Grand Princess accidents and incidents
CruiseMapper's Grand Princess cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a 3122-passenger vessel owned by Princess Cruises. Our Grand Princess 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could be arrests, filed lawsuits against the shipowner / cruise line company, charges and fines, grievances, settled / withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, virus outbreaks, etc.
- fires - 2008 (Jamaica), 2015 (Hawaii)
- ship listing/tilting - 2006
- ship grounding - 2006 (Livorno Italy)
- tender boat fall at sea (2016, Hawaii)
- propulsion/power loss - 2005 (2), 2006 (2), 2008 (2), 2012, 2014, 2016
- deaths - overboard (1999, 2013, 2014-crew), 2020 (7 Coronavirus)
- injuries/crimes - overboard/rescued (2006-crew, 2007), drug bust (2011), 2013
- Coronavirus - 2020 (132, including 7 deaths, ship quarantine off San Francisco)
- medevacs - 2015, 2017, 2018 (4), 2020 (4)
|07 March 2020||Coast Guard Medevacs|
In the evening on March 7, 2020, the USCG medevaced a female passenger from the ship. The elderly woman (in her 70s) had a medical condition not related to Coronavirus (COVID-19). For the rescue operation was dispatched the vessel USCGC Tern (US Coast Guard Cutter). The woman and her husband were transported to Yerba Buena Island (USCG Sector San Francisco) where were met by an EMS team (emergency medical services) and tested for COVID-19 by CDC personnel.
On March 6th, form USCG Air Station San Francisco was dispatched a Eurocopter MH-65 Dolphin (rescue helicopter) to deliver to the cruise liner face masks and other protective gear provided by Princess Cruises. Grand Princess was en-route from Hawaii to Oakland CA (near San Francisco) where arrived on March 9th. All passengers were disembarked in Oakland and the vessel was quarantined (remained docked in Port Oakland) until the entire crew was tested for COVID-19.
|March 2020||Cruise Illness / Norovirus Outbreaks|
(Coronavirus outbreak) On March 4, 2020, Princess Cruises' website (princess.com/news) published a Coronavirus Health Advisory Letter (issued by company's chief medical officer Dr Grant Tarling) addressing all passengers and crew currently cruising on Grand Princess (Feb 21 - Mar 7). A similar notification was emailed to all passengers on the previous voyage (Feb 11-21). All were advised to immediately contact their medical providers if they experience "any symptoms of acute respiratory illness with fever, chills, or cough".
"Health Advisory - Coronavirus" - "I wish to advise you that today (Mar 4) we have been notified by the CDC that they are investigating a small cluster of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) cases in Northern California connected to our previous Grand Princess voyage (Feb 11-21)". Princess Cruises announced that a total of 62 passengers from the previous Mexican cruise were in-transit passengers (booking B2B/back-to-back) and stayed on the ship for the following Hawaiian cruise. These passengers and some crew (who have been in close contacts with them) remained in their cabins until screened by the ship's Infirmary team.
On March 4, an elderly man (one of two California residents reported with Coronavirus after returning from the Grand Princess Mexico cruise) died from the illness. The 71-year-old man was a resident of Rocklin CA. At a press conference, CDC announced that "a number of other people identified with some type of symptoms are undergoing testing now". The 10-day Mexican Riviera itinerary (February 11-21) was a roundtrip from San Francisco to Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo, Mazatlan, and Cabo San Lucas. The elderly patient tested positive for Coronavirus on March 3rd and was quarantined at Kaiser Permanente (Roseville Medical Center) in Roseville CA. A total of 10 Kaiser Permanente and 5 ambulance personnel (all exposed to the patient) were quarantined for 14 days.
The accident resulted in an itinerary change - Ensenada Mexico (scheduled for March 5) was cancelled and the ship continued directly back to San Francisco. Grand Princess was on a 15-day Hawaiian Islands Cruise (itinerary February 21 - March 7) roundtrip from homeport San Francisco with call ports in Hawaii (Nawiliwili, Honolulu, Lahaina, Hilo) and Baja California Mexico (Ensenada/dropped). Since March 4th, free internet and phone service on the ship was provided to all passengers.
