Harmony Of The Seas accidents and incidents

Harmony Of The Seas cruise ship


Length (LOA)
362 m / 1188 ft

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CruiseMapper's Harmony Of The Seas cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a 6410-passenger vessel owned by Royal Caribbean. Our Harmony Of The Seas 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could be arrests, filed lawsuits against the shipowner / cruise line company, charges and fines, grievances, settled / withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, virus outbreaks, etc.

  • collision - 2022 (with a pier in Falmouth Jamaica)
  • deaths - 2016 (1 crew, lifeboat fall), 2018 (Joel Taylor from "Storm Chasers" TV series), overboard (2018, 2019), 2020 (crew suicide), 2022 (shark attack)
  • medevacs - 2021
  • Coronavirus - 2021 (50), 2022 (241 crew)

03 January 2023Structural and Technical Issues

On January 3, 2023, while en route from The Bahamas to Mexico, the swimming pool on Sports Deck/deck 15 overflowed making an expressive waterfall with a height of 10 floors as the water was cascading (over the interior-facing cabins' balconies) all the way down to Central Park Deck/deck 8.

The flooding was a result of the ship taking a sharp turn as an evasive maneuver to avoid collision with a small vessel - an empty (suspected Cuban) refugee raft.

No injuries or serious damages were reported. The ship remained seaworthy and continued the voyage.

The accident occurred during the 7-day "Western Caribbean and Perfect Day New Year's Cruise" (itinerary December 31 - Jan 7, roundtrip from Port Everglades/Fort Lauderdale Florida) visiting The Bahamas (Nassau/Jan 1, and CocoCay/Jan 2), and Mexico (Cozumel/Jan 4, and Costa Maya/Jan 5).

06 September 2022Crew / Passenger Deaths

On September 6, 2022, ~3 pm (19:00 UTC), while the liner was docked at Port Nassau (Bahamas), a 58-year-old female passenger died ashore, after being attacked by a bull shark.

According to Royal Caribbean, the accident happened on an "independent shore excursion" (not booked through the company). The woman (Caroline DiPlacido) and her family of five (all from Millcreek Township, Pennsylvania USA) were on a snorkeling tour and swimming in the waters close to Green Cay (northwest of Rose Island).

According to the Bahamian police, the tour operator's team and her family unsuccessfully attempted to rescue her. The woman suffered severe injuries to the body's left side. The tour boat transported her to Fort Montagu's hospital, where the EMR team pronounced her dead.

Harmony OTS was operating a 7-day "Western Caribbean and Perfect Day Cruise" (itinerary Sept 4-11, roundtrip from Port Canaveral) visiting destinations in The Bahamas (Coco Cay/Sept 5, and Nassau/Sept 6, port stay 8 am - 5 pm), Jamaica (Falmouth/Sept 8) and Haiti (Labadee/Sept 9).

26 May 2022Ship Collision / Allision

On May 26, 2022, at ~7 am Jamaica time (12:00 UTC) while maneuvering for berthing in Port Falmouth (Jamaica), the liner collided with the dock's extension/contacted one of the two concrete mooring pylons.

The collision caused only minor ("cosmetic") damages to the stern hull/aft-portside (dents and paint scrapes), while the docking pylon was severely damaged. No injuries or pollution were reported.

The crash was due to a Harbor Pilot's error as all ships navigating in a port (entering or leaving) are piloted by a certified Harbor Pilot who is an employee of the port authorities, not the cruise company.

The vessel was cleared for operation and the voyage continued as planned. Divers were deployed to recover the pylon's broken elements and repairs were started.

The accident occurred during the 7-day "Western Caribbean Cruise" (itinerary May 22-29, roundtrip from Port Canaveral, Florida) with call ports in Bahamas (Coco Cay, Nassau), Jamaica (Falmouth/port stay 7 am - 4 pm) and Haiti (Labadee).

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

30 January 2022Other Incidents

On January 30, 2022, a SpaceX rocket launch at Port Canaveral was aborted just ~30 seconds before the scheduled liftoff because Harmony OTS approached the launch site's no-go zone.

