Celebrity Summit accidents and incidents

Celebrity Summit cruise ship

Former names
GTS Summit

Length (LOA)
294 m / 965 ft

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CruiseMapper's Celebrity Summit cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a 2590-passenger vessel owned by Celebrity Cruises. Our Celebrity Summit 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could be arrests, filed lawsuits against the shipowner / cruise line company, charges and fines, grievances, settled / withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, virus outbreaks, etc.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 - 2010
  • ship grounding - 2003 (rock in Hubbard Glacier Alaska), 2012 (tenderboat in Bar Harbor)
  • propulsion/power loss - 2002 (twice), 2003 (twice), 2004, 2005 (twice), 2006 (twice), 2008, 2009, 2017 (canceled cruises), 2019
  • deaths - overboard (2011-crew), 2015 (bus crash in Tortola BVI)
  • injuries/crimes - sexual (2003), 2006 (bus crash in Juneau Alaska), overboard/rescued (2010, 2019), drug bust (2012), 2017 (“mass casualty incident” Portland ME)
  • medevacs - 2012, 2018, 2019 (2), 2022
  • structural - 2019 (cabins flooding)
  • sailboat rescue - 2017 (Caribbean)
  • Norovirus (passengers/crew) - 2006 (72/12), 2013 (322/13), 2023 (152/25)
  • Celebrity Cruises' first female Captain - 2015 (Kate McCue)

May 2023Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

In May 2023, CDC reported that on voyage May 15 to 25, an epidemic Norovirus outbreak affected a total of 152 passengers (out of 2144, or 7,09%) and 25 crew (out of 963, or 2,6%).

The predominant symptoms were diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pains, and headache.

The ship was on a 10-day Bermuda cruise from NYC (Bayonne NJ) visiting Oak Bluffs (Martha's Vineyard Island, Massachusetts/May 16th), Bermuda (Kings Wharf/May 18-19/overnight) and South Carolina (Charleston/May 21-23/overnight).

01 June 2022Coast Guard Medevacs

On June 1, 2022, the USCG medevaced two crew suffering from chemical burns. The emergency evacuation was conducted approx 69 mi / 110 km off Virginia State's coast (Virginia Beach City VA). Later was cleared that the men were actually outside personnel (not crew) contracted to overhaul the ship's scrubbers (Advanced Emission Purification System).

The ship contacted the USCG's District 5 (USA Mid-Atlantic Region) requesting assistance for the medical evacuation as both patients were in need of further medical care. For the operation was dispatched an MH-60 Jayhawk (rescue helicopter) crew from CG Air Station Elizabeth City NC. The men, together with a ship physician, were hoisted and flown to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in Norfolk VA.

The incident occurred at the end of the 10-day "Bermuda, Newport and Charleston Cruise" (itinerary May 23 - June 2, roundtrip from NYC New York) with call ports Newport RI, Kings Wharf Bermuda, and Charleston SC.

30 September 2019Crew / Passenger Injuries and Overboards

(overboard) On September 30, 2019, while the cruise liner was navigating in St Lawrence River and approaching Port Quebec City, two male crew intentionally jumped overboard and into the river. Both men were recovered alive from the waters by Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) teams. Reportedly, the water temperature was ~13 C (55 F).

The first overboard happened ~5:40 am and involved a 27-year-old crew (from Zimbabwe). He was hypothermic when retrieved. The second crew (36-year-old, from UAE) jumped overboard ~7 am. He drifted with the river current ~5 km (3 mi) and when retrieved from the waters was also suffering hypothermia. According to local new media sources, both men jumped overboard attempting to immigrate illegally into Canada, as they were not permitted to leave the ship in Quebec City. Celebrity Cruises confirmed that both men were employees and "left the vessel without permission".

The incident occurred during the 14-day Canada and New England Cruise (itinerary Sept 22 - Oct 6) roundtrip from homeport NYC New York to Boston MA, Portland ME, Bar Harbor ME, Quebec City (port stay 11:30 am - 3:30 pm), Charlottetown (Prince Edward Island), Sydney NS, and Halifax NS.

