotels) and planned Carnival Spirit to pick them up and transport them to their home countries.

The plan for Carnival Splendor was to embark all staff-crew who can't return home (due to flight restrictions) plus Carnival Spirit's all-Indonesian crew. Then Splendor headed to Indonesia (Bali and Jakarta) to disembark all Indonesians. Carnival also arranged charter flights from Bali and Jakarta to repatriate all European and North American nationals. Indian citizens (from all P&O Australia and Carnival Australia-managed ships) were repatriated via charter flights from Indonesia and The Philippines.

Carnival Spirit and Carnival Splendor were passenger-free and without Coronavirus cases. On both vessels were implemented emergency health protocols. All staff-crew were isolated in separate passenger staterooms and provided with food and supplies via room service.

30 March 2019Crew / Passenger Deaths

(overboard / CruiseMapper email from kriptoguy) On March 29, 2019, at ~4 am, via ship's PA system/intercom was announced code Oscar-Oscar-Oscar (Man Overboard) while the liner was en-route from Sydney to Noumea. The vessel immediately turned around and retraced its course searching for the missing 25-year-old male passenger.

The incident occurred at the beginning of 11-day "Pacific Islands Cruise" (itinerary March 27 - April 7) roundtrip from homeport Sydney NSW and visiting ports in New Caledonia (Noumea), Vanuatu (Mystery Island, Champagne Bay, Port Vila) and New Caledonia (Mare Island).

16 January 2019Coast Guard Medevacs

In the morning on January 16, 2019, a 70-year-old male passenger was medevaced by a Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter team dispatched from Coffs Harbour (NSW Australia). The elderly man and a crew nurse were winched off the ship, approx 75 km (46 ml) east of Coffs Harbour.

The incident occurred at the end of the 10-day Pacific Islands Cruise (itinerary Jan 7-17) roundtrip from homeport Sydney NSW to Noumea (New Caledonia), Mystery Island (Vanuatu), Mare Island and Lifou Island (New Caledonia).

18 December 2017Coast Guard Medevacs

On December 18, 2017, a 40-year-old female passenger suffering a stroke was medevaced from the ship approx 50 ml (80 km) from mainland Australia (Port Macquarie NSW’). The man was airlifted by a Westpac helicopter team and flown to John Hunter Hospital (Newcastle NSW).

The incident occurred at the beginning of 10-day "Christmas Cruise" (itinerary Dec 18-28) roundtrip from Sydney to New Caledonia and Vanuatu.

04 October 2016Boat Rescue

On October 4, 2016, while en-route to Isle of Pines (New Caledonia) from Sydney NSW Australia (approx 520 km / 320 ml northeast from Sydney), the ship responded to a superyacht distress call and rescued the yacht’s 2 female passengers.

The incident occurred ~5 am and involved the luxury yacht “Masteka 2” (3-deck, length 37 m / 121 ft, capacity 12 pax). The yacht had lost steering and was taking on water. The remaining 4 male crew stayed on the yacht and got the leak secured after 2 pumps were delivered by air. The superyacht (rental cost AUD 3000 an hour) was tugged to Sydney (operation started on Oct 5). The rescued women were disembarked in Noumea on Oct 9.

13 October 2015Propulsion / Power Loss

On October 13, 2015, the ship had a propulsion system issue resulting in reduced speed and an ~9 hours late arrival in homeport Sydney NSW Australia (Oct 14). The incident occurred on an 8-day roundtrip cruise to New Caledonia (itinerary Oct 6-14) with call ports Noumea, Isle of Pines, Mare. The late Sydney arrival also delayed the next scheduled departure (9-day New Caledonia, itinerary Oct 14-23).

As compensation, all boarding on the next cruise passengers received AU$100 per person in onboard credit.

30 August 2015Other Incidents

On November 24, 2017, Graham Bentley emailed to CruiseMinus that on August 30, 2015, the ship was 4 hours late coming out of drydock in Singapore. All work had not been completed and boarding was delayed without prior notice. As compensation, all passengers received 25% off the fare paid. The ship was on an Asia-Australia repositioning cruise from Singapore to Sydney.

10 March 2015Other Incidents

(law news) On September 5, 2015, over 300 passengers filed a class action lawsuit against Carnival Cruise Lines over a major Australian cruise itinerary change.

The incident was related to the 8-nights cruise from homeport Sydney (itinerary March 10-18, 2015). The roundtrip had scheduled visits in New Caledonia (Emerald Bay, Isle of Pines, Noumea). On March 10, the ship departed at ~7 am, but just 3 hours later diverted from its original course, making a u-turn and heading toward new call ports – Melbourne Australia and Hobart Tasmania. Captain’s decision was based on the Cyclone Pam’s progress. Cyclone Pam (2015, March 6-22) was rated one of the worst natural disasters in the Southern Pacific Ocean.