SpaceX (Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, 2002-founded by Elon Musk) is an aerospace manufacturer and provider of space launch vehicles/transportation services. As of 2022, SpaceX manufactures and operates medium-lift launch rockets of the Falcon 9 Full Thrust series. For 2022, SpaceX had planned a total of 52 rocket launches/missions (4 rockets monthly).

On February 1st was officially confirmed that the Jan 30th rocket launch was interrupted and postponed due to Harmony OTS. John Murray (Port Canaveral's CEO) commented that this was an isolated incident and outside of the Port Authority's control. The USCG started a full investigation.

The Jan 30th attempt was the 4th consecutive day when SpaceX Corp was trying to launch a rocket for the COSMO-SkyMed (Earth-observation satellite-based radar system) Second Generation FM2 mission for ASI (Agenzia Spaziale Italiana/Italian Space Agency). Finally, the rocket was successfully launched on Jan 31st, making it SpaceX's 4th launch in one month.

The USCG's investigation determined that the liner entered the Rocket Safety Zone "without proper authorization", forcing the satellite launch's cancellation.

January 2022Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(Coronavirus) In the early morning on January 10, 2022, a total of 241 COVID-positive crew were transferred from Harmony OTS to the fleetmate Jewel OTS (out of PortMiami) when both liners rendezvoused off CocoCay Bahamas (Royal Caribbean's private island). The information was leaked by an anonymous employee working on Harmony OTS.

The ship was operating a 7-day Eastern Caribbean Cruise (itinerary Jan 9-16, roundtrip from homeport Port Canaveral, Florida USA) with call ports Basseterre (St Kitts), Charlotte Amalie (St Thomas USVI) and Coco Cay (Jan 15).

Note: In January 2022, Royal Caribbean canceled Jewel OTS' schedule thru Feb 20th and started using the ship as a "floating hospital" for Coronavirus-infected crew members.

December 2021Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(Coronavirus) On December 29, 2021, after docking at Port Coxen Hole (Isla Roatan, Honduras), an anonymous crew reported that there are a total of 50 COVID-positive cases onboard (1 passenger plus 49 crew).

The outbreak occurred during the 7-day Western Caribbean Holiday Cruise (itinerary Dec 26 - January 2, roundtrip from Port Canaveral, Florida USA) with call ports Cozumel Mexico, Roatan Island (Dec 29, port stay 8 am - 5 pm), Costa Maya Mexico, and CocoCay Bahamas.

01 September 2021Coast Guard Medevacs

On September 1, 2021, a 74-year-old male passenger was medevaced from the ship after docking at Port La Spezia (Italy) at 3:27 AM/Rome time (1:27 UTC). The man was ambulanced from the quay to Civil Hospital Sant'Andrea di La Spezia.

The elderly man (American, with an Italian surname, not speaking Italian) was traveling with his wife. Both were COVID-vaccinated and boarded Harmony OTS in Barcelona (Spain) on August 29. Soon after leaving Palma de Mallorca (in the evening on Aug 30) he started to experience high fever and pain. At the ship's Infirmary, he was subjected to an antigenic swab (giving a positive result), then isolated in his cabin until the arrival in La Spezia. Reportedly, he also suffered from other important pathologies.

Before boarding in Barcelona, the man ​​had undergone 2 swabs with negative results. All his close contacts were traced and tested negative. Italy's maritime health authorities were contacted on August 31st. Due to the emergency, the ship's docking in Port La Spezia was earlier (originally scheduled for 8 AM).

During the incident, Harmony OTS operated a 7-night Western Mediterranean itinerary (Barcelona roundtrip) visiting Palma de Mallorca (Aug 30), Marseille (Aug 31), La Spezia (Sept 1), Civitavecchia-Rome (Sept 2) and Naples (Sept 3).

09 June 2020Crew / Passenger Deaths

(crew suicide) On June 9, 2020, a 28-year-old female crew was found dead in her cabin. The young Filipino woman (Mariah Jocson, from Mandaluyong City, The Philippines) was a newly hired employee and served as an assistant waiter. Initially, the cause of death was not announced. On June 10, following an investigation, local police officials reported that she was found hanging by a bedsheet from the stateroom's balcony.

