Celebrity Millennium accidents and incidents

Celebrity Millennium cruise ship

Former names
GTS Millennium

Length (LOA)
294 m / 965 ft

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CruiseMapper's Celebrity Millennium cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a 2590-passenger vessel owned by Celebrity Cruises. Our Celebrity Millennium 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could be arrests, filed lawsuits against the shipowner / cruise line company, charges and fines, grievances, settled / withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, virus outbreaks, etc.

  • ship grounding - 2007 (damaged propeller)
  • propulsion/power loss - 2000 (4 cancelled Baltic cruises), 2001, 2003, 2006, 2007 (twice), 2009, 2013 (5 cancelled Alaskan cruises)
  • Norovirus (passengers/crew) - 2007 (176 / 22), 2010 (157 / 23), 2011 (104 / 9), 2013 (123 / 16)
  • deaths - crew (2005, 2018-2019-suicides), 2006 (bus crash in Arica Chile), 2008 (Virgin Gorda, BVI snorkeling), overboard (2011)
  • injuries/crimes - sexual (2002-crew, 2012, 2015-crew)

05 June 2021Other Incidents

On June 5, 2021, Millennium became North America's first cruise ship to sail with passengers following the Coronavirus crisis.

The 7-day itinerary was a Philipsburg (St Maarten Island) roundtrip to the ABC islands - Aruba (Oranjestad), Barbados (Bridgetown) and Curacao (Willemstad). With 95% of all passengers and 100% of the crew fully vaccinated, this became the world's biggest COVID-vaccinated ship cruise.

All adult tourists were required to show proof of vaccination (prior to boarding) as well as negative PCR tests to allow them entry to St Maarten and Barbados. American tourists were tested onboard before flying back to the USA from Sint Maarten's Princess Juliana Airport.

The muster drill was replaced with an online version. Self-serve buffets were closed. The Infirmary (medical facility) was staffed with 2 physicians and 11 nurses, and isolation rooms were added.

The vessel's max passenger capacity (2590) were reduced to ~1/3, and due to the low capacity, so no masks or social distancing were required onboard. The ship was commanded by Captain Theo Zakkas.

February 2020Other Incidents

In mid-February 2020, Celebrity Cruises canceled all the remaining Celebrity Millennium cruises in Asia due to the region's Coronavirus outbreaks. The Millennium ship was repositioned to the USA. Next are listed all the canceled Asia 2020 itineraries as departure dates and homeports.

  • 2020 (Feb 15) 14-days from Hong Kong to Singapore
  • 2020 (Feb 29) 14-day from Singapore to Hong Kong
  • 2020 (Mar 14) 14-day Hong Kong to Shanghai
  • 2020 (Mar 28) 13-day Shanghai to Yokohama
  • 2020 (Apr 10 and Apr 21) 11-day Japanese Explorer Cruise roundtrip from Yokohama
  • 2020 (May 10) 12-day Transpacific repositioning from Yokohama to Vancouver (BC Canada)

All bookings received full refunds (automatically processed to the form of payment provided upon booking), future Celebrity cruise credit (25%) plus USD 300 pp for any flight changes (airline penalties) associated.

17 December 2019Crew / Passenger Deaths

(suicide) On December 17, 2019, when the liner docked in call port Laem Chabang (seaport to Bangkok, Thailand), a 26-year-old male crew was found dead in his cabin's bathroom. The man (Komang Sutrisna Putra, from Amlapura, Bali Indonesia) was found by a fellow crew (his roommate) hanging from a rope and in a lifeless state. The body was returned to the family on Dec 22.

The incident occurred during the 14-day Hong Kong to Singapore cruise (itinerary Dec 7 - 21) with call ports in Vietnam (Halong Bay, Danang, Saigon) and Thailand (Laem Chabang port overnight stay Dec 16 / 9 am through Dec 17 / 6 pm).

06 December 2018Crew / Passenger Deaths

(suicide) On December 6, 2018, a male crew was found dead in his cabin’s bathroom. The man (Anton Ilichev, from Ukraine) allegedly hanged himself. He was working on the cruise liner as suite manager, having with Celebrity Cruises several consecutive contracts. His current contract was expiring on December 8 (with debarkation in Singapore).

The incident occurred during 14-day Southeast Asia Cruise (itinerary Nov 24 - Dec 8) from Hong Kong to Singapore, visiting Vietnam (Halong Bay, Da Nang, Saigon) and Thailand (Laem Chabang / Bangkok).

12 July 2015Crew / Passenger Crimes

(sexual) On July 12, 2015, a 40-year-old male crew (from Honduras) was accidentally caught while sexually attacking a 26-year-old female crew (of Canadian origin). The incident occurred at ~2:30 am, while the ship was en-route to call port Juneau Alaska.

