Crystal Symphony accidents and incidents

Crystal Symphony cruise ship


Length (LOA)
238 m / 781 ft

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CruiseMapper's Crystal Symphony cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a 606-passenger vessel owned by Crystal Cruises. Our Crystal Symphony 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could be arrests, filed lawsuits against the shipowner / cruise line company, charges and fines, grievances, settled / withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, virus outbreaks, etc.

  • propulsion/power loss - 2012
  • bad weather - 2010 (rogue wave caused water damages in public areas, Drake Passage, Antarctica)
  • Crystal Cruises bad publicity - 2003 (water pollution in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, California)
  • Norovirus (passengers/crew) - 2005 (20 / 3), 2010 (37 / 14), 2013 (125 / 22), 2018 (30 / 17)
  • Coronavirus - 2021 (6)
  • medevacs - 2019
  • 2022 - parent company GHK files for bankruptcy, canceled cruises, ship arrest in PortMiami

15 June 2022Other Incidents

In June 2022, both Crystal Cruises' ocean ships (Symphony and Serenity) were auctioned in The Bahamas. Both vessels (being under arrest in Freeport Bahamas since February 5th) were sold via a sealed tender auction, with bids submitted to The Bahamas' Supreme Court and a 10% deposit. The financiers were presented by the Bahamian law firm Alexiou Knowles & Co.

On June 15th, Bahamian sources announced that both vessels are sold in the auction - Symphony to CSY Ltd for USD 25 million (EUR 24M / GBP 20,5M) and Serenity to CSE Ltd for USD 103 million (EUR 99M / GBP 84,6M).

January 2022Other Incidents

On January 19, 2022, after the parent company GHK-Genting Hong Kong (owner of Crystal Cruises/shipowner) filed for bankruptcy, Crystal Cruises announced that temporarily ceases operations, canceling its ocean fleet's remaining February thru April's end schedules. Crystal's riverboats were canceled thru May's end.

The cancellations affected the ships Crystal Symphony (31x voyages/Caribbean and Mediterranean) and Crystal Serenity (14x voyages part of the 116-day World Cruise) as well as Crystal Endeavor (6x voyages/including the Antarctic program from Ushuaia Argentina).

Crystal Symphony's current voyage (Miami roundtrip, 14-day "Grand Journey Lesser Antilles and the Virgin Isles") was ended as scheduled (on Jan 22nd in PortMiami).

Crystal Serenity's World Cruise (Jan 17 - May 13, Miami roundtrip) was ended in Oranjestad Aruba (on Jan 30).

Crystal Endeavor's Antarctic program was ended on February 4th (in Ushuaia).

On January 21, due to "operational issues", Crystal Symphony’s current voyage was ended in Bimini (instead of PortMiami).

  • The 14-day itinerary was a roundtrip from Miami (Jan 8-22, "Grand Journey - Lesser Antilles and Virgin Isles") visiting St John USVI, St Johns Antigua, Gustavia St Barths, Philipsburg St Maarten, San Juan Puerto Rico, St Thomas USVI, Basseterre St Kitts, Roseau Dominica, and Tortola BVI (Jan 19), with a planned ending in Miami (Jan 22).
  • Passengers were disembarked on Jan 23rd (at Bimini Bay Marina) and ferried to Fort Lauderdale via Balaeria Ferry.
  • Crystal Cruises provided complimentary bus transportation to the airports of Miami and Fort Lauderdale for the return flights.
  • The passenger debarkation in Bimini was actually to evade a seizure order in the USA.

On January 20, a Miami court (Judge Darrin P. Gayles) issued an arrest warrant for the vessel, after a lawsuit for unpaid fuel bills was filed by Peninsula Petroleum Far East Pte Ltd (Suntec City, Singapore-based bunkering company). The filing claimed a total of USD 4,6 million, including $1,2M (from Crystal Symphony), $2,1M (from Crystal Cruises) and $1,3M (from Star Cruises/also owned by GHK). The bunkering company asked the Miami court to arrest Crystal Symphony to secure payment. To oversee the ship arrest was appointed Global Maritime Security Inc (Gretna Louisiana-based company specializing in maritime security, escort and guard services).