On March 5th, the ship reported 21 patients with Coronavirus symptoms (11 passengers plus 10 crew). California's Governor (Gavin Newsom) decided to keep the vessel off the coast of San Francisco while everyone is tested for flu-like symptoms. In the morning (March 5), Coronavirus Test Kits were delivered to the ship via helicopter. San Francisco's Mayor (London Breed) issued a state of emergency. At a press conference (March 5), Princess' VP (Mike Pence) announced a plan for the liner to dock at a US military port where all passengers and crew will be disembarked and tested, while the ship's entire crew will be quarantined.
The cruise ship was carrying a total of 3533 people (2422 passengers plus 1111 crew), representing 54 different nationalities. On March 6th were tested 46 with flu-like symptoms. The collected tests were flown to a lab in Richmond CA and as Coronavirus-positive were reported 21 (2 passengers plus 19 crew) - to total 42 infected (combined with the previous voyage's 10 passengers and 11 crew).
The next scheduled Grand Princess cruise (15-day Hawaiian Islands, itinerary March 7-22) was officially cancelled on March 6th. All bookings received a full refund of the fare paid. Also fully refunded were all prepaid Princess Air (flights), Princess Cruise Plus (hotel packages), Shore Excursions and other items and services pre-purchased through Princess Cruises.
On March 9th, the ship docked at Port Oakland CA (near San Francisco) and disembarked 407 passengers. Then the vessel was quarantined (remained moored in Port Oakland) until the entire crew was tested for COVID-19. The Pentagon provided four US military bases fo quarantine there all the Grand Princess passengers - Travis AFB (Fairfield CA), Lackland AFB (San Antonio TX), Marine Corps Air Station Miramar (San Diego CA) and Dobbins Air Reserve Base (Marietta GA). During the debarkation in Oakland, all tourists were temperature-screened by CDC personnel. Those without flu symptoms were transferred to the military bases. The CDC and HHS (US Department of Health and Human Services) handled the land transportation to the bases, with Travis and Miramar housing most of the quarantined (~1000). During the 14-day period, the "cruisers" (passengers) were accommodated in single rooms and those showing virus symptoms were removed from the base and hospitalized.
On March 10 were disembarked 1406 people, increasing to 2042 on March 12. On March 14, at Port Oakland started the vessel's crew debarkation, with HHS-conducted health screenings. The company chartered flights to transport most of the shipboard employees back to their home countries - Manila Philippines (Mar 14), Jakarta Indonesia (Mar 15), New Delhi India (Mar 15), Mexico City (Mar 15) and Belgrade Serbia (Mar 15). The staff and crew from other nationalities (Brazilian, Chilean, Nicaraguan, South African) plus ~100 Filipino remained on the ship under 2-week quarantine. All the repatriated Filipino staff-crew (445 total) were quarantined at New Clark City Athletes' Village (Capas, Tarlac Province, Philippines).
On March 16, a passenger quarantined at JBSA-Lackland (San Antonio TX) tested Coronavirus-positive. The man was taken off of the military base and treated at "a Texas health care facility". He was the first tested positive among the 149 quarantined at JBSA-Lackland Grand Princess cruisers. Another 230 American cruisers were previously quarantined at the base. In February, they were all repatriated (flown back into the USA) from Wuhan China) and from Diamond Princess (at the time quarantined in Yokohama Japan). Of those first 2 groups at JBSA-Lackland, 11 tested Coronavirus-positive.
On March 21, a male crew (in his early-40s) was USCG medevaced from Grand Princess anchored off San Francisco. The man (suffering a not specified "medical emergency") was offloaded to an RB-M (45-ft response boat-medium) and transported to Coyote Point Park (San Mateo County, California).
Next are listed the confirmed Coronavirus cases (22 total) of infected former passengers - following their debarkation and return to their home countries.