The woman left the crew lounge and was walking back to her cabin alone when an unfamiliar man grabbed her from behind, covered her mouth, groped her and attempted to rape her. Meanwhile, a fellow crew (working as a comedian on the ship) had left his cabin and was going to the infirmary for Ibuprofen (painkiller). He heard the woman screaming behind a door leading to a stairwell. When opened the door, he startled the man, who immediately released the victim from his grip.

The man (Eduar Klay Moran Bonilla) was arrested in Juneau, charged with “sexual attack” and indicted on “second-degree sexual assault”.

(law news) On January 30, 2017, he was sentenced to 5 years in jail.

09 August 2013Propulsion / Power Loss

In August 2013, the vessel experienced mechanical / propulsion problems with one of the 2 Azipod units during its last 3 Alaskan cruises.

On August 9, the ship arrived several hours late in the port Seward AK, remained there 3 full days for emergency repairs and canceled all the remaining call ports on the itinerary. Due to these consistent mechanical failures, Celebrity Cruises took the ship out of service for repairs. The company canceled all the remaining 7-day voyages (previously scheduled for August 23 and 30, and September 6 and 13), thus ending the ship’s 2013 Alaskan season early.

The decision was made after the August 16 voyage was canceled in call port Ketchikan AK. All passengers were flown back home. Those booked on the canceled itineraries received full refunds plus free Celebrity cruise certificates. The ship returned to service on September 22, with a Panama Canal transition cruise from San Diego CA to Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale) Florida.

This accident cost the company ~USD 13 million in lost revenue (or between USD 2,5-3 million per day losses).

May 2013Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

April-May 2013, CDC reported on voyage Apr 25 to May 10, a Norovirus outbreak affected 123 passengers (out of 1963, or 6,3%) and 16 crew (out of 935, or 1,7%). The ship was operating in Alaska from Vancouver to Seward AK.

04 May 2011Crew / Passenger Deaths

(overboard) On May 4, 2011, a 63-year-old female passenger jumped overboard. The accident happened somewhere between call port Cabo San Lucas (Mexico) and homeport San Diego CA. She was reported missing during the San Diego disembarkation. CCTV video showed the woman jumping overboard. The conducted USCG search didn’t find the body.

May 2011Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

In May 2011, CDC reported on voyage May 20 to 27, a Noro virus outbreak affected 104 passengers (out of 2058, or 5,1%) and 9 crew (out of 921, or 1%). The ship was on a 7-day Alaskan cruise from homeport Vancouver BC.

22 February 2010Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

February-March 2010, CDC reported on the voyage Feb 22 to March 5, a major Norovirus outbreak (gastrointestinal illness) infected 157 passengers (out of 2020, or 7,8%) and 23 crew (out of 938, or 2,4%). All sick suffered from Norovirus symptoms (vomiting, diarrhea) and were quarantined to their cabins. The ship was on 12-day Southern Caribbean cruise to Curacao and Puerto Rico.

09 March 2009Propulsion / Power Loss

On March 9, 2009, propulsion issues (propeller shaft bearing) required the ship to enter drydock in Sydney NSW Australia for repairs. The 14-day New Zealand cruise (itinerary March 15-29) from Auckland NZ was canceled. Booked passengers received a full refund plus future Celebrity cruise credit (the amount of the paid fare) and up to US$250 PP (for flights change fees). The ship returned to service on March 29 (departing from Auckland).

20 February 2008Crew / Passenger Deaths

On February 20, 2008, a 65-year-old male passenger died on Celebrity Cruises sponsored snorkeling excursion in Virgin Gorda BVI. The man was snorkeling at Savannah Bay together with his wife and other passengers from the ship. After ~30 min of snorkeling, he reported being tired and decided to return to the beach. While still in the water, he started to experience breathing difficulties and chest pains. An ambulance transported him to Iris O’Neal Clinic, where he lost consciousness and soon after died.

August 2007Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

On August 22, 2007, the ship reported 176 passengers (out of 2242, or 8%) and 22 crew (out of 957, or 2%) affected by a Norovirus outbreak during a 12-night Mediterranean voyage from Barcelona Spain.

Note: When the itinerary doesn’t include US cruise ports, the ship is not required to report to CDC, thus no official illness report would be issued.

02 July 2007Ship Grounding

On July 2, 2007, the ship was in the Mediterranean Sea (Southern Europe). Upon arriving in call port Villefranche-sur-Mer (Nice, France) the vessel drifted towards the shore and hit submerged rocks. Passengers reported a shudder at ~5 pm.

On the next day (July 3) all passengers received a letter informing them that the starboard propeller blades are damaged. The Villefranche departure was delayed by ~3 hours (~11 pm instead of 8 pm).

