Disney Wonder accidents and incidents

Disney Wonder cruise ship


Length (LOA)
294 m / 965 ft

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CruiseMapper's Disney Wonder cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a 2456-passenger vessel owned by Disney Cruise Line. Our Disney Wonder 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could be arrests, filed lawsuits against the shipowner / cruise line company, charges and fines, grievances, settled / withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, virus outbreaks, etc.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- 2022
  • propulsion/power loss - 2009
  • deaths - overboard (2011-crew), drowned (2015-Castaway Cay Bahamas), crew (2016, 2020)
  • injuries/crimes - sexual (2006, 2007, 2016)
  • Norovirus (passengers/crew) - 2016 (131 / 14)
  • Coronavirus - 2020 (1 passenger, 46 crew, including 3 passenger deaths / unofficially ~300 crew infected)
  • medevacs - 2016
  • Cuban refugees boat rescue (2016)

23 November 2022Fire Accident

On November 23, 2022, an electrical short resulted in a small fire on a speaker mounted high up behind the Funnel Vision screen (top deck). The funnel/smokestack houses the Vibe (teens-only club lounge on Deck 11).

Initially, the smoke was rising, and then progressively larger flames were visible. DCL-Disney's firefighters immediately arrived at the scene and quickly extinguished the fire.

The accident occurred while the ship was in Baja California/Mexican waters (navigating in the Gulf of California/en route from Cabo San Lucas to Mazatlan) during the 7-day "Very Merrytime Mexican Riviera Cruise" (itinerary Nov 20-27, roundtrip from San Diego CA USA). Disney Wonder arrived at the last call port (Puerto Vallarta) on Nov 25th as scheduled.


23 June 2020Crew / Passenger Deaths

On June 23, 2020, a  male crew died on the cruise liner berthed in Port Willemstad (Curacao). The Filipino man (Eddie Burgos Ragodon) worked as a painter. Reportedly, in recent days he visited the Infirmary suffering from chills and fever. The ship was passenger-free.

The cruise ship was on a crew repatriation voyage around the Caribbean. According to USA's CDC agency, at least 255 crew on the Disney ship Wonder have tested positive for COVID-19 (Coronavirus) since March 1. When the man died, the vessel was with "provisionally green" status from CDC, meaning no Coronavirus-positive crew for 28 days. According to the shipowner DCL-Disney, the last positive case on the ship was on May 8.

March 2020Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(Coronavirus) On March 20, 2020, the liner disembarked all passengers at B Street Pier (Port San Diego CA). Since March 20, the vessel was laid up off California's coast. However, on March 31, San Diego County health officials confirmed 2 Coronavirus cases (1 passenger and 1 crew) tested positive for COVID-19. Both infected left the ship on March 20 and were later tested positive at hospitals ashore. The March 20th debarkation also included 110 staff-crew (out of 935 total) who left the ship as their employment contracts with DCL (Disney Cruise Line) ended.

According to DCL, during the Panama Canal cruise (14-day itinerary from New Orleans to San Diego, March 6-20) none of the passengers (1980) or staff-crew on the ship reported to the Infirmary any flu-like symptoms. All former cruisers and the ship's crew were notified about both confirmed cases.

On April 4, at ~6:30 PM, the ship's Captain reportedly announced via the PA (Public Address) system that a total of 38 crew (out of 935 onboard) tested positive for COVID-19. On May 1, San Diego Port Authority announced that the ship (which berthed at B Street Pier only for bunkering) has a total of 46 Coronavirus patients out of 740 crew total.

Reportedly, during the March 20th debarkation, health screenings of passengers (including questioning or temperature checks) at San Diego's International Cruise Ship Terminal were not conducted. According to a local news media, DCL had only assured the Port Authority that the vessel has no passengers or crew exhibiting flu-like symptoms.

In mid-May, after the cruise liner's entire crew was re-tested, was unofficially reported that ~200 people tested Coronavirus-positive. On May 18, the Captain initiated a ship lockdown, with only essential (negative-tested) crew allowed to leave their cabins for work assignments.

13 March 2018Crew / Passenger Crimes

(law news) On March 13, 2018, a 32-year-old male crew was sentenced to 15 months in jail after pleading guilty to embezzling from The Walt Disney Company. The man (Renan Dias Da Rocha Gomes, of Brazilian origin) admitted stealing about USD 260,000 worth of Disney gift cards during his 2-year employment on MS Disney Wonder as "merchandise host".

(October 2017) The arrest and embezzlement charges were made in San Diego CA. During his cabin search, investigators found over 200 Disney gift cards, 1 stolen watch and cash (USD 1240). According to the plea, he was stealing by obtaining money through his online payment system access.