24 August 2019Structural and Technical Issues

On August 24, 2019, a PVC pipe serving Resort Deck's (deck 10) swimming pools burst and flooded staterooms on decks 9, 8 and 7. The accident affected around 30 midship-located interior cabins and the decks' hallways. The flooding resulted in damaged carpets, furniture, mattresses, passengers' personal belongings.

The incident occurred at the end of 7-day Bermuda cruise (itinerary Aug 18-25) roundtrip from homeport NYC (Cape Liberty, Bayonne NJ) to King's Wharf (port stay Aug 21-23), while the liner was en-route back to the USA.

08 July 2019Coast Guard Medevacs

On July 8, 2019, a 7-year-old female passenger (suffering abdominal pains) was medevaced from the liner navigating approx 320 km (200 ml) off Virginia USA's coast and en-route to Bermuda. The girl, her mother and a crew nurse were airlifted by an USCG helicopter crew and transported to Norfolk VA's Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters.

The incident occurred at the beginning of 7-day Bermuda cruise (itinerary July 7-14) roundtrip from homeport Cape Liberty (Bayonne NJ, New York City) to Kings Wharf (Royal Naval Dockyard).

16 June 2019Coast Guard Medevacs

(CruiseMapper emailed incident report by AJ Citro) On June 16, 2019, a medical emergency (unknown specific emergency) was reported in the Casino minutes before departure of the ship. The ship was delayed leaving NJ for about 30-60 minutes while the passenger was disembarked and brought to a hospital. No further delay of the ship was reported.

The incident occurred at the beginning of 11-day "Bermuda and New England Cruise" (itinerary June 16-27) roundtrip from homeport Cape Liberty (Bayonne NJ-NYC) to Bermuda (Kings Wharf), Boston MA, Bar Harbor ME and Portland ME.

26 May 2019Coast Guard Medevacs

On May 26, 2019, a 61-year-old female passenger (suffering from chest pains) was medevaced from the liner in New York Harbor. At ~4:20 pm, USCG NY received notification that a woman needs medical treatment ashore. The CG NY command center coordinated the operation with FDNY (New York City Fire Department). At ~4:40 pm, the woman was offloaded from the ship and transported to Station NY, from where was ambulanced to Staten Island University Hospital.

The incident occurred at the beginning of 10-day "Bermuda and New England Cruise" (itinerary May 26 - June 5) roundtrip from homeport NYC to Bermuda (Kings Wharf) and USA (Boston MA, Bar Harbor ME).

18 January 2019Propulsion / Power Loss

On January 18, 2019, the liner remained berthed in homeport San Juan (Puerto Rico) unable to leave port due to an unspecified mechanical issue (reportedly, propulsion or electrical). Departure was scheduled for 8:30 pm on Jan 17. The ship finally left San Juan at ~9:15 pm (Jan 18). More details are expected to be officially announced soon.

The accident occurred at the beginning of 12-day "Dutch Antilles Caribbean Cruise" (itinerary Jan 17-29) planned as roundtrip from San Juan to Frederiksted (St Croix), Basseterre (St Kitts), St Johns (Antigua), Willemstad (Curacao), Oranjestad (Aruba), Kralendijk (Bonaire), Charlotte Amalie (St Thomas) and Ponce (Puerto Rico).

27 August 2018Coast Guard Medevacs

On August 27, 2018, a 61-year-old male crew (suffering heart attack) was medevaced from the ship off New Jersey's coast.

The liner contacted USCG 5th District (Portsmouth NH, USA) requesting immediate medical assistance. USCG Air Station Atlantic City deployed an HH-65 Dolphin helicopter to the ship, located approx 230 ml (370 km) east of Cape May (NJ USA). Due to the long distance from shore, the helicopter was supported by a USCG Lockheed HC-130 Hercules aircraft. The man and a crew nurse were airlifted and transported to ARMC (Atlanticare Regional Medical Center) in Atlantic City NJ.

