Carnival Splendor accidents and incidents

Carnival Splendor cruise ship


Length (LOA)
290 m / 951 ft

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CruiseMapper's Carnival Splendor cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a 3619-passenger vessel owned by Carnival Cruise Line. Our Carnival Splendor 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could be arrests, filed lawsuits against the shipowner / cruise line company, charges and fines, grievances, settled / withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, virus outbreaks, etc.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 - 2010 (twice)
  • pier collision/allision - 2009 (Puerto Vallarta Mexico)
  • ship collision - 2009 (with Radiance Of The Seas in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico)
  • ship listing/tilting - 2010
  • propulsion/power loss - 2010 (engine fire), 2013, 2017, 2019
  • deaths - overboard (2010), 2013, 2014, 2023 (drowning)
  • injuries/crimes - 2012, 2014, 2015 (murder)
  • medevacs - 2018
  • Norovirus - 2022 (77 pax + 16 crew)

20 May 2023Crew / Passenger Deaths

On May 20, 2023, while the ship was anchored off Aneityum (Vanuatu's Mystery Island), a male passenger died during a snorkeling excursion ashore.

The incident occurred during the 9-day "South Pacific Cruise" (itinerary May 15-24, roundtrip from Sydney, NSW Australia) with call ports in New Caledonia (Noumea/May 18, Lifou Island/May 19), Vanuatu (Mystery Island/May 20, tender port stay 8 am - 5 pm) and New Caledonia (Noumea/May 21).

May 2022Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

In May 2022, the CDC reported that during voyage May 24–31, Norovirus symptoms (predominantly vomiting and diarrhea) experienced a total of 77 passengers (out of 2109, or 3,65%) plus 16 crew (out of 1079, or 1,48%).

The accident occurred during a 7-day Alaskan cruise (roundtrip from Seattle) with call ports Tracy Arm Fjord, Icy Strait Point, 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 Splendor and Carnival Spirit, 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 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 Splendor and Carnival Spirit 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.

25 May 2019Propulsion / Power Loss

On May 25, 2019, due to propulsion issues (impacting vessel's max cruising speed), the cruise liner remained in homeport Long Beach (Los Angeles CA USA). The ship was scheduled to leave port on May 25 (at 4 pm) but remained berthed until May 26, when a technician came to fix the problem. As result of the ~24-hour delayed departure, the itinerary was altered by skipping call port Mazatlan. As compensation, all passengers received USD 50 pp onboard credit. All Mazatlan-related Gov taxes, port fees and pre-booked tours were refunded.

The accident occurred at the beginning of 7-day Mexican Riviera Cruise (itinerary May 25-June 1) roundtrip from homeport Long Beach CA to Cabo San Lucas (May 27), Mazatlan (canceled/planned for May 28) and Puerto Vallarta (May 29).

09 June 2018Coast Guard Medevacs

On June 9, 2018, the ship left homeport Long Beach (Los Angeles) on a 7-day Mexican Riviera cruise (roundtrip itinerary June 9-16) to Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta. While en-route to Cabo, due to a medical emergency, the ship was rerouted towards San Diego to meet a USCG rescue helicopter.

In the morning on June 10, the ill passenger was hoisted off the ship and transported to San Diego. While en-route to Cabo San Lucas, the liner encountered extremely bad weather (tropical storm of hurricane category 4). The medevac delay resulted in itinerary change - Cabo was canceled and replaced with a sea day. On June 11, based on the hurricane's projected path, Puerto Vallarta (scheduled for June 13) was canceled and replaced with Ensenada. On June 12, the ship stayed off Cabo for ~3 hours, but was unable to deploy tender boats and disembark passengers due to strong swells. Cabo was officially canceled and replaced with Santa Catalina Island (June 14).

As compensation, all passengers received USD 200 (per cabin) in onboard credit plus vouchers for 50% future Carnival cruise booking discount. However, for logistical reasons, Catalina Island was also dropped and the ship continued to San Diego. Passenger compensation was increased to 100% future cruise voucher plus USD 200 per cabin in OBC. As additional compensation were offered complimentary arcade games and 20% discounted pricing on all "Fun Shop" liquor and Carnival logoed merchandise purchases. In San Diego, the company also provided free bus shuttles from the cruise terminal to the airports LAX (Los Angeles) and LGB (Long Beach), and to the cruise terminal in Long Beach.