Of all the randomly tested 1103 passengers, 103 were positive and 699 negative.
|21 January 2020||Coast Guard Medevacs|
On January 21, 2020, a 28-year-old female passenger (experiencing complications of a pre-existing medical condition) was medevaced from the liner approx 260 km (160 mi) west of San Diego CA. En-route from Mexico back to California, the ship contacted USCG Air Station San Diego at ~9:30 am to request assistance for an emergency medical evacuation. The rescue operation was conducted by an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter also bringing a paramedic team. The woman was airlifted (hoisted from the ship's helipad in a rescue basket) and flown to San Diego's Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla, where arrived at ~2:10 pm in stable condition.
The incident occurred at the end of 10-day Mexican Riviera cruise (itinerary Jan 12-22) roundtrip from homeport San Francisco to Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo, Mazatlan, and Cabo San Lucas.
|01 January 2020||Coast Guard Medevacs|
On January 1, 2020, a 69-year-old male passenger (suffering from an abdominal pain) was medevaced from the liner navigating approx 210 mi (340 km) northwest of Hilo (Hawaii Island, USA). The medical evacuation was a joint operation of the US Navy and USCG.
The rescue was conducted by an MH-60R Sea Hawk (US Navy helicopter dispatched from HSM-37 / Helicopter Strike Squadron 37 at Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe Bay) and assisted by an HC-130J Super Hercules aircraft (dispatched from USCG Air Station Barbers Point in Kapolei, Hawaii). The US Navy helicopter crew airlifted (hoisted) the man and flew him to Hilo Medical Center.
The incident occurred during the 15-day Hawaiian Islands cruise (itinerary December 28 - January 12) roundtrip from homeport San Francisco to Hilo (Jan 2), Honolulu (Jan 3), Nawiliwili (Jan 4), Lahaina (Jan 5) and Ensenada (Baja California Mexico, Jan 10).
|29 September 2018||Coast Guard Medevacs|
On September 29, 2018, a 77-year-old female passenger (suffering a stroke) was medevaced from the ship approx 90 km (55 ml) southwest of Newport (OR, USA). The elderly woman was airlifted by a USCG helicopter crew and together with a crew nurse flown to a hospital in Portland (OR, USA).
The incident occurred at the end of 7-day Alaskan cruise (itinerary Sept 23-30) roundtrip from homeport San Francisco CA to Astoria OR, Seattle WA, and BC Canada (Vancouver, Victoria).
|02 September 2018||Coast Guard Medevacs|
On September 2, 2018, a 71-year-old female passenger (suffering head injury) was medevaced from the ship approx 65 km (40 ml) from Yaquina Bay (Newport, Oregon USA). The elderly woman was hoisted by a USCG MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew and together with a crew nurse flown to Newport OR.
The incident occurred at the end of 10-day Alaskan Inside passage cruise (itinerary Aug 24 - Sept 3) roundtrip from homeport San Francisco CA to Ketchikan, Haines, Juneau, Tracy Arm Fjord, and Victoria (BC Canada).
|13 August 2018||Coast Guard Medevacs|
On August 13, 2018, a 76-year-old female passenger (suffering kidney failure) was medevaced from the ship off the coast of Oregon USA, approx 80 km (50 mi) southwest of Coos Bay. The elderly woman and a crew nurse were airlifted by a USCG helicopter crew and transported to Bay Area Hospital Heliport (Coos Bay OR).
The incident occurred at the end of 10-day Inside Passage Alaska cruise (itinerary Aug 4-14) roundtrip from homeport San Francisco CA to Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Tracy Arm Fjord, and Victoria (BC Canada).
|31 January 2018||Coast Guard Medevacs|
On January 31, 2018, a 71-year-old female passenger (experiencing stroke-like symptoms) was medevaced from ship approx 15 ml / 23 km south of Oahu Island (Hawaii). The USCG dispatched from Air Station Barbers Point an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter. The woman was transported to The Queen's Medical Center (Honolulu, Hawaii) in stable condition.
During the medical evacuation, the ship was en-route from Lahaina (Maui Island) to Ensenada Mexico, on 15-day Hawaiian Islands cruise (itinerary Jan 22 - Feb 6) roundtrip from homeport San Francisco CA.
|14 August 2017||Coast Guard Medevacs|
On August 14, 2017, a 70-year-old male passenger was medevaced while the ship was in the Strait of Juan de Fuca (Salish Sea, Pacific Ocean). The elderly man needed surgery and CT-Scan. He was airlifted by a USCG MH-65 Dolphin helicopter team dispatched from Air Station Port Angeles.
