Jewel Of The Seas accidents and incidents

Jewel Of The Seas cruise ship


Length (LOA)
293 m / 961 ft

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CruiseMapper's Jewel Of The Seas cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a 2573-passenger vessel owned by Royal Caribbean. Our Jewel 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could be arrests, filed lawsuits against the shipowner / cruise line company, charges and fines, grievances, settled / withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, virus outbreaks, etc.

  • fires - 2006, 2007, 2015, 2021
  • propulsion/power loss - 2008, 2010
  • deaths - overboard (2005, 2020)
  • injuries/crimes - 2012-crew, drug bust (2016 Puerto Rico / 7 pax)
  • Norovirus (passengers/crew) - 2 outbreaks in 2010 (total 102/14), 2018 (an), 2023 (68/1)
  • Coronavirus - 2021 (21+12+11+13+30), 2022 (54+85+206+46+79+69)
  • 2004 - fin whale at the bow

February 2023Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

In February 2023, CDC reported that on the voyage from Jan 28 thru Feb 3, a Norovirus outbreak affected a total of 68 passengers (out of 2185, or 3,11%) and 1 crew (out of 865, or 0,12%).

As predominant symptoms were reported vomiting and diarrhea.

The accident occurred during the 6-day "Western Caribbean Cruise" (itinerary Jan 28-Feb 3, roundtrip from Port Canaveral/Orlando) visiting Costa Maya (Mexico), Coxen Hole/Roatan Island (Honduras) and Cozumel (Mexico).

August 2022Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

On August 1, 2022, an anonymous crew reported that a total of 68 people (64 passengers plus 4 crew) tested COVID-positive.

The outbreak occurred in Northern Europe/Baltic, during the 12-day "Arctic Circle Cruise" (itinerary July 26 - August 7, roundtrip from Amsterdam) visiting ports only in Norway - Geiranger, Tromso, Honningsvag (Mageroya Island), Alesund, Bergen, and Kristiansand.

July 2022Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(Coronavirus) On July 2, 2022, an anonymous crew reported that a total of 79 people (61 passengers plus 18 crew) tested COVID-positive.

The outbreak occurred in Europe, during the 12-day "Iceland and Ireland Cruise" (itinerary July 2-14, roundtrip from Amsterdam) with call ports in Iceland (Akureyri, Reykjavik), Northern Ireland (Belfast) and Ireland (Waterford, Cobh-Cork).

Reportedly, due to the increased COVID cases, the newly appointed "infection control officer" required all the crew to wear only KN95 masks (correctly positioned), to increase sanitation of crew cabins and work areas, to inform the Infirmary about any flu-like symptoms (crew and passengers).

Note: Jewel OTS' 2022 May-August schedule included several 12-day voyages (roundtrip from Amsterdam itineraries themed "Arctic Circle", "Iceland and Ireland" and "British Isles"), which increased the number of back-to-back passengers and eventually the risk of virus infections.

June 2022Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(Coronavirus) Facebook posts of former passengers reported that during the 12-day "Iceland and Ireland Cruise" (itinerary May 27-June 8, roundtrip from Amsterdam Netherlands) a total of 46 passengers tested COVID-positive (out of 1754 total), in addition to numerous crew (including 16 officers) who were quarantined to their cabins.

The voyage visited ports in Iceland (Akureyri, Reykjavik/overnight), Northern Ireland (Belfast), and Ireland (Waterford, Cobh-Cork).

January 2022Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(Coronavirus outbreak among the crew) On January 4, 2022, the liner's Captain announced via the PA system that the scheduled dock at Port Cartagena (Colombia) is canceled due to COVID cases onboard. Anonymously was reported an outbreak with a total of 54 infected people, including 3 passengers (out of 1351) and 51 crew (out of 755). The visit to Colombia was dropped after the Cartagena Port Authority denied entry and disembarkation, requiring PCR testing for all passengers 72 hours before berthing (Jan 4).

The incident occurred during a 10-day Eastern Caribbean Holiday Cruise (itinerary December 30 - Jan 9, roundtrip from PortMiami) with call ports in Costa Rica (Puerto Limon/Jan 2), Panama (Colon/Jan 3), Colombia (Cartagena/Jan 4, canceled, planned port stay 9 am - 5 pm) and Aruba (Oranjestad/Jan 5). After skipping Cartagena, the stay in Aruba was rescheduled as an overnight).