The lawsuit (for “misleading conduct”) was filed in Melbourne by law firm Arnold Thomas & Becker. It claimed that the shipowner ought to have known about the region’s weather conditions. One of the major issues was that many passengers were actually from Melbourne and Tasmania, who flew to Sydney NSW to board the ship. Over 400 pax disembarked in Melbourne. Carnival originally announced that passengers will not be compensated, but later offered each AU$150 in onboard credit, plus a 50% future Carnival cruise booking discount.

07 July 2014Crew / Passenger Deaths

(overboard) On July 7, 2014, a male crew was reported missing and presumed fell overboard. The man vanished in the South Pacific Ocean near Vanuatu.

09 May 2013Crew / Passenger Deaths

(overboard) On May 9, 2013, the ship was at the end of 10-day roundtrip Pacific Islands itinerary from Sydney Australia (itinerary April 29 - May 9) with call ports Vila, Lifou, Noumea, Mare. A 30-year-old male passenger (Paul Rossington) and a 26-year-old female passenger (Kristen Schroder) were reported missing upon disembarkation in Sydney. Both passengers were from New South Wales.

A massive air and sea search and rescue operation was launched off the Australian coastline. The operation was conducted by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority. It included an airplane, a Westpac helicopter, numerous police boats. The search area was approx 400 ml2 (1000 km2).

The missing passengers were last seen on a shipboard CCTV surveillance camera. The footage showed them falling from mid-deck on Wednesday night on May 8 (~8:50 PM). During that time, the ship was approx 75 ml (120 km) off the coast of Forster (approx 185 ml / 300 km north of Sydney NSW). Enhanced footage from the CCTV camera showed the woman jumped first, followed ~20 seconds later by her boyfriend, probably trying to save her.

30 December 2012Fire Accident

On December 30, 2012, at 6:18 pm, an onboard fire broke out in the female sauna room. The ship was en-route to Sydney NSW from Vanuatu (Mystery Island). The automatic fire detectors activated, alerting the crew. The fire was contained within the sauna.

The room’s water sprinkler system didn’t activate, so the fire had to be extinguished manually. The investigation concluded the fire was caused by improper placement of the wooden floor grate (on top of the framework surrounding the heating element). Water-sprinkler system’s check revealed the valve was blocked in a closed position and heavily corroded.

27 April 2012Crew / Passenger Deaths

On April 27, 2012, a male passenger died onboard from natural causes.

17 April 2012Crew / Passenger Injuries and Overboards

(overboard) On April 17, 2012, a 28-year-old male passenger jumped overboard but was rescued alive. The ship was on a 15-day Alaskan repositioning cruise and en-route to Hawaii from Sydney Australia.

21 August 2010Sea Pollution

On August 21, 2010, the ship was charged with sea pollution in Alaska. Its discharged wastewater exceeded the ammonia and copper levels allowed by the wastewater quality standards for Alaska.

07 August 2010Propulsion / Power Loss

On August 7, 2010, while the ship was on autopilot, a propulsion unit malfunctioned and the vessel had to be steered manually. The incident occurred at ~4:30 pm when the portside Azipod (propulsion unit) made a 50-degree angle change instead of the commanded by the computer 10-degrees. The unit was taken offline manually. For the rest of the Alaskan cruise, the ship was operated manually. The problem was fixed while the ship was docked in homeport Seattle WA.

01 September 2007Fire Accident

On September 1, 2007, at ~8:40 am, a male crew sustained injuries while welding (cutting apart) a barrel as the residue inside exploded, tearing it apart. The incident occurred during planned maintenance works on liner's sewage treatment system. The open-top drum was supposed to be used as a trash can for scrap metal.

The welder selected a barrel, moved it into ship's welding shop and started cutting its top off using plasma torch. The vapor inside the barrel (rich with isopropyl alcohol) first caused a fire and then the barrel exploded. Man's arm was seriously injured when parts from the barrel were propelled at him. The fire was immediately suppressed by the ship's automated fire prevention system.

June 2007Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

June 2007, CDC reported on voyage Jun 13 to 20, a Norovirus outbreak affected 116 passengers (out of 2205, or 5,3%) and 8 crew (out of 931, or 0,9%).

07 June 2005Propulsion / Power Loss

On June 7, 2005, soon after leaving homeport Vancouver BC, the ship experienced propulsion problems resulting in reduced speed. Major itinerary changes were made – skipping 3 itinerary ports (Prince William Sound. Sitka, College Fjord) and shortening the Ketchikan port stay.

The incident report said the ship’s starboard propeller was bent badly after hitting an ice block. In port Juneau AK, divers were engaged to fix the problem. As compensation, passengers received only US$50 in onboard credit.

January 2003Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

January-February 2003, CDC reported on voyage Jan 27 to Feb 4, a Norovirus outbreak (gastrointestinal illness) infected 102 passengers (out of 2143, or 4,8%) and 10 crew (out of 902, or 1%). All sick suffered from Norovirus symptoms (vomiting, diarrhea) and were quarantined to their cabins. The ship operated on a 7-day Caribbean itinerary roundtrip from homeport Miami.

28 April 2002Structural and Technical Issues

On April 28, 2002, the cruise was shorted (from 12-days to 9-day) due to air-conditioning system problems.

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