The elderly man was transferred to Airlift Northwest helicopter then taken by an ambulance to Harborview Medical Center (Seattle) in stable condition. The ship was on 10-day Alaska Inside Passage cruise (itinerary Aug 6-16) roundtrip from homeport San Francisco.
|09 August 2017||Other Incidents|
On August 9, 2017, the cruise ship entered into Port Ketchikan AK with a dead humpback whale lodged on its bow. The incident happened during the 10-day Alaskan cruise (itinerary August 6-16) roundtrip from homeport San Francisco to Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Tracy Arm Fjord, Victoria BC (Canada).
|04 December 2016||Structural and Technical Issues|
(tender boat accident) On December 4, 2016, a faulty tender platform caused damage to the ship’s hull, which led to the current cruise cancellation due to needed repairs. No injuries among passengers or crew were reported.
After the ship left port Honolulu Hawaii, a starboard-located tender platform opened. The hull sustained minor damages (opening above the waterline) requiring drydock repairs. This resulted also in itinerary changes – call port Ensenada Mexico was dropped. The Captain confirmed that the vessel was safe and secure. Updates via the PA system were regularly provided. The ship went back to Honolulu, arriving in port on December 5 for repairs.
The accident happened during 16-day Hawaii and Mexico cruise (itinerary Nov 23 – Dec 8) roundtrip from San Francisco CA to Hilo, Honolulu, Nawiliwili, Lahaina, Ensenada (Mexico).
As compensation, all passengers received 50% refund (of the cruise fare paid), plus future Princess cruise onboard credit equal to the amount of the Hawaiian cruise fare refund. Princess Cruises also flew all passengers back to San Francisco and provided (at the company’s expense) overnight Hawaii hotel accommodations and all the needed transfers. All Travel Agent commissions were protected.
After the repairs, Grand Princess went into a scheduled for December dry-dock at Pier 70 Shipyard (San Francisco).
|28 October 2016||Propulsion / Power Loss|
On October 28, 2016, while navigating off California’s coast and en-route from Ensenada Mexico to San Francisco, at ~6 pm the vessel temporarily lost propulsion. The incident was caused by an engine room water leak entering the propulsion motors’ electrical transformers. The current and next Mexican Riviera itineraries (roundtrip from homeport San Francisco) were not affected.
|30 November 2015||Fire Accident|
On November 30, 2015, while en-route from homeport San Francisco to Hawaii, the ship (carrying 2592 pax and 1095 crew) suffered an engine room fire accident, approx 20 ml / 30 km away from Hilo Hawaii.
The fire broke out on Deck 4 at ~5:30 a.m., and was caused by a failure of a propulsion circuit breaker (aft electrical switchboard). It was extinguished by 8 am. No injuries were reported. Due to the outage, the ship lost propulsion power. One of the engines was damaged and it continued at reduced cruising speed (operating on 3 diesel generators).
As a result of the power outage, for ~20 minutes the vessel was drifting, on emergency lighting, with limited air-conditioning. The ship was on the 5th day of a 15-day San Francisco to Hawaii cruise (itinerary (Nov 25 – Dec 10) with scheduled call ports Hilo, Honolulu, Nawiliwili, Lahaina, Ensenada Mexico. The incident also caused itinerary changes - call port Hilo was dropped in order to proceed to Honolulu. Engineers were deployed in Honolulu to assess fire damages and assist repairs upon arrival at 7 am (Dec 1).
The ship remained at half propulsion power (navigating at reduced speed). After the damage assessment, further itinerary changes were implemented. Call ports Nawiliwili (on Kaui) and Lahaina (on Maui) were also dropped in order to return to San Francisco on Dec 10, as scheduled.