Following the January 6th onboard testing was unanimously reported that to the outbreak were added 85 new affected (5 passengers plus 80 crew). Reportedly, no official statements/any information to the passengers (via letters or the PA system) regarding the outbreak were provided. Some passengers tweeted about a shortage of staff (dwindling the service crew on cabin decks and in the main Dining Room), suggesting a crew quarantine.

Additional testing on Jan 7th added 206 COVID cases (23 passengers plus 183 crew).

On January 8th, Royal Caribbean decided to cancel the following cruises in 2022:

  • Jewel OTS (January 9 thru February 12), resuming services on February 20
  • Serenade OTS (January 8 thru March 5), resuming services on April 26
  • Symphony OTS (January 8 thru 22), resuming services on January 29
  • Vision OTS (February 4 thru 25), the planned restart was postponed for March 7.
  • All affected bookings received full refunds, including non-refundable deposits (if any paid).

Jewel OTS had a total of 6 voyages canceled (3x 6-day Western Caribbean plus 3x 8-day Eastern Caribbean itineraries leaving roundtrip from Miami Florida), restarting on February 20th with a 5-day Western Caribbean (Miami to Key West FL and Labadee Haiti).

December 2021Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(Coronavirus) On December 27, 2021, an anonymous crew reported that to avoid barring from Caribbean call ports due to COVID cases onboard, some of the infected crew on Jewel OTS were (allegedly) transferred to Rhapsody OTS, at the time being at anchorage off St Marteen Island. The transfer (allegedly) occurred during Jewel's visit to Port Philipsburg in the morning on Dec 27.

The ship had a total of 30x COVID-positive cases (all asymptomatic), including 5 passengers (out of ~1700) and 25 crew (out of ~800).

The outbreak occurred during the 7-day "Eastern Caribbean Holiday Cruise" (itinerary Dec 23-30, roundtrip from PortMiami Florida) with call ports Nassau Bahamas (Dec 24), San Juan Puerto Rico (Dec 26) and Philipsburg St Maarten (Dec 27, port stay 9 am - 6 pm).

10 November 2021Fire Accident

On November 10, 2021, the ship's Captain announced "Code BRAVO" - a signal that alerts the crew to a serious onboard accident (fire or other) without alarming the passengers.

Following the emergency protocols, all the crew-staff were mustered and wearing lifejackets. According to the announcement, service deck flooding (in Deck 1's front section) caused a chemical reaction resulting in thick smoke. The lifeboat launch team was mustered and prepared for lowering the portside boats.

Shortly after the Captain announced that the situation is under control after the affected compartment was sealed and cooled down with water. No fire/flames or injuries were reported.

Jewel OTS was on a Transatlantic repositioning crossing, en route from Gibraltar UK (departing Nov 5) to Miami Florida USA (Nov 14). The liner was without passengers, carrying a total of 1020 people (crew plus temporary contractors) of whom ~300 were to be transferred to other RCI ships.

October 2021Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(Coronavirus) In October 2021, according to an anonymous crew, routine COVID testing during two voyages (roundtrips from Limassol Cyprus) returned 12x COVID-positive passenger tests (Oct 2) and 11x COVID-positive passengers plus 9x crew (Oct 22). All were quarantined.

The tastings were antigen and PCR and conducted by Eurofins Scientific. On both voyages, the liner operated at reduced passenger capacity (~1100). Reportedly, most of the cruisers (~80%) were British (fly-cruisers from the UK).

At the end of the season, during the ship's last voyage in the Aegean Sea (Oct 23-30) were again anonymously reported 13x COVID cases (9 passengers plus 4 crew). The positive crew were quarantined onboard, while the infected passengers were disembarked (on Oct 30) and ambulanced to villas in Limassol where remained in isolation.

The season was based on the 7-night "Greek Isles Cruise" itinerary (Cyprus roundtrip) visiting Piraeus-Athens, as well as the islands Mykonos, Santorini, Rhodes, Crete (Chania).

24 September 2021Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(Coronavirus) On September 24, 2021, according to an anonymous crew, after antigen testing a total of 21 passengers (out of ~1100) tested COVID-positive. Of those, 5 passengers tested positive after PCR testing, 2 were symptomatic (treated at the Infirmary) and 4 were ambulanced upon debarkation in Limassol.

The outbreak occurred while the liner was deployed in the Eastern Mediterranean (Aegean Sea), operating a 7-night "Greek Isles Cruise" itinerary (Sept 18-25) roundtrip from Limassol (Cyprus Island) visiting Piraeus-Athens and the islands Mykonos, Santorini, Crete (Chania) and Rhodes.

