Disney Dream accidents and incidents

Disney Dream cruise ship


Length (LOA)
340 m / 1115 ft

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CruiseMapper's Disney Dream cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a 3500-passenger vessel owned by Disney Cruise Line. Our Disney Dream 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could be arrests, filed lawsuits against the shipowner / cruise line company, charges and fines, grievances, settled / withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, virus outbreaks, etc.

  • pier collision/allision - 2017 (Nassau Bahamas)
  • motor yacht rescue - 2013
  • injuries/crimes - sexual/kid molestation (2012 cover-up, 2014, 2024)
  • medevacs - 2018

04 February 2024Crew / Passenger Crimes

(sexual) On February 4, 2024, a 49-year-old male crew was charged with molestation of a minor. The man (Alvin Gonzalez, a Philippine national) was arrested after he disembarked the ship in Port Everglades/Fort Lauderdale (Florida USA).

Disney Dream just ended a 4-day "Bahamian Cruise From Fort Lauderdale" (itinerary Jan 31-Feb 4, roundtrip from Port Everglades) with call ports Nassau (Feb 2) and Castaway Cay (Feb 3).

The arrest was made by Homeland Security officers acting on a tip from NCMEC (National Center for Missing and Exploited Children). According to the arrest report, on the man's phone was found a ~9 min video showing two kids having intercourse with each other. Reportedly, the children were a boy (~8-year-old) and a girl (~12-year-old).

DCL/Disney Cruise Line’s statement on the incident mentioned that the employee was fired.

04 January 2023Boat Rescue

On January 4, 2023, while en route from The Bahamas to Mexico, the ship changed course and turn around to rescue a man floating on a surfboard. The man (29-year-old male Cuban refugee) was spotted by a cruise passenger.

The incident occurred during the 5-day Western Caribbean voyage (itinerary Jan 2-7, roundtrip from PortMiami) visiting Castaway Cay (Jan 3) and Cozumel (Jan 5).

(CruiseMapper incident report by C.R.) The ship lowered a rescue boat (with 4 crew) to the stranded man. He was evaluated (said to be medically OK) and provided with bottled water. He was never brought onto Disney Dream, but instead, taken to a small floating platform and left (without his board) for the Cuban authorities.

Some passengers said he was handcuffed to the platform but I couldn’t see well enough to confirm/deny that given the distance of the platform from the ship. His status upon his forceful return to Cuba is unknown.

Disney Dream was an hour late arriving in Cozumel because of the incident, but the Disney Port Adventures team was able to similarly delay most/all port activities so passengers weren’t affected. The remaining time delay was made up before the next port stop in Castaway Cay.

The cruise ship's location at the time of the rescue was 23.37328° N, 82.36387° W, in the Straits of Florida.

02 June 2021Other Incidents

On June 2, 2021, DCL-Disney received approval from the CDC to start "voluntary voyages" (test cruises) in June. CDC's requirements were for at least 95% of the passengers (adults-only/18+ yo) and 98% of the crew to be COVID-vaccinated.

The first test cruise (on Disney Dream) was a 2-night/3-day cruise to nowhere (originally scheduled for June 29 through July 1) roundtrip from Port Canaveral Florida. However, on June 28, DCL canceled and postponed the voyage (rescheduled for July 17) after several of the 300 volunteers had inconsistent COVID test results (considered positive by the CDC).

19 December 2019Crew / Passenger Injuries and Overboards

(law news) On December 19, 2019, after 5 hours of deliberation, a Brevard County (Florida) jury ruled that Disney Cruise Line (DCL) had to pay a former employee USD 4 million, including $1 million for pain and suffering, $2 million for lost earnings and $1 million as punishment.

In September 2013, Maria Ana Reis Martins (then 33-year-old) was working on MS Disney Dream as Main Dining Room (MDR) waitress. The ship left on a roundtrip from homeport Port Canaveral (Florida) and while was berthed in Nassau Bahamas, a car hit the woman, breaking 3 of her ribs. The ship's med team failed to diagnose the fractures and found her fit for work. She continued to work for 10 days. After a doctor in Florida properly diagnosed the fractures, DCL sent her home (to Portugal) for 5 months for medical treatment.

She returned to MS Disney Dream in April 2014 but had to leave in May after complaining of pain in the ribs. In Portugal, she was diagnosed with nerve damage and in December 2015 sued DCL for negligence and failure to provide adequate medical care. DCL argued it had fulfilled its "duties of care under maritime law". The Florida jury attributed 70% of negligence to DCL and 30% to the employee.

02 September 2019Other Incidents

Due to Hurricane Dorian, the 4-day Bahamas cruise (itinerary September 2-6) was canceled. The roundtrip voyage from homeport Port Canaveral (Orlando, Florida) was planned to visit Nassau (Sept 3, 9:30 am - 5:15 pm) and Castaway Cay (Sept 4, 8:30 am - 4:45 pm).

Note: Hurricane Dorian was a Category 4 tropical cyclone that mostly affected the territories of USA, Canada, Bahamas (Abaco Islands, Grand Bahama), Puerto Rico, Windward Islands (Barbados, Dominica, St Lucia), Leeward Islands (US Virgin Islands, BVI). Hurricane's reported max wind speeds were 295 kph ((183 mph). Formed in the Central Atlantic Ocean on August 24, the powerful cyclone was first moving west (towards the Caribbean), then turned north along the US East Coast and Atlantic Canada, affecting the coastal regions of USA (Florida, Georgia, South and North Carolina, Virginia) and Canada (Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Quebec).