The incident occurred while the cruise liner was docked in Port Bridgetown (Barbados), carrying ~2000 crew awaiting their repatriation flights from Grantley Adams Airport. Harmony OTS also carried crew transferred from the fleetmates Majesty OTS, Rhapsody OTS and Vision OTS. Reportedly, the woman was transferred from Rhapsody OTS.

According to RCI-Royal Caribbean's crew repatriation plan (updated June 5th), the company chartered 20+ flights from Bridgetown to The Philippines, with scheduled departures through June 30.

11 January 2019Crew / Passenger Deaths

(overboard) On January 11, 2019, a 16-year-old male passenger died after falling from his cabin's balcony (on Central Park Deck 8) onto the dock. Reportedly, this happened at ~11:20 am, while the liner was berthed in Labadee (port stay 9:30 am - 6 pm). The teenager was travelling together with his family.

The incident occurred during 7-day Eastern Caribbean cruise (itinerary Jan 6-13) roundtrip from homeport Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale) to Philipsburg (St Maarten), San Juan (Puerto Rico) and Labadee (Haiti).

(CruiseMapper email from Bonnie) I was on Harmony OTS the week of January 6th. It was a 15-year-old boy that was climbing from one balcony to another while docked in Haiti. I was told that his family had adjoining balconies and a family member locked him out so he tried climbing to the other balcony.

25 December 2018Crew / Passenger Deaths

(overboard) On December 25, 2018, a 20-year-old male crew was reported overboard and missing while the liner was en-route from St Maarten to Puerto Rico, approx 430 km (267 mi) northwest of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. The young man (Arron Hough, a UK citizen) worked on the ship as an entertainer, performing in the "Grease The Musical" theatre show.

CCTV footage showed that around 4 am (Dec 25) the man entered an area on Promenade Deck (deck 5) and was not seen again. USCG was notified around 1:45 pm (Dec 26) after an extensive shipwide search. The conducted by USCG search and rescue operation failed to find the body.

The incident occurred during 7-day Eastern Caribbean Christmas Cruise (itinerary Dec 23-28) roundtrip from homeport Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale) visiting Philipsburg (St Maarten), San Juan (Puerto Rico) and Labadee (Haiti).

23 January 2018Crew / Passenger Deaths

On January 23, 2018, on the liner died Joel Taylor. He was best known for his role (driver and meteorologist) in Discovery Channel's reality TV series "Storm Chasers". After docking in call port San Juan, the 38-year-old male passenger was found unresponsive in his stateroom (death from suspected overdose). Upon boarding the ship in Port Everglades, several passengers were arrested and charged with possession of drugs. Passengers reported witnessing Joel Taylor taking drugs (ecstasy and cocaine).

The incident occurred during the 7-day Caribbean themed cruise "Atlantis Events" (itinerary Jan 20-27) roundtrip from homeport Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades) to Labadee Haiti, San Juan Puerto Rico and Philipsburg St Maarten. For the theme voyage, the cruise ship was fully booked under "voyage charter".

13 September 2016Crew / Passenger Deaths

On September 13, 2016, 1 male crew was killed and 4 others were seriously injured in a lifeboat accident. It occurred during a lifeboat safety drill while the cruise ship was docked in Marseilles, France. According to French news media sources, the lifeboat dropped into the water from Promenade Deck 5 (approx 10 m / 33 ft above sea level) with all 5 crew on board.

The killed was a 42-year-old man (of Filipino origin) employed on the ship as an electrical engineer. Two of the injured men were in critical condition (with life-threatening injuries) and placed in an absolute emergency. The other two were placed in emergency and discharged on Sept 17. All injured were hospitalized in Marseille North Hospital.

The ship was on a 7-day Western Mediterranean cruise (itinerary Sept 8-15) round-trip from Rome to Naples, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Marseille, and La Spezia. The investigation found that the boat’s lowering equipment was functioning properly, so as the cause for the accident was cited “human error”.

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