The incident occurred in the beginning of 7-day Bermuda Cruise (itinerary Aug 26 - Sept 2) roundtrip from homeport NYC to Kings Wharf.

16 December 2017Boat Rescue

On December 16, 2017, while en-route from Antigua to Curacao, the ship responded to a distress call from a sailboat. During the rescue operation was launched a tender boat to load and transport the 6 sailors back to the ship.

The survivors were over a month drifting at sea, and 6 days without food. The boat was sailing from Haiti to Guadeloupe when the sails and rudder were lost in a storm. The boat was also taking on water.

The 6 survivors (2 of which were pregnant) received first aid and food on the cruise ship, they were disembarked in Curacao.

The incident occurred during 11-day Southern Caribbean cruise (itinerary Dec 12-23) roundtrip from homeport San Juan Puerto Rico to the islands St Croix USVI, St Kitts, Antigua, Curacao, Aruba, Bonaire, and St Thomas USVI.

03 July 2017Crew / Passenger Injuries and Overboards

On July 3, 2017, Maine state’s (USA) emergency services responded to a “mass casualty incident” (abbrev MCI) onboard the cruise ship, en-route from Halifax (NS Canada) to Portland (ME USA). After docking in Portland (~9:30 am), the vessel was boarded by several med teams just to find only 4 people with unrelated medical conditions requiring treatments – 2 with heart-related symptoms, 1 with pneumonia, 1 with a broken leg. The four passengers were transported by an ambulance to a hospital.

“Mass casualty incident” is a multiple-casualty incident/situation in which emergency med services resources (personnel, equipment) are overwhelmed by the number/severity of the casualties. The incident occurred during 11-day “Independence Day Cruise” (itinerary June 27 – July 7) roundtrip from homeport NYC to Canada, with call ports Bar Harbor ME, Saint John NB, Halifax NS, Portland ME, Boston MA, Newport RI.

April 2017Propulsion / Power Loss

In March 2017, due to an electrical issue with one of the ship’s propulsion motors, two cruises (roundtrips from San Juan Puerto Rico) were officially canceled. These were itineraries March 27 – April 1 (5-day to St Thomas, St Maarten, St Kitts) and the following itinerary April 1-8 (7-day to Barbados, St Lucia, Antigua, St Maarten, St Thomas).

The ship remained fully operational (no impact on its maneuverability). Itinerary April 8-15 was modified, with call port Frederiksted (St Croix Island) dropped. The following itinerary (April 15-22) was shortened from 7 to 4 days. For the last “mini cruise” from Puerto Rico, all passengers were compensated with airfare ($200 PP) and given the option to re-book on another Celebrity cruise for that week.

It was estimated that each of the affected passengers lost around USD 1,000 in airfare and hotels expenses. This accident confirms that purchasing travel insurance is a must.

06 December 2015Crew / Passenger Deaths

On December 6, 2015, 2 passengers were killed (pronounced dead at the scene) and 18 others were injured in a bus crash accident on Tortola Island, BVI. The tragedy happened on a Celebrity Cruises sponsored shore excursion to Cane Garden Bay beach on the island. While descending Cane Garden Bay Hill, the tour bus lost control at ~11 am, near Round Hill.

All injured were transported by an ambulance to Peebles Hospital. Assistance was provided by the ship’s med personnel, as well as by local authorities (Police, Fire & Rescue Department, BVI Tourist Board).

The cruise ship was on 7-day Eastern Caribbean cruise (itinerary Dec 5-12) roundtrip from homeport San Juan Puerto Rico to Road Town (Tortola), Fort de France (Martinique), Roseau (Dominica), Basseterre (St Kitts), Charlotte Amalie (St Thomas USVI).