06 November 2018Coast Guard Medevacs

(CruiseMapper email from Brian Kelley) On November 6, 2018, around 2-3 hours after departing call port Nassau (at 5:15 pm), the ship returned to Nassau because of an onboard medical emergency. At dockside, the liner was met by an ambulance. I personally witnessed two passengers, with their luggage, and speaking to a crew member. Shortly after they and their luggage were driven away via golf cart-like vehicle, a passenger (appeared to be an older male) was brought down the gangway on a stretcher and transported away via the waiting ambulance. A short time later, the ship departed Nassau again and resumed on its way toward Castaway Cay.

The incident occurred during 4-day Bahamian Cruise (itinerary Nov 5-9) roundtrip from homeport Port Canaveral to Nassau and Castaway Cay (Disney-owned island).

25 January 2018Coast Guard Medevacs

On January 25, 2018, a male passenger was medevaced from the ship via USCG MH-65 Dolphin helicopter dispatched from Miami. The man (suffering from an unspecified medical condition) was airlifted from the ship, approx 80 ml / 125 km southeast of West Palm Beach Florida. He was flown to St Mary's Medical Center.

The liner was en-route back to Port Canaveral, returning from 4-day Bahamas cruise (itinerary Jan 22-26) to Nassau and Castaway Cay Island.

30 September 2017Ship Collision / Allision

(pier collision) On September 30, 2017, while maneuvering for berthing in call port Nassau Bahamas, the ship struck the pier and dented its hull (stern, above the waterline).

Both the vessel and the dock sustained minor damages.

The accident occurred during 3-day Bahamas cruise (itinerary Sept 29 – Oct 2) from Port Canaveral to Nassau and Castaway Cay Island.

Note: Actually, this type of marine accident is called “allision” (striking a fixed object) as opposed to “collision” (striking another vessel).

September 2017Other Incidents

In September 2017, two Bahamas cruises from Port Canaveral to Nassau and Castaway Cay were canceled due to hurricane Irma. Those were (itineraries Sept 8-11 (3-day) and Sept 11-15 (4-day). All canceled bookings received full refunds plus 25% future Disney cruise credit. All booked shore excursions were fully refunded.

04 May 2017Crew / Passenger Injuries and Overboards

(overboard) On May 4, 2017, a male passenger went overboard, but fortunately, the man was saved and reboarded alive. The AIS tracking data showed the vessel slowing down and circling in an area west of Freeport Bahamas. The search operation was assisted by the USCG airplane team. The man’s rescue took ~1 hour. The USCG gave compliments to the cruise ship’s crew for their efficient and competent actions during the emergency.

Note: All Disney ships are equipped with an automatic man overboard system, which easily explains the relatively few Disney overboard accidents. This system automatically alerts the officers at the ship’s Navigation Bridge when someone goes overboard.

11 April 2014Crew / Passenger Crimes

(sexual) On April 11, 2014, a 36-year-old male crew was arrested and charged with molestation of a minor.

The man (Ahmed Sofyan, of Indonesian origin) was accused of molesting a 13-year-old female passenger.

The incident occurred at ~8 am on board the ship docked in homeport Cape Canaveral. He was charged with 2 counts of lewd (lascivious molestation) and 1 count of false imprisonment of a minor.

16 January 2013Boat Rescue

On January 16, 2013, the liner assisted a small motor yacht in distress and saved both seamen (US citizens). The incident occurred in Bahamian waters at the end of the voyage.

05 August 2012Crew / Passenger Crimes

(sexual) On August 5, 2012, a 33-year-old male crew (Milton Braganza) was observed via CCTV camera molesting an 11-year-old female passenger (of Brazilian origin, traveling with her grandmother) in one of the ship’s elevators.

The footage showed the man (of Indian origin, working on the ship as a dining room waiter) first stalking and following the kid into the passenger lift, then grabbing her breast with his left hand through her clothes and kissing her forcibly on the mouth.

During the incident, the ship was still docked in homeport Port Canaveral. The incident occurred in US waters, ~1,5 hours before departure on the 5-day Bahamas cruise to Nassau and Castaway Cay.

While the girl reported to the ship’s security immediately, the alleged crime wasn’t reported promptly to the local police (Brevard County Florida) by Disney Cruises. The incident was reported the next day, when the vessel was in International waters, en-route to the Bahamas. The confessed perpetrator was disembarked in the itinerary’s first call port Nassau (Aug 7). He was subsequently flown to India (at the line’s expense) thus avoiding a US investigation.

The girl’s family didn’t file an official complaint or request further investigation. In May 2013, the “Disney child molestation” case received worldwide coverage, after several renown news media reported the incident. Among those were Daily Mail (UK), International Business Times (US), New York Daily News (US), Herald Sun (AU), also news agencies and online media in Germany, Greece, Romania, Turkey, India, China.

In April 2014, the WKMG Local 6 interviewed a former Disney Dream ship security officer (Dawn Taplin) about the case. After she investigated the sexual crime, she was told by the chief security officer “keep your mouth shut”. The woman quit her job a few weeks after this incident.

Note: Under the US-Florida law, such a sexual crime (“lewd or lascivious molestation of a minor under 12”) is punishable by 25 years to life in federal prison.

05 February 2012Coast Guard Medevacs

On February 5, 2012, shortly after leaving homeport Cape Canaveral (halfway down the channel), due to a medical emergency the ship turned around and docked again at the pier.

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