On February 4th, both ships (Symphony and Serenity) were arrested in Freeport Bahamas. According to anonymous crew reports, the boats anchored off Freeport for bunkering - Symphony to load food, Serenity - for fuel. Crystal Endeavor was arrested in Ushuaia.

Note: On January 10, 2022, the two GHK-owned German shipbuilding companies MV Werften and Lloyd Werft (Bremerhaven) filed for insolvency/bankruptcy protection. Unofficially was reported that the shipbuilder has liquidity gap ~EUR 148 million (~USD 168M / ~GBP 123M).

September 2021Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(Coronavirus) On September 26, 2021, a total of 6 passengers were disembarked in Kings Wharf (Bermuda) after testing COVID-positive. All crew and passengers were fully vaccinated and pre-departure PCR tested (at NYC's Manhattan Terminal).

Bermuda's Ministry of Transport spokeswoman commented that 5 infected from the boat were accommodated at a hotel (together with their close contacts). They tested positive while the ship was at sea (en route to Bermuda) when routine PCR nasopharyngeal tests were administered onboard. Crystal Cruises announced that, after further testing, another passenger (6th) received a positive result.

At Kings Wharf (Royal Naval Dockyard) the vessel was quarantined and all its crew and passengers retested. A pilot boat brought the samples to shore from where they were delivered to Bermuda's Molecular Diagnostic and Research Lab.

The hotel and travel expenses (including flights to NYC) were covered by the company.

The incident occurred during the 7-day roundtrip from New York City to Bermuda (Sept 24 - Oct 1) when the ship stayed in Kings Wharf overnight (3 pm/ Sept 26 thru 5 pm/Sept 28).

22 November 2019Coast Guard Medevacs

On November 22, 2019, a 76-year-old male passenger was medevaced from the cruise ship navigating near Punta Sur (Isla Mujeres, Mexico). The elderly man (US citizen) was transported to Cancun on a Mexican Navy ship.

The incident occurred during 7-day Tropical Escape Cruise (itinerary November 17-24) roundtrip from homeport Miami to Costa Maya, Belize City, Cozumel, and Key West.

April 2019Other Incidents

Due to weather (strong winds), ship's itinerary was altered by canceling two of the scheduled port calls - Harvey Island (Apr 13) and Port Douglas (Apr 15). The incident occurred during the 18-day Sydney NSW to Singapore cruise (itinerary April 8-26) with planned visits to ports in NSW Australia (Newcastle), Queensland Australia (Hamilton Island, Harvey Island, Cairns, Port Douglas, Cooktown), NT Australia (Darwin) and Indonesia (Komodo Island, Benoa).

November 2018Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

In December 2018, CDC reported that on the 24-day cruise (itinerary Nov 8 – Dec 2), a Norovirus outbreak affected 30 passengers (out of 700, or 4,3%) and 17 crew (out of 585, or 2,9%). The ship reported as predominant symptoms vomiting and diarrhea.

The incident occurred during the 24-day "Amazon Discovery Cruise" roundtrip from homeport Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale, Florida). The voyage visited Bimini Islands (Bahamas), Gustavia (St Barthelemy Island), Iles des Saintes (Guadeloupe), Kingstown (St Vincent, Grenadines), Iles du Salut (French Guiana), Brazil (Macapa, Santarem, Parintins, Manaus, Boca da Valeria, Macapa), Scarborough (Tobago) and San Juan (Puerto Rico).

January 2018Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(CruiseMinus email from Alison McNally) I disembarked Crystal Symphony in Cape Town two days ago (Jan 7). During the 17 day cruise, I regularly walked the promenade deck but was aware the first few days I did this of a foul stench emitting from vents on that deck. It definitely had an odor of human excrement about it. Others noticed it also, one friend said she had to hold her breath each time she passed it.