14 November 2016Coast Guard Medevacs

On November 14, 2016, a 66-year-old female passenger was medevaced after falling down stairs. The woman suffered a skull fracture and bleeding. The ship was approx 50 ml (80 km) east of Galveston TX.

13 October 2016Crew / Passenger Crimes

(sexual) On October 13, 2016, a Spanish news media reported that a male Disney Wonder crew was arrested for alleged sexual assault against a 27-year-old female crew. The incident occurred on another ship where most of the crew were housed during MS Disney Wonder’s 40-days long drydock stay in Cadiz (Spain) for repairs and some modifications.

The arrested man (from St Lucia) knew the woman (of British origin) and they spent the night together. On the morning, he wanted to have anal sex with her, which she strongly opposed, but reportedly was forced and sodomized by her partner. The police were informed and the man was arrested at the shipyard. The same news source stated (unconfirmed), that in early October (date unspecified) the body of a male crew (of Polish origin) was found floating in the shipyard’s water.

April 2016Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

April-May 2016, CDC reported on itinerary April 27 to May 1, a Norovirus outbreak (gastrointestinal illness) infected a total of 131 passengers (out of 2680, or 4,9%) and 14 crew (out of 991, or 1,4%). All sick suffered from Norovirus symptoms (headache, vomiting, diarrhea) and were quarantined to their cabins for 48 hours.

The onboard announcement stated “We have reached over 3% of the guest/crew being isolated, therefore we are currently at HIGH LEVEL of Virus Response Matrix”, with an additional note explaining that “High Level” signifies heavy prevention procedures. The illness incident occurred on 4-day Bahamas cruise from homeport Miami to Castaway Cay, Nassau, and Key West FL. Next scheduled was a 14-day Panama Canal cruise (itinerary (May 1 – 15) from Miami to San Diego.

13 February 2016Boat Rescue

(Cuban refugees boat) On February 13, 2016, while en route from Miami to Grand Cayman (navigating southeast of Cuba), at ~ 8 pm the cruise ship encountered and stopped to pick up 12 Cuban refugees (migrants) on a small boat trying to get to the US by sea. The refugees were brought on board and offloaded in the next port of call (George Town Grand Cayman) on Feb 14. MS Disney Wonder was on 5-day Caribbean cruise (itinerary Feb 12 – 17) roundtrip from Miami to Grand Cayman and Castaway Cay (Bahamas).

(Note: Cruise ship operators have agreed to inform the USCG if they spot Cuban refugees in the open sea and to rescue them if needed.)

Similar cruise ship rescue incidents happened on Carnival Paradise (Mar 4, 2014, 24 people rescued), Carnival Ecstasy(Mar 25, 2014, 41 people rescued), Carnival Liberty (Aug 22, 2014, 11 people rescued), Carnival Breeze (May 9, 2015, 25 people rescued), Brilliance Of The Seas (Mar 18, 2016, 18 people rescued), Coral Princess (Apr 14, 7 people rescued). All the Cuban refugee boats were reported being both unseaworthy and overcrowded.

01 March 2015Crew / Passenger Deaths

On March 1, 2015, at ~ 7 am, a 56-year-old male passenger (from Cleveland, Ohio USA) was found dead in his cabin. The accident occurred while the ship was docked in call port Castaway Cay (Disney Bahamas private island resort). Investigation showed death from natural causes.

27 February 2015Crew / Passenger Deaths

On February 27, 2015, a 38–year-old male passenger drowned on the Disney Cruise Line's private island Castaway Cay, Bahamas (formerly Gorda Cay). The man (from NYC, New York USA) drowned while swimming ashore (at the island's Adult Beach). The accident occurred while the ship was docked at the island (an exclusive call port) on 5-day Bahamas cruise from homeport Miami.

15 September 2013Other Incidents

On September 15, 2013, two 2014 itineraries (departures January 19 and 24) were officially canceled, allowing the vessel to enter drydock for maintenance in Freeport Bahamas. As compensation, all booked passengers received a full refund, plus 25% future Disney cruise booking discount (7-night Caribbean or Bahamas itinerary). Disney Cruise Line also covered all flight change fees.

22 March 2011Crew / Passenger Deaths

(overboard) On March 22, 2011, a 24-year-old female crew (of British origin) was reported missing at ~3 am, after failing to report for her morning shift. The woman (Rebecca Coriam, working on the ship as a youth activities counselor) was last seen in the crew lounge. The CCTV camera showed her talking on the phone upset (obviously drunk, banging her head in the wall), then leaving the room. The incident occurred off Pacific Mexico’s coast when the liner was operating on 7-day Mexican Riviera itinerary from homeport Los Angeles CA.

