Norwegian Escape accidents and incidents

Norwegian Escape cruise ship


Length (LOA)
333 m / 1093 ft

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CruiseMapper's Norwegian Escape cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a 5218-passenger vessel owned by Norwegian Cruise Line. Our Norwegian Escape 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could be arrests, filed lawsuits against the shipowner / cruise line company, charges and fines, grievances, settled / withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, virus outbreaks, etc.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 - 2018, 2022
  • grounding - 2022 (off Puerto Plata, Dominicana/4x canceled voyages)
  • pier collision/allision - 2020 (Civitavecchia-Rome)
  • deaths - overboard (2017, 2018), crew (2022)
  • injuries/crimes - drugs (2017-crew, 2018-crew), 2019 (storm)
  • Norovirus (passengers/crew) - 2019
  • medevacs - 2018 (2), 2019 (2)

12 May 2022Fire Accident

In the morning on May 12, 2022, after departing Port Civitavecchia, the ship reported a small engine room fire.

Via the PA (public announcement) system was sounded Code Bravo to alert the crew about a fire emergency. The fire was on service deck 2 (hull sections 16 & 17, engine room's technical area) and was soon extinguished by the crew. Due to reduced speed during the incident, the current itinerary was altered, with call port Thira (Santorini Island, Greece) dropped.

None of the crew or passenger areas were affected, and no injuries were reported.

The ship operated the 7-day "Greek Isles, Italy, Santorini, Athens and Florence Cruise" (itinerary May 11-21, roundtrip from homeport Civitavecchia-Rome), with call ports Thira-Santorini (scheduled visit on May 13/port stay 1-10 pm), Piraeus-Athens, Mykonos Island, Kerkyra (Corfu Island), Valletta (Malta), Messina (Sicily), Naples, Livorno.

UPDATE: In June, due to the needed drydock repairs, NCL canceled Escape's schedule between September 12 and October 2, 2022, or a total of 3x 10-day voyages. The canceled itineraries (themed "Greek Isles, Italy, Santorini, Athens and Florence", departures Sept 12, Sept 22, and Oct 2) were all roundtrips from homeport Civitavecchia-Rome. The liner was scheduled to restart services in the Mediterranean on October 12. All affected by the cancellations bookings received a 100% monetary refund (of the fares paid fares) plus 10% in FCC (future cruise credit).

14 March 2022Ship Grounding

In the afternoon on March 14, 2022, upon departure from Puerto Plata Harbor (Dominicana), the liner ran aground/contacted the channel bed in Taino Bay. For ~3 hours, two tugboats unsuccessfully tried to refloat it, then was decided to wait overnight for the high tide. On March 15th (at ~12:45 am local time /~16:45 UTC) the ship managed to break free and returned back to port.

Initially, no hull damages, water ingress, pollution or injuries were reported. Onboard operations and services were not impacted. The liner was carrying a total of 3223 passengers plus 1618 crew.

Reportedly, the grounding happened due to strong winds that caused Norwegian Escape to drift out and towards a sandbar while navigating in the shipping channel.

The accident occurred during the 7-day "Caribbean, Great Stirrup Cay and the Dominican Republic Cruise" (itinerary March 12-19, roundtrip from Port Canaveral/Orlando, Florida USA) with call ports Puerto Plata, Dominicana (Mar 14/port stay 9 am - 4 pm), Charlotte Amalie (St Thomas Island USVI/Mar 15, port stay 11 am - 7 pm), Road Town (Tortola Island BVI/Mar 16), and Great Stirrup Cay (Bahamas/Mar 18).

On March 16th, NCL canceled the remainder of the current sailing due to "minor damage" (caused by the grounding). The ship remained docked at Puerto Plata for inspection, while all passengers were disembarked (March 16-18) and flown back to Florida (Orlando International Airport).

Due to hull damages, the next four scheduled departures from Port Canaveral were canceled. The voyages were all 7-day roundtrips: March 19-26st and April 9-16th (both visiting Cozumel, Ocho Rios Jamaica, Great Stirrup Cay), March 26-April 2nd and April 2-9th (both visiting Puerto Plata, St Thomas USVI, Tortola BVI, Great Stirrup Cay). The liner restarted operations on April 16th.

All passengers and booked customers were fully refunded and additionally received 100% of the fare paid in FCC/future cruise credit (to be used in the period March 25, 2022, thru March 25, 2023). Those with flights booked through NCL got new home flights. Via charter flights, those with independently booked air travel were flown from Puerto Plata International Airport to Orlando, from where they were provided with bus shuttles to Port Canaveral.

22 January 2022Crew / Passenger Deaths

On January 22, 2022, a 36-year-old male crew died in his cabin. Reportedly, the deceased (from India, employed as a bartender) had just completed a 10-day quarantine (after testing COVID-positive) and passed away one day after he was released.