On October 2, at the end of the next voyage (Sept 25 - Oct 2) reportedly 12 passengers tested COVID-positive after antigen and PCR testing. They were ambulanced to and quarantined at private homes in Limassol until test COVID-negative. Two of the new passengers were denied boarding (Oct 2) after receiving positive PCR test results at the Limassol Terminal.

During the entire Greek season, Jewel OTS operated at reduced passenger capacity (1100).

01 May 2020Crew / Passenger Deaths

(crew overboard) On May 1, 2020, the ship's Master (Captain Lis Lauritzen, 1971-born Danish female) announced via the PA (public address) system that a male crew has gone overboard and that local (Greek) authorities had been notified.

The incident occurred while the cruise ship was in Greece's territorial waters and drifting at sea (in the Saronic Gulf, Aegean Sea) between Poros Island and Attica Peninsula (mainland Greece, south of Athens). The Hellenic Coast Guard conducted a search and rescue operation by deploying 4x vessels (2x ships, 1x lifeboat, 1x aircraft) but the body was not found. The closest land to Jewel OTS was at approx 10 nm (~12 mi / 20 km). Water temperature in the area was ~62 F (17 C).

The 26-year-old man (from Poland) worked on the ship as an electrician. He went missing on late-night April 30th. Followed a Charlie drill for the entire crew (code Charlie on cruise ships signifies "security threat") but the thorough shipwide search failed to find him. Later, the review of the onboard CCTV cameras confirmed an intentional jump overboard from Deck 12 (Sports Deck).

12 March 2020Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(Coronavirus) On  March 12, 2020, the ship docked in Port Rashid (Dubai UAE) with 2 passengers experiencing flu-like symptoms. Onboard tests were collected and sent ashore to be analyzed for COVID-19 (Coronavirus). After the test returned positive, the ship was blocked and remained docked in Port Dubai.

The incident occurred during the 7-day "Oman and The UAE Cruise (itinerary March 9-16) roundtrip from Dubai and visiting in the UAE Abu Dhabi and Sir Bani Yas Island. The planned for March 14 call at Muscat (Oman) was cancelled. Following the news, Royal Caribbean cancelled Jewel OTS' next scheduled "Qatar and Bahrain and UAE" voyage. The 7-day itinerary (March 16-23) was planned as Dubai roundtrip to Sir Bani Yas (UAE), Doha (Qatar) and Abu Dhabi (UAE).

On March 14, RCCL cancelled all cruises leaving from the USA (all US-homeported liners) with pre-scheduled departures in the period March 14 through April 11, 2020.

September 2018Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

CruiseMapper received an email from a male passenger reporting that waiters and passengers went ill on the first day of their Royal Caribbean Mediterranean voyage. The 9-day Greek Isles cruise (itinerary Sept 27 - Oct 6) was roundtrip from homeport Civitavecchia (Rome, Italy) visiting Messina (Sicily), islands in Greece (Mykonos, Rhodes, Santorini), as well as Piraeus (Athens) and Naples (Italy).

According to the passenger, from day 2, self-service at the Lido buffet restaurant was replaced with waiter service. From Norovirus symptoms suffered the man, his wife, 6 other passengers, plus 2 waiters. The man also reported that many passengers didn't visit the infirmary because they didn't want to be placed under 24-48-hour quarantine and lose vacation time.

Note: When the itinerary doesn’t include US cruise ports, the ship is not required to report to CDC, thus no official illness report would be issued.

01 March 2018Other Incidents

On March 1, 2018, RCI officially announced that starting January 2019, the ship will be homeported in Miami Florida. All pre-scheduled (January through April) 2019 cruises from San Juan Puerto Rico were cancelled.

Booked customers were offered the following options:

  • rebooking on Freedom of the Seas (San Juan roundtrips) - original stateroom, protected cruise prices (at the original fares), onboard credit ($200 Inside-Oceanview-Balcony cabins, $400 Suites, plus $50 pp for each 3rd and more passengers), reimbursement of non-refundable airline charges (up to $200 pp domestic flights, up to $300 pp international flights)
  • rebooking on other Royal Caribbean ships (any liner, any departure date), with onboard credit per stateroom
  • cancelation with a full refund.