As compensation, all passengers received a full refund, plus 50% future Princess cruise booking discount. The company provided free airfare to all passengers willing to disembark in Honolulu and fly back to San Francisco.
|18 October 2015||Coast Guard Medevacs|
On October 18, 2015, a 57-year-old female passenger (suffering a heart attack) was USCG-medevaced. The woman was airlifted and transported by a USCG Dolphin helicopter dispatched from San Francisco. The ship was located approx 80 ml / 130 km southwest of Monterey CA, operating on 7-days Baja Mexico and California cruise (itinerary Oct 17-24) from homeport San Francisco to Santa Barbara, Long Beach, San Diego, Ensenada.
|04 August 2014||Propulsion / Power Loss|
On August 4, 2014, at ~4:50 pm (after ~40 min into the voyage), engine issues (propulsion?) caused a small listing and forced the ship to return to homeport Seattle WA. There the vessel's docking was assisted by a tugboat. Officially was announced that during the incident, the ship had its propulsion and steering systems fully operational.
|07 January 2014||Crew / Passenger Deaths|
(overboard) On January 7, 2014, a 34-year-old male crew jumped overboard in a suicide attempt while the ship was en-route to Hawaii from San Francisco CA. The man (of Filipino origin) was reported missing approx halfway between San Francisco and Hilo Hawaii. The USCG was alerted at ~12:30 am, but the conducted search operation didn’t find the body.
|13 November 2013||Crew / Passenger Deaths|
(overboard) On November 13, 2013, a 54-year-old female passenger was reported missing and later pronounced fell overboard intentionally. The woman was last seen ~0:30 pm. USCG was called at ~1 pm. The ship was approx 750 ml / 1200 km northeast of Hilo Hawaii.
|12 January 2013||Crew / Passenger Crimes|
(sexual / law news) On January 24, 2013, two male crew (aged 26 and 27, both of Italian origin) were charged with sexual assault of a female crew (on Jan 12). Both men were bailed USD 5,000 each. Since the vessel’s flag-state is Bermuda, the lawsuit was filed in Hamilton (Magistrates Court). The trial was on April 27.
|28 March 2012||Structural and Technical Issues|
On March 28, 2012, USCG reported the ship experiencing a manoeuvrability problem.
|16 July 2011||Drug Smuggling|
(law news) On October 30, 2011, a 46-year-old crew was charged with drug smuggling into the UK. He was sentenced to 8 years in jail by the Southampton Crown Court.
The man (Anthony Spence, of Jamaican origin) worked on the ship as a bar supervisor. He attempted to smuggle cocaine (1,3 kilos, 100% purity) with street-value worth of GBP 435,000 (~USD 700,000). He was detained by UK Customs on July 16, after leaving the docked ship in Southampton England. When the police examined his bag and rucksack, they found a total of 17 packages. The cocaine was given to him in call port Gibraltar (along the cruise itinerary). When officers searched his cabin, they found more than GBP 16,000 cash. The arrested crew admitted his drug trafficking attempt.
|07 May 2011||Coast Guard Medevacs|
On May 7, 2011, the ship made an unplanned stop in Bermuda due to a medical emergency evacuation (medevac). A 57-year-old male passenger was offloaded and transported to KEMH (King Edward VII Memorial Hospital). The ship was on a Transatlantic repositioning cruise en-route from Florida to Europe-UK (Port Everglades / Fort Lauderdale to Southampton England).
On the previous day (May 6), the fleet mate Crown Princess also did unscheduled stopping in Bermuda for a passenger medevac.
|29 November 2008||Propulsion / Power Loss|
On November 29, 2008, propulsion problems (bow thruster malfunction) and safety reasons (strong winds) forced the ship to alter its course and anchor outside English Harbour (Antigua) instead of docking at St John’s.
|22 November 2008||Propulsion / Power Loss|
On November 22, 2008, the arrival in Port Civitavecchia (Rome Italy) was delayed due to mechanical / propulsion issues. Passengers later reported the ship was lurching and shuddering. Then it experienced power loss two times (first for ~5 min, then for ~15 min) and drifted for ~30 min before some propulsion was restored. Docking in Port Civitavecchia was assisted by 2 tugboats. No injuries were reported.