I knew from the moment of my first intake of that pollution that I was going to be ill and, sure enough, I went down with a debilitating flu-like condition that ruined a whole week of my holiday. I spoke to the front desk and they confirmed that these vents are the outlet for the entirety of the ships air-conditioning system adding 'Well it has to vent to the outside somewhere.' They claim that they test the air-conditioning system daily but I was never clear as to whether that included the outdoor outlet events on deck. I asked to see the reports that they claimed existed but this request was denied.

I am utterly convinced that the putrid air I inhaled was the source of my illness on board. Indeed, when I ventured into that deck a week later the smell had gone, proving to me that something had been badly wrong during those earlier days.

Of course, I wanted to escalate my concerns but the ship's staff wanted to keep my complaint 'contained' on the ship! I was offered an email address for customer services but I know from a previous problem on MSC that Mail to this address just goes to the onboard purser.

Note: The incident occurred during a 17-day "South African Holidays" cruise (itinerary Dec 23 - Jan 7) roundtrip from Cape Town to ports in Mozambique, South Africa, and Namibia.

April 2013Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

April-May 2013, CDC reported on voyage April 29 to May 6, a major Norovirus outbreak infected a total of 125 passengers (out of 816, or 15,3%) and 22 crew (out of 571, or 3,9%). CDC inspection officers boarded the ship in call port Los Angeles CA for health assessment and evaluation.

23 October 2012Propulsion / Power Loss

On October 23, 2012, the ship’s departure from call port Montreal (Quebec, Canada) was delayed by nearly 1 day due to propulsion problems requiring significant repairs. The scheduled departure was at 6 pm (Oct 22). The incident resulted in itinerary change – call port Quebec City was dropped.

November 2010Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

November 2010, CDC reported on voyage November 2 to 21, a Norovirus outbreak affected 37 passengers (out of 814, or 4,6%) and 14 crew (out of 569, or 2,5%). CDC inspection officers boarded the ship in call port San Pedro CA for health assessment and evaluation.

29 December 2006Structural and Technical Issues

On December 29, 2006, while operating on a South American cruise itinerary, the vessel was crossings through the Drake Passage in rough seas. A rogue wave hit the ship, breaking a passenger cabin window (forward-portside on deck 5). As a result, the stateroom was flooded, as well as the adjacent cabins and hallways. No injuries were reported. On Dec 30, the ship arrived unscheduled and anchored off call port Ushuaia Argentina, where the necessary repairs were made.

April 2005Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

April 2005, CDC reported on voyage April 14 to 25, a Norovirus outbreak (gastrointestinal illness) infected 20 passengers (out of 570, or 3,5%) and 3 crew (out of 560, or 0,5%). All sick suffered from Norovirus symptoms (vomiting, with predominant being diarrhea) and were quarantined to their cabins for 48 hours. The ship was on an 11-day Caribbean itinerary from homeport Fort Lauderdale Florida.

16 March 2003Sea Pollution

On March 16, 2003, the cruise ship was accused of water pollution for illegally dumping its wastewater into the MBNMS waters (Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary). The Monterey’s sanctuary is a protected marine area, stretching ~300 ml / 480 km along Central California’s coastline (between San Luis Obispo County and Marin County).

The incident – acknowledged by the shipowner – was a violation of the cruise company’s own environmental policies, really bad publicity for this ultra-luxury travel brand.

April 1995Structural and Technical Issues

(CruiseMapper emailed accident by Elias Slubski) I was on the pre-inaugural voyage London to NYC, April 1995. Crystal Symphony was completed early, and Crystal Cruises decided to sell the repositioning voyage to the USA to previous Crystal guests only. It was scheduled as an 8-night, at-sea, cruise, but unexpectedly was a 10-night crossing due to severe weather. Due to a major storm to our south, we encountered 60 ft (18 m) seas, with at least two 80 ft (24 m) waves per the Captain's announcement. The forward observation lounge's windows shattered during one of them. Mid-way, the Captain turned the ship 180-degree due to extreme waves, allowing for safer conditions. These conditions lasted 3 days, only to follow by 20 ft (6 m) waves. A day prior to arrival, we encountered severe fog and thunderstorms.

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