Online sources stated that the man was quarantined in a windowless cabin (on Crew Deck 2), in the period Jan 11-21. In the morning on Jan 22, via the PA system was announced "Code Alpha" (medical emergency) and he had suddenly died.

The incident occurred while NCL Escape was at anchorage off Port Canaveral, and passenger-free (carrying only crew) after the ship's departures were canceled thru Jan 22nd (including).

18 December 2020Ship Collision / Allision

On December 18, 2020, while maneuvering for docking in Port Civitavecchia (Rome, Italy), the liner contacted the pier's concrete wall.

The vessel was passenger-free and no injuries among its skeleton crew were reported.

The collision resulted only in minor hull damage (~4 -m long scratch forward-starboard, above the waterline) not affecting its seaworthiness. The NCL Escape ship entered Civitavecchia on Dec 18 (at ~9 am) and remained berthed for 17 days. On January 8 (at ~9:30 am) the ship arrived in Port Genoa for repairs.

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

01 September 2019Coast Guard Medevacs

On September 1, 2019, a 39-year-old female passenger was USCG-medevaced approx 65 km (40 mi) east of New Jersey USA (Manasquan Inlet). The ship's emergency call was placed at ~10 pm. For the operation was dispatched an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station Atlantic City (NJ). They hoisted up (airlifted) the woman and her husband and flew them to Pomona NJ's AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center.

The incident occurred at the beginning of 7-day Bermida cruise (itinerary Sept 1-8) roundtrip from homeport NYC (Cape Liberty, Bayonne NJ) to King's Wharf.

02 July 2019Coast Guard Medevacs

On July 2, 2019, the liner arrived earlier than scheduled in the Bermudian waters due to a medical emergency that required the disembarkation of a sick male passenger. After contacting RCC Bermuda (Maritime Operations Centre, 24-hour Bermuda Government's maritime support program), Meyer Agencies Ltd (port agent) advised the ship to disembark the man in Bermuda as soon as possible. The vessel was also allowed to increase its cruising speed to enter Bermuda's waters at 10:30 am (July 2). The medevac was conducted by Pilot Boat St David. The man was later ambulanced to KEMH (Edward VII Memorial Hospital). The NCL Escape ship berthed at Kings Wharf on July 3 (at 8 am) as scheduled.

The incident occurred during the 7-day Bermuda cruise (itinerary June 30 - July 7) roundtrip from homeport NYC New York to Kings Wharf (port stay 8 am - 3 pm).

03 March 2019Ship Listing

Just before midnight on March 3, 2019, an extreme gust of wind (speed up to 115 mph / 190 kph) caused the liner to tilt (list to port side). The severe listing resulted in injured passengers and crew, empty swimming pools, broken glassware and tableware. No ship damages or pollution were reported. When the ship docked in Port Canaveral (March 5), several ambulances arrived at the pier to pick up some of the injured.

The accident occurred at the beginning of 7-day Bahamas-Florida cruise (itinerary March 3-10) roundtrip from homeport NYC (New York/departure at 3 pm) to Port Canaveral, Great Stirrup Cay, and Nassau.

January 2019Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(CruiseMapper email from MvM) NCL Escape (1/6/19-1/20/19) large number of passengers ill with gastroenteritis. CDC protocols were put into place. It was awful. People were getting sick all over, including the head doctor. There were sheets with lists of names of passengers who were quarantined at the bars with directives to report them to security. Maybe if NCL had deployed better hygiene from the start, the outbreak could have been contained from the beginning.

The Norovirus outbreak occurred during 14-day Caribbean cruise (itinerary Jan 6-20) roundtrip from homeport NYC (New York) to Florida (Port Canaveral), Bahamas (Great Stirrup Cay), Jamaica (Ocho Rios), Grand Cayman (George Town), Belize (Harvest Caye) and Mexico (Costa Maya, Cozumel).

Note: CDC publishes an official outbreak report only if the number of infected exceeds 3% (total passengers or crew). Norovirus symptoms are a headache, stomach cramps, nausea, predominantly vomiting and diarrhoea. All sick are mandatorily quarantined to their cabins for 48 hours.

28 November 2018Fire Accident

On November 28, 2018, following an engine room fire accident, two male crew with burn injuries were medevaced off Crystal Coast (North Carolina, USA). The cruise liner was approx 40 km (24 mi) southeast of Atlantic Beach NC. The USCG Fifth District command centre (Portsmouth VA) received the request at ~3:50 pm and from Air Station Elizabeth City NC was dispatched a Sikorsky MH-60T helicopter team.

Both crews were Filipino (25 and 26 years old) and suffered 2nd-degree burns after a steam pipe exploded. Both men and a crew nurse were hoisted and transported Rocky Mount-Wilson Regional Airport.