14 July 2015Other Incidents

On July 14, 2015, the cruise company announced its fleet’s first female Captain will command the Summit ship. Captain Kate McCue (of US origin, aged 37 /as of 2015) started service in August 2015. Seven months earlier, the company announced its first female CEO and President (Lisa Lutoff-Perlo).

05 July 2015Propulsion / Power Loss

On July 5, 2015, the vessel stopped in New York harbor for ~5 hours due to a technical issue (propulsion motor). After inspection, the ship was towed back to homeport Cape Liberty (Bayonne) New Jersey. The problem started at ~4 am, after the Cape Liberty NJ departure on 7-day Bermuda cruise (itinerary July 5-12) to Kings Wharf. The itinerary was not affected.

October 2013Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

In October 2013, CDC reported that on voyage Sept 21 to Oct 5, a major Norovirus outbreak affected a total of 322 passengers (out of 2112, or 15,3%) and 13 crew (out of 952, or 1,4%).

All sick suffered from Norovirus symptoms (vomiting, diarrhea) and were quarantined to their cabins.

The ship was on a 14-day Canada and New England cruise roundtrip from homeport NYC (Bayonne NJ).

05 October 2012Ship Grounding

On October 5, 2012, during passenger tendering back to the ship in call port Bar Harbor ME, a tender boat with 93 passengers and 2 crew ran aground. The tender (number 12) was at sea, between the Sheep Porcupine island and Bar Island, when hit a rocky shoal and stuck. No injuries were reported.

The incident happened at ~7:45 pm (during low tide). Two local marine vessels (fishing boat and whale watcher) assisted the tender and unloaded the passengers. The tender boat sustained serious hull damages and breaches below the waterline and was taken out of service.

02 September 2012Coast Guard Medevacs

On September 2, 2012, a male crew (suffering from severe abdominal cramps) was medevaced via USCG assets (Jayhawk helicopter and Hercules aircraft) dispatched from Elizabeth City NC. The ship was approx 290 ml / 470 km off North Carolina's coast.

03 May 2012Drug Smuggling

On May 3, 2012, while the ship was docked in call port Kings Wharf Bermuda, a 53-year-old female passenger was arrested and charged with possession of cocaine and with drug smuggling. The woman (Jane Howell Carmichael, of US origin) was caught with 4 packages of cocaine (USD 369,000 worth) strapped to her body.

21 March 2012Crew / Passenger Crimes

(sexual) On March 21, 2012, during the gay-themed cruise (ship charter by Atlantis Events), 2 male passengers (both of US origin, aged 41 and 43) were arrested in Roseau Dominica and charged with indecent exposure. When the ship was docked in Roseau, both gay men were seen and reported for being naked on their cabin’s balcony. They were enprisoned for 19 hours and fined USD 2000 each (paid to the judge in cash).

27 December 2011Crew / Passenger Deaths

(overboard) On December 27, 2011, a 30-year-old female crew jumped overboard in the waters near Puerto Rico. The woman (of Filipino origin) worked on the ship as a bartender. The conducted USCG search operation failed to find the body. The incident occurred northeast of Culebra island while the ship was en-route to Barbados from Puerto Rico.

17 August 2011Crew / Passenger Crimes

(law news) On August 19, 2011, a 48-year-old male passenger (of US origin) was fined in Bermuda US$1000 (paid in cash immediately). The man was charged with drug possession and admitted having 6 grams of marijuana. The drug was found in his cabin on Aug 17 after the ship’s security received a tip-off and search the stateroom.

03 April 2010Crew / Passenger Injuries and Overboards

(overboard) On April 3, 2010, a male passenger fell overboard in the waters near Puerto Rico. The man (Bob Gricius) didn’t die but instead swam for nearly 19 hours to Cayo Lobos Island, which is approx 3 ml / 5 km off Purto Rico’s coast.

27 February 2010Fire Accident

On February 27, 2010, the liner suffered an electrical fire accident. The fire broke out in the Battery Room (housing UPS batteries for backup power) located near the Steering Gear Room. After ~20 min the fire was extinguished by two fire squads using portable extinguishers.