The propeller damage resulted in hugely reduced cruising speed (13 mph / 20 kph instead of 25 mph / 41 kph). Due to the damaged propeller blades, the vessel was rocking (as vibrations). The next call port Livorno Italy was skipped and it continued straight to Civitavecchia-Rome for repairs. The plan was partial repairs to be made in Civitavecchia, and the remainder - in Naples. However, the new blades didn’t arrive on time, and eventually, the ship spent 5 days in Civitavecchia (until Celebrity Cruises canceled the voyage).

Major itinerary changes were announced, with dropped call ports in Italy (Naples) and Greece (Santorini and Piraeus-Athens) replaced with Greece (Corfu) and Croatia (Dubrovnik). The ship was scheduled to arrive for disembarkation in Venice on July 12.

On July 7, after spending 5 days in Civitavecchia, the Captain officially announced the cruise cancellation. Passengers were offered home flights from Rome or Venice (as originally scheduled). As compensation, they received full refunds. The next scheduled itinerary (July 12 from Venice) was also canceled. Booked passengers were fully refunded and received a future Celebrity cruise credit.

Note: Most ship grounding accidents (when the marine vessel’s hull impacts the seabed) happen at lower cruising speeds since the ships operate in known to be shallow waters. Such incidents usually result in stranding (with or without significant hull damages). However, if the hull is breached, the result would be flooding, which may compromise the vessel’s stability and safety. The well-known example of such a tragic accident is the Costa Concordia sinking after hitting a rock in January 2012.

02 January 2007Propulsion / Power Loss

On January 2, 2007, the vessel experienced propulsion problems resulting in reduced speeds (from 35 mph / 41 kph to 20 mph / 31 kph). The incident cased itinerary change (call port Casa de Campo Dominican Republic was dropped). Repairs were made in the next call port San Juan Puerto Rico.

However, after leaving San Juan and later St Thomas, the ship experienced again propulsion issues and was decided to skip Nassau Bahamas and return to homeport Port Everglades FL. As compensation, passengers received US$700 per cabin plus 25% future Celebrity cruise booking discount.

17 November 2006Propulsion / Power Loss

On November 17, 2006, a propulsion system issue (portside Azipod bearing) forced the ship to enter 1-week drydock (Dec 10 to 17) and to cancel the Dec 10th itinerary. Booked passengers received a full refund plus free Celebrity cruise certificate (up to 7-night itineraries).

23 March 2006Crew / Passenger Deaths

On March 23, 2006, 12 passengers died and 2 were injured on a Celebrity Cruises sponsored shore excursion in Arica Chile. The accident happened at ~4:30 pm when their tour bus fell off a steep cliff. Injured passengers were transported to a hospital. The cruise company flew all family members of the killed and injured passengers to Santiago Chile. The ship was in day 4 of a 14-night South American repositioning cruise leaving from Valparaiso-Santiago to Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale) Florida.

08 March 2006Structural and Technical Issues

On March 8, 2006, the vessel was docked in call port Puerto Madryn (Argentina). At ~10 am, a sudden gust of winds caused it to break the mooring lines. It drifted away from the dock, causing the gangway (telescopic bridge) to collapse into the water. No injuries were reported. After the Captain unsuccessfully tried to berth it again, the ship left port. All left ashore passengers were tendered back to the ship.

27 January 2005Crew / Passenger Deaths

On January 27, 2005, a 21-year-old male crew died after a hydraulic door crushed him. The accident forced the ship to return to call port Charlotte Amalie (St Thomas USVI) shortly after leaving it.

16 July 2003Propulsion / Power Loss

On July 16, 2003, propulsion system problems resulted in the cancellation of an 11-day Mediterranean itinerary (Barcelona to Venice). The ship entered drydock for the replacement of the portside Azipod’s bearing.

02 November 2002Crew / Passenger Crimes

(sexual) On November 2, 2002, two men were arrested and charged with sexual assault and battering a female crew (working on the ship as youth counselor). The woman filed a lawsuit against Celebrity Cruises in December 2002.

24 January 2001Structural and Technical Issues

On January 24, 2001, the vessel entered again dry-dock for repairs (malfunctioning electric motor), resulting in 2 canceled itineraries (departures April 1 and 8).

07 July 2000Propulsion / Power Loss

On July 7, 2000, during the Inaugural season in Europe, the ship operated on Baltic Sea cruises when engine problems and plumbing issues resulted in reduced cruising speed and itinerary change (call port Stockholm Sweden was dropped). The vessel was moved to Germany for drydock repairs. The drydock lasted over a month (Nov 15 to Dec 17), with all the 4 scheduled itineraries being canceled.

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