24 January 2016Drug Smuggling

On January 24, 2016, the authorities in call port San Juan Puerto Rico arrested 7 male passengers (of US origin) and charged them with drug smuggling. The police found in a suitcase 10 packages with cocaine (a total of 24 pounds / 11 kg) during routine cabin inspections on the ship. The cruise ship was about to leave port on a roundtrip 7-day Southern Caribbean itinerary to Barbados, St Lucia, Antigua, St Maarten, St Croix.

07 February 2015Fire Accident

On February 7, 2015, while en-route to San Juan, Puerto Rico, a small fire broke out in one of the stacks. It was quickly extinguished, but the incident caused malfunction of the ship’s air conditioning system for 5 hours, and the sewage system (toilets) was out for ~ 2 hours. After leaving the port, there was a power outage for ~ 10 m, caused by a blown breaker.

06 September 2012Other Incidents

On September 6, 2012, the ship was on a Transatlantic repositioning cruise from Europe to USA (16-night itinerary from Harwich to Boston, left the UK on Aug. 31). While cruising in the region of Faroe Islands (en-route from Norway to Iceland), the vessel hit a cable strung between two islands.

The incident resulted in an injured crew and damaged mast and some equipment on it. The injured crew was transferred to a local hospital. The vessel remained seaworthy and continued the Atlantic Ocean crossing. The itinerary included stops in Iceland and Canada (Newfoundland).

07 December 2010Structural and Technical Issues

On December 7, 2010, at ~5 am while en-route to Cartagena Colombia, the ship started to vibrate for ~15 min, lowering its cruising speed. At 6 am the Captain announced via the PA system that the ship hit a plastic pipe segment (~ 330 ft / 100 m long, 2ft / 0,6 m wide and 2 inches/ 5 cm thick). The object was across the bulbous bow, and by forward-backward movements of the ship, they shook it off the bow. These efforts caused shaking and vibrations.

The incident caused ~30 min late arrival in the Port of Cartagena and 1 hour late departure to compensate the lost time. While docked in Colombia, divers were inspecting the ship for damages below the waterline. Local authorities were notified. On this itinerary, most of the Colon (Panama) shore excursions were canceled due to flooding caused by torrential rains.

03 August 2010Propulsion / Power Loss

On August 3, 2010, while in Baltic Sea, the ship experienced propulsion problems with 1 of its all 4 hydraulic motors. The incident resulted in reduced cruising speed and itinerary changes. Royal Caribbean announced repairs started in Harwich (England), but a replacement motor was needed to be completed. The motor was replaced in Russia while the ship was docked in St Petersburg. In the current itinerary, Stockholm was replaced by Visby, and some of the scheduled port stay times were altered.

June 2010Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

June 2010, a GI illness outbreak on the ship (no CDC data) caused late embarkation on the next scheduled voyage. Passengers booked on June 12 itinerary were informed to arrive late. Embarkation was delayed due to enhanced sanitizing procedures.

February 2010Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

February 2010, CDC reported on the voyage Feb 22 to Mar 5, a Norovirus outbreak affected 102 passengers (out of 2158, or 4,7%) and 14 crew (out of 848, or 1,6%). All sick experienced the Norovirus symptoms (Gastrointestinal disease) of vomiting and diarrhea.

07 July 2008Propulsion / Power Loss

On July 7, 2008, the ship is experienced some engine problems and was running at reduced speed. Due to these problems, the scheduled October 18 voyage was cancelled and the vessel entered dry-dock.

24 November 2007Fire Accident

On November 24, 2007, at ~2:30 am, a small fire broke out in the laundry room on crew deck 2. Within ~1 hour the fire was extinguished.

22 September 2006Fire Accident

On September 22, 2006,  at ~8 pm, a small fire broke out in a service area on crew deck 2 (midship). The smoke affected 7 cruise cabins, so passengers had to be reassigned to other staterooms. The incident was caused by a lit cigarette accidentally tossed into a trash can. Automatic sprinklers were activated. No injuries and major damages were reported.

10 December 2005Crew / Passenger Deaths

(passenger overboard) On December 10, 2005, a 59-year-old female passenger fell overboard while the ship was at sea and en-route to Nassau Bahamas. The woman was last seen at 9 am and reported missing by her husband at 1 pm. The conducted search and rescue operation didn’t find the body.

26 September 2004Other Incidents

On September 26, 2004, on a Canada New England cruise, when the ship docked in Saint John, New Brunswick, a 65 ft / 20 m long fin whale was found stuck on the bulbous bow.

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