Because the vessel is Bahamas-flagged, both victims were Filipino and the ship was more than 12 nautical miles (22 km) offshore the USA, the USCG didn't probe the incident.

The accident occurred during 14-day Western Caribbean cruise (itinerary Nov 25 - Dec 9) roundtrip from homeport NYC (Port Cape Liberty, Bayonne NJ) to Florida (Port Canaveral), Bahamas (Great Stirrup Cay), Jamaica (Ocho Rios), Grand Cayman Island, Belize (Harvest Caye) and Mexico (Costa Maya, Cozumel).

04 November 2018Crew / Passenger Deaths

(overboard) On November 4, 2018, a 28-year-old male passenger was reported dead after falling from Deck 17 to Deck 7. In Port Carnival, police and FBI officers boarded the ship for investigation.

The incident occurred during 7-day Florida-Bahamas cruise (itinerary Nov 4-11) roundtrip from homeport NYC New York to Port Canaveral, Great Stirrup Cay, and Nassau.

22 September 2018Coast Guard Medevacs

On September 22, 2018, a 78-year-old male passenger (suffering a stroke) was medevaced from the liner approx 75 km (45 mi) south of Nantucket Island (Massachusetts USA). USCG Air Station Cape Cod was contacted at ~5 pm. A USCH MH-60 helicopter met the cruise ship at ~7:30 pm. The elderly man and a crew nurse were hoisted and flown to Rhode Island Hospital (Providence RI).

The incident occurred at the end of 7-day Canada and New England cruise (itinerary Sept 16-23) roundtrip from homeport NYC New York to Maine USA (Portland and Bar Harbor) and Canada (Saint John NB, Halifax NS).

15 January 2018Drug Smuggling

On January 15, 2018, while the ship was docked at Port Falmouth Jamaica, the police seized 1 pound (~1 kg) of cocaine. A 24-year-old male crew from the cruise liner was arrested and charged with drug trafficking.

The incident occurred ~3:30 pm, during routine security check conducted on embarking passengers and crew. The ship was on 7-day Caribbean cruise (itinerary Jan 13-20) from homeport Miami to Jamaica (Falmouth), Grand Cayman, Great Stirrup Cay Island (Bahamas) and Nassau (Bahamas).

The man (Akim Travis Davis Loctor, from St Lucia Island) was returning to the ship. He was stopped and searched at the security checkpoint before re-boarding the vessel. He was subsequently arrested and charged by a Narcotics Police officer. More details about the crime (law news) are pending.

09 September 2017Other Incidents

Cruise itinerary September 9-16 (7-day Miami to St Thomas, Tortola BVI and Nassau Bahamas) was cancelled due to hurricane Irma. All scheduled until November Eastern Caribbean itineraries were changed with the Western Caribbean. The September 2 itinerary was shortened from 7 to 5 nights.

All cancelled bookings received a full refund plus 25% future NCL cruise credit and reimbursement up to USD 300 pp in-flight change fees.

13 June 2017Drug Smuggling

On June 13, 2017, three cruise ship crew were arrested in Belize City and charged with drug possession. A total of 2 kg of cocaine were picked up in Roatan (Honduras) and taken on the cruise ship to Harvest Caye (NCL’s private island resort in Belize), with the intention to be smuggled into the USA. The 3 men (NCL employees) were charged with drug trafficking.

The men - Derson Frank (from St Vincent), Renaldo Roberts (from St Vincent) and Jamal Celise (from St Lucia) arrived in call port Harvest Caye on the 7-night Western Caribbean cruise (itinerary June 10-17) from Miami visiting Roatan Island, Harvest Caye, and Mexico (Costa Maya, and Cozumel).

19 April 2017Crew / Passenger Deaths

(overboard) On April 19, 2017, a male passenger was reported fell overboard. The accident occurred at ~3 am while the ship was south of, and en-route to Road Town (Tortola BVI). The NCL ship immediately started a search and rescue operation, assisted by the nearby cruise liners Celebrity Summit and Freedom of the Seas.

The man’s body was found and recovered at ~7 am. Reportedly, he went overboard falling from Deck 14. The ship was on 7-day Eastern Caribbean cruise (itinerary April 15-22) from Miami to St Thomas (USVI), Tortola (BVI) and Nassau (Bahamas).

09 January 2017Crew / Passenger Deaths

(overboard) On January 9, 2017, a 22-year-old male passenger jumped overboard from the Deck 17, landing on Deck 7. The young man died from sustained injuries. Reportedly, he committed suicide soon before the NCL ship docked in call port Charlotte Amalie (St Thomas, USVI).

The accident occurred at ~4 am and was reported by the ship’s Captain to the USVI's Police Department Investigation Bureau. The preliminary investigation confirmed suicide.

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