The fire was caused by a short circuit on battery 1 (supplying with power starboard thruster's steering pump). All functioning batteries were safely removed from the affected UPS rack. No injuries or itinerary changes were reported.

23 February 2009Crew / Passenger Injuries and Overboards

On February 23, 2009, 166 passengers sustained injuries in a tour bus crash incident on a Celebrity Cruises sponsored shore excursion in Roseau Dominica. Some of them were flown to Miami and transported by an ambulance to Jackson Memorial Hospital. Among the lesser injuries were lacerations, bumps, and bruises. Three passengers suffered fractures.

The tour bus was returning from a cooking-themed excursion. The ship was on 7-night cruise (itinerary Feb 21-28) roundtrip from homeport San Juan Puerto Rico.

31 January 2009Propulsion / Power Loss

On January 31, 2009, the 7-day Southern Caribbean cruise roundtrip from homeport San Juan Puerto Rico was shortened to 6-days, and call port Tobago was dropped due to a mechanical issue (“electrical problem”) needing drydock repairs. The next 2 Caribbean itineraries were canceled.

17 November 2008Propulsion / Power Loss

On November 17, 2008, during the 14-day Mediterranean cruise (itinerary Nov 1-15), propulsion problems resulted in reduced cruising speed (down to 17 mph / 28 kph) and itinerary change - call port Split Croatia was dropped.

November 2006Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

In November 2006, CDC reported that on voyage Nov 11 to 25, a Norovirus outbreak (gastrointestinal illness) infected 72 passengers (out of 1911, or 3,8%) and 12 crew (out of 942, or 1,3%).

All sick suffered from Norovirus symptoms (vomiting, diarrhea) and were quarantined to their cabins.

08 September 2006Crew / Passenger Injuries and Overboards

On September 8, 2006, 15 passengers suffered minor injuries in a tour bus crash accident on a Celebrity Cruises sponsored shore excursion in Juneau Alaska. The tour bus driver was charged with reckless driving.

10 May 2006Propulsion / Power Loss

On May 10, 2006, during 13-day Alaskan repositioning cruise (itinerary May 7-20) from San Diego CA to Vancouver (BC Canada), the ship experienced propeller (propulsion) issues. The incident resulted in an itinerary change (call ports Seattle WA and Sitka AK were dropped) as well as passenger unrest and protests. The May 20 voyage was canceled for drydock repairs (starboard Azipod bearing replacement).

25 May 2005Propulsion / Power Loss

On May 25, 2005, due to needed starboard propulsion unit repairs, the 7-day Alaskan cruise (itinerary May 27 - June 3) was shortened by 1 day (skipping call port Ketchikan AK) while the next scheduled (June 3) itinerary was canceled.

September 2004Structural and Technical Issues

On September 1, 2004, the ship entered drydock for repairs due to experienced starboard propulsion unit malfunctioning. The Sept 10 voyage was canceled. The next scheduled (Sept 17) voyage was delayed 3 days.

28 July 2003Crew / Passenger Crimes

(sexual) On July 28, 2003, a 33-year-old male crew was accused of inappropriately touching (during a Spa massage) and charged with sexual assault of a female passenger.

09 July 2003Ship Grounding

On July 9, 2003, the vessel’s hull was damaged when it hit a rock upon leaving Hubbard Glacier (Alaska). The accident was caused by human error – the assisting pilot called out instructions but a crew steered.

The incident resulted in a 10 ft / 3 m long ballast-tank hole (midship) and a 140 ft / 43 m long hull crease. Two days later, the vessel docked in Seward AK. The July 11 departure was delayed by 2 days for repairs.

March 2002Propulsion / Power Loss

In 2002, two itineraries were affected by propulsion problems needing drydock repairs. Voyage March 23 was canceled, while voyage April 8 was shortened from 11 to 7 nights.

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