Unofficially, the crew stated the vessel lost a diesel generator and one of the stabilizers was damaged.
|31 March 2008||Fire Accident|
On March 31, 2008, local residents reported a fire accident when the vessel was manoeuvring for docking in call port Ocho Rios Jamaica. Witnesses said at ~4:20 pm the ship came to a halt, with a large amount of thick smoke surrounding it. Princess Cruises later reported a breakdown of one engine and damages to another engine, but no fire – only billowing smoke from the engine room. The incident caused reduced cruising speed and late arrival in call port George Town (Grand Cayman).
|25 March 2007||Crew / Passenger Injuries and Overboards|
(overboard) On March 25, 2007, two passengers (22-year-old male, 20-year-old female) accidentally fell overboard but were rescued alive. Both fell in the water from their cabin’s balcony at ~1:30 am. During the incident, the ship was approx 150 ml / 240 km off Galveston's coast. The conducted by the ship search and rescue operation lasted ~4 hours. The woman returned home, while the man continued on the voyage.
The incident report mentioned that both were trained for water survival. The man was USAFA cadet (US Air Force Academy, while the woman was a lifeguard. There were some speculations about this incident being a stunt to demonstrate the industry’s capability to effectively save overboard passengers.
|04 November 2006||Ship Grounding|
On November 4, 2006, at ~7:30 pm, upon leaving call port Livorno Italy, the ship ran aground at approx 0,5 mi / 1 km off the harbour’s entrance, doing a very soft stop. During the next ~30 min, the crew tried various combinations of speeds and directions to move the vessel. At ~8 pm, it regained its way forward.
|01 April 2006||Crew / Passenger Injuries and Overboards|
(overboard) On April 1, 2006, two crew intentionally jumped overboard while the ship was in homeport Galveston TX. The incident resulted in all the crew being grounded on the ship. Both jumpers were arrested and escorted by the police to Galveston International Airport.
|04 February 2006||Ship Listing|
On February 4, 2006, ~2 hours after leaving homeport Galveston TX, the vessel sharply turned while navigating at ~24 mph / 39 kph. This caused a ~19-degree listing to portside. Fact is, that 24-degree listing would have been a disaster.
The result was panic and serious interior damages, among those smashed glassware and dishes, damaged shopping arcade merchandise, various objects (incl TVs) falling down, swimming pools partially emptied. Of all, 27 passengers and 10 crew suffered minor injuries (like bruises and cuts). The incident report mentioned a total of 82 TVs being destroyed. Later, the cruise ship was assisted by USCG assets (approx 8 ml / 13 km offshore) in offloading a sick passenger and an injured crew.
When the ship docked in next call port Costa Maya Mexico, more than 300 passengers decided to cancel their voyage and flight back home.
A severe listing (24-degree) was experienced by the Crown Princess ship in July 2006.
|2006||Propulsion / Power Loss|
On February 1, 2006, were announced major itinerary changes due to “technical issues”. For the remainder of season 2006, all visits to call port George Town Grand Cayman (12-hours port stay) were cancelled and replaced with call port Playa Del Carmen Mexico (1 day stay /8 am to 6 pm). Also, port times in Cozumel Mexico and Belize City were extended.
|13 September 2005||Propulsion / Power Loss|
On September 13, 2005, while in the Eastern Mediterranean, unfinished ship repairs in Venice caused reduced cruising speeds and shortened port stays in several ports in Croatia and Greece.
|08 September 2005||Propulsion / Power Loss|
On September 8, 2005, during 7-day Eastern Mediterranean cruise from Venice Italy, the ship reported engine (propulsion?) problems while was en-route to Istanbul Turkey. On the current itinerary, the scheduled call ports in Turkey (Istanbul and Kusadasi-Ephesus) were replaced with Greece (Samos and Piraeus-Athens). Repairs were done in homeport Venice. As compensation, all passengers received US$400 in onboard credit.
|12 July 1999||Crew / Passenger Deaths|
(overboard) On July 12, 1999, a male passenger was reported missing and presumed fell overboard in the Mediterranean Sea. The body was never found.
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