September 2017Other Incidents

In September 2017, a 5-day Bahamas cruise (itinerary September 9-14) from Fort Lauderdale to Half Moon Cay and Nassau was canceled due to hurricane Irma. All bookings received full refunds. All booked shore excursions were fully refunded.

02 March 2017Propulsion / Power Loss

On March 2, 2017, the vessel experienced technical issues (reportedly engine failure) affecting its max cruising speed. The accident resulted in itinerary changes – the remaining call ports (St Thomas USVI, and Amber Cove Dominican Republic) were canceled, allowing the return to homeport Miami on schedule.

As compensation, all passengers received USD 100 pp in onboard credit, plus 25% future Carnival cruise booking discount. The ship was operating on a 7-day Eastern Caribbean cruise (itinerary Feb 26 – Mar 5) roundtrip from Miami to Grand Turk Island, Puerto Rico (San Juan), St Thomas Island, Amber Cove.

08 October 2016Crew / Passenger Injuries and Overboards

On October 8, 2016, a 2-year-old kid nearly drowned onboard while the ship was docked in Miami. The little boy was stabilized by the ship’s paramedics and transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital.

23 November 2015Crew / Passenger Deaths

On November 23, 2015, unofficially was reported that a violent incident happened at Gold Pearl (dining room restaurant on Lobby Deck 3). The domestic fight between spouses started at ~8:15 pm during dinner.

Reportedly, the woman threw a drink at her husband. He retaliated and threw his drink at her. Then they started to throw plates and glassware at each other. Galley staff and many passengers started running or hiding under the tables. At this point, the woman’s 3 brothers got involved in the fight, beating and stabbing the husband. He took a broken plate and cut the throat of one of them, causing him to bleed terribly.

The ship’s security responded to the incident after some 10-15 min. Reportedly, the injured brother died at the infirmary in the morning. All the rest involved in the fight were arrested and confined.

07 September 2014Crew / Passenger Deaths

On September 7, 2014, a male passenger died onboard while the ship was en route to Boston from NYC New York. Death was pronounced from natural causes.

23 December 2013Crew / Passenger Deaths

On December 23, 2013, a 21-year-old male crew died onboard while the ship was docked in Port Canaveral Florida. According to the incident report, the deceased became sick immediately after boarding the ship 5 days prior the death. After joining the ship’s crew on Dec 6, he was being seen several times by the infirmary’s staff. Body autopsy revealed the death was caused by Bronchopneumonia (pre-existing medical condition).

01 January 2013Propulsion / Power Loss

On January 1, 2013, the 7-day Mexican Riviera cruise departure from Los Angeles was delayed by a full day. The inconvenience was due to propulsion system (shafts) repairs, which took longer than anticipated. On the previous Mexico itinerary, the vessel required repairs after experiencing an incident with underwater fishing nets. The scheduled itinerary was shortened by 1 day. Call port Puerto Vallarta Mexico was dropped, so the ship visited only Cabo San Lucas (overnight / 2-days stay).

As compensation, all passengers received 1-day prorated (partial) refund, US$50 PP in onboard credit, refund of Gov taxes/port fees difference and gratuity adjustment. Also refunded were all pre-purchased shore excursions in Puerto Vallarta. Passengers with booked airfare were reimbursed with up to US$200 for flight change fees. Passengers were offered also cancellation without penalty or switching to another departure date.

23 February 2012Crew / Passenger Crimes

On February 23, 2012, while the ship was docked in Puerto Vallarta Mexico, 22 passengers on a sponsored by Carnival shore excursion were robbed by armed men wearing masks. The investigation report said passengers were returning to the ship from a guided excursion to El Nogalito, when at ~5 pm masked men stopped the tour bus and robbed them at gunpoint, taking all their documents and valuables. The robbery went without a shot fired and without any injuries.

27 March 2011Crew / Passenger Injuries and Overboards

On March 27, 2011, during 7-day Mexican Riviera cruise from homeport Long Beach, a medical emergency forced the ship to return to homeport. A 12-year-old male passenger sustained an injury (fractured leg) and was disembarked together with his family. The incident caused an itinerary change (port Mazatlan was dropped) but also the ship stayed only 1 day in Cabo San Lucas instead of the scheduled overnight (2-days).

13 January 2011Propulsion / Power Loss

On January 13, 2011, the ship was towed to San Francisco CA for 7-day drydock repairs.

13 November 2010Crew / Passenger Deaths

On November 13, 2010, at ~1 am, a male crew jumped overboard. The conducted search operation failed to find the body.