The missing person alarm was raised ~4 hours later. She was presumed fell overboard. The conducted by The Bahamas (the vessel’s flag-state) forensic investigation showed no evidence suggesting foul play. However, her credit card activities (2 months after the disappearance) fueled the speculations that the woman might still be alive.

An independent journalist cruising on MS Disney Wonder reported that the ship’s crew apparently knew where exactly their fellow employee went overboard. This was the crew relaxation area (deck 5 fore, where is also the crew pool) – perfectly visible from the Navigation Bridge on Deck 8. He also learned that Disney Cruise Lines have the phone call taped. Then was established the fundraiser Rebecca Coriam Search Foundation.

(law news) On March 27, 2014, her parents (from Chester England) filed a lawsuit against Disney for USD 75,000 (GBP 45,000). They announced the lawsuit’s purpose was to draw attention and eventually change the maritime law to allow UK authorities to investigate crimes involving British citizens, even on vessels registered in other flag-states.

Note: There was a suspicion about the woman being under the influence of cocaine when she fell (or jumped) overboard. This theory became very plausible after a former Disney employee was interviewed by UK’s Mirror media. The whistleblower claimed that on Disney Magic (just like on all Disney ships) sniffing coke, having casual sex with co-workers and excessive drinking in cabins happen “almost every night”.

26 November 2009Propulsion / Power Loss

On November 26, 2009, while on 7-day Eastern Caribbean itinerary and en-route to the Bahamas from St Thomas USVI, the ship experienced engine problems (failure of the main diesel generator- 1 of all 5 units). The incident was caused by a short circuit in the alternator’s winding, which resulted in the generator’s shutdown. The voltage drop caused shutdowns of the fuel pumps of generators 2, 4 and 5. This subsequently caused the affected generators to shut down. These shutdowns led to total blackout (electrical power loss). The ship also lost propulsion and drifted.

Soon, the emergency generator started to provide electricity, then the generators were restarted. Full power outage and the propulsion were restored ~45 min after the incident occurred. The main generator’s repair cost the cruise company ~USD 1 million.

21 November 2009Crew / Passenger Crimes

On November 21, 2009, a group of 17 passengers was robbed by 2 armed men while ashore on Disney -sponsored shore excursion in Nassau. The incident occurred at ~1 pm, on the Earth Village Tour. The robbers, armed with shotguns, ambushed the group. The tour guide was tied up, while the cruise passengers were ordered to lay face down on the ground and robbed of all their valuables and documents.

During the robbery, another tour group arrived on the scene and was robbed too. On the same day, Nassau police patrol chased and arrested a 49-year-old Bahamian man, who happened to be one of the suspects responsible for the robbery.

02 September 2009Boat Rescue

(overboard) On September 2, 2009, a 34-year-old male passenger from Carnival Sensation jumped overboard but was rescued by the passing nearby MS Disney Wonder. The emergency call was made by the Carnival ship at ~11:30 pm. The Disney ship found the man at ~12:40 am, approx 30 ml / 50 km off Port St Lucie Florida's coast. Both cruise liners were on roundtrip Bahamas itineraries leaving from Port Canaveral (Orlando). In the conducted rescue operation participated also USCG assets (1 helicopter and 2 boats).

30 November 2008Structural and Technical Issues

On November 30, 2008, the main passenger gangway (telescopic bridge) collapsed into the water. No injuries were reported. The vessel was moved to a cargo pier to complete the passenger embarkation. The incident caused ~1 hour delayed departure from homeport Cape Canaveral.

01 January 2007Crew / Passenger Crimes

(sexual) On January 1, 2007, a 21-year-old male passenger was arrested and charged with sexual contact with a minor. The man (from Rochester New York) raped a 13-year-old female passenger on the ship, returning from 4-day Bahamas New Year cruise (itinerary Dec 31, 2006, to Jan 3, 2007) from Port Canaveral to Nassau.

The man was indicted for aggravated sexual abuse. The girl traveled together with her family. In the early morning (Jan 1), after leaving the teens-only disco club Vibe (Deck 11), she was strolling around with 2 other teens when the defendant approached and told them they should return to their staterooms. The girl followed him, believing he was security staff. Then the man took her to a secluded stern area on Sports Deck 10 below, forced her to take her pants off and to perform him oral sex. He also threatened to throw her overboard if she screamed or called for help.

(law news) On September 27,  2010, in federal court, the man pleaded guilty to abusive sexual assault on the high seas, the penalty for which could be imprisonment up to 10 years.

(law news) On February 11, 2011, he was sentenced to 46 months in jail, and ordered to pay USD 2700 in restitution.

01 September 2006Crew / Passenger Crimes

(sexual) On September 1, 2006, a male crew (of Turkish origin) was arrested and charged with a sexual offense. The man (working in the ship’s food & beverage department) exposed himself to 3 female passengers on board. He was later fired and deported.

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