08 November 2010Fire Accident

On November 8, 2010, the ship was on a scheduled 7-day Mexico Riviera cruise from homeport Long Beach CA to Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, and Cabo San Lucas. On the second day, at ~6 am the ship experienced an engine room fire accident, resulting in a total electrical power loss. Even when the fire was extinguished ~10 hours later, the power was not restored. The incident occurred when the vessel was in the open sea, approx 150 ml / 240 km south of San Diego and approx 55 ml 90 km west of Punta San Jacinto (Baja Mexico).

According to the cruise line’s official statement, the fire was caused by “crankcase split”. No injuries were reported among all 3299 passengers and 1167 crew. Because engineering crew was incapable to restore the power, the voyage was canceled and the vessel had to be towed by tugboat to San Diego.

The lost of power also caused the onboard air-conditioning and refrigeration systems to become inoperational. USCG assets were deployed in the region. Passengers received rations of food and bottled water provided from aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan via navy helicopters. The Splendor ship was escorted to San Diego by USCG Cutter Morgenthau. Towed, the ship arrived in San Diego CA on November 11 (in the morning).

The power loss incident was under investigation. The ship operates using three 12-cylinder Wartsila diesel generators (model 12V46C) located in the aft engine room, plus another three generator sets in the forward engine room. Each generator connects to 2 switchboards. Normally, a single engine/generator failure shouldn’t affect the vessel's total power output.

Carnival Cruise Lines fully refunded all passengers, adding free Carnival cruise voucher of equal value and reimbursement for all their travel expenses. The ship returned to service on February 20, 2011.

As an act of good will, In 2013 Carnival Corporation voluntarily repaid the US Government for the help received from USCG and US Navy vessels related to the fire accidents on Triumph (2013) and Splendor (2010). With the payment submitted to the US Treasury, Carnival reimbursed the federal government for all expenses related to these incidents.

  • Splendor's fire cost USCG USD 1,5 million and US Navy USD 1,9 million.
  • Triumph's fire cost USCG USD 0,8 million.
  • Carnival officially stressed that no agencies have requested remuneration, so the company made this decision voluntarily.
  • It all started with US Senator J. Rockefeller asking in an open letter to Carnival Cruise Lines whether the company would repay the US Gov for the Triumph and Splendor cases.
  • Some of the most popular comments on company's decision were that it shouldn't pay - it's the USCG job to provide maritime rescue operations, the money's already in the budget, this act sets an awful lot of precedents.

05 March 2010Crew / Passenger Deaths

(overboard) On March 5, 2010, the ship was on an 18-day Around South America cruise (itinerary March 3-21) from Valparaiso-Santiago (Chile) to San Francisco. On the second day, a 62-year-old male passenger jumped overboard off the Chilean coast.

The man was last seen at ~4:30 am. He was reported missing by his wife at ~9:30 am after she found a suicide note. Local authorities were notified. The ship returned back and conducted a search and rescue operation, but the body was never found.

18 February 2010Ship Listing

On February 18, 2010, at ~7 am, the ship was entering into port Mazatlan Mexico when suddenly turned and listed sharply to portside. In the evening after departure, the Captain explained the listing incident via the PA system. Due to bad weather (heavy rain and rough seas), the radar missed several small boats and yachts in front. In the last minute,

The Navigation Bridge's officers on duty spotted the vessels by eye and to avoid the collision, they turned the ship sharply. The ship listing caused many interior damages, including to furniture in lounges and cruise cabins, also flooded by swimming pools waters public areas, lots of broken glassware and dishes.

17 December 2009Ship Collision / Allision

(pier collision) On December 17, 2009, upon berthing in Puerto Vallarta (Mexico) the ship hit a pier at ~7:40 am. The vessel was maneuvering in the harbor when its stern struck the tender pier. All local authorities were notified. The ship remained docked there overnight to complete all necessary repairs. The pier collision incident caused itinerary change – the scheduled call port Matazlan was dropped, proceeding directly to the next scheduled port Cabo San Lucas.

Note: This type of marine accidents is called “allision” (striking a fixed object) as opposed to “collision” (striking another vessel).

25 November 2009Ship Collision / Allision

On November 25, 2009, while maneuvering for docking in Puerto Vallarta Mexico, Splendor hit the already berthed Royal Caribbean ship Radiance of the Seas. Both vessels were examined and deemed seaworthy. After the ship collision incident, for unknown reasons, the Radiance ship’s Captain was replaced by another Captain.

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