Norwegian Pearl accidents and incidents

Norwegian Pearl cruise ship


Length (LOA)
294 m / 965 ft

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CruiseMapper's Norwegian Pearl cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a 2873-passenger vessel owned by Norwegian Cruise Line. Our Norwegian Pearl 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could be arrests, filed lawsuits against the shipowner / cruise line company, charges and fines, grievances, settled / withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, virus outbreaks, etc.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 - 2015
  • collision - 2022 (with a trawler)
  • propulsion/power loss - 2008, 2011, 2019
  • pollution in Alaska - 2008 (3), 2009 (2), 2010 (2), 2018 (Juneau)
  • deaths - 2007 (drowned in Barbados), overboard (2008, 2015, 2016-crew, 2023), 2014 (crew killed in Roatan)
  • injuries/crimes - 2008 (robbery in St Lucia), sexual (2016, 2018)
  • Norovirus (passengers/crew) - 2 outbreaks in 2007 (total 427 / 31), 2015 (145 / 13), 2019
  • Coronavirus - 2022 (~300 crew)

February 2024Crew / Passenger Deaths

On February 7, 2024, on the ship died Mojo Nixon (Neill Kirby McMillan Jr/1957-born American musician and actor). He was best known for his song "Elvis Is Everywhere" released in 1987 as part of the "Bo-Day-Shus!!!" album.

Mojo Nixon was discovered deceased in his cabin (suffering a cardiac attack) while Norwegian Pearl was docked in Port San Juan (Puerto Rico).

The incident occurred during an annual music-themed voyage (Outlaw Country Cruise 8), where he was a regular performer and co-host. According to a statement made by his family on Facebook, he had an energetic performance the previous night (Feb 6th), a lively evening, and interactions with bandmates and friends during breakfast (Feb 7th).

NCL's "Outlaw Country Cruise 8" was a 6-day roundtrip from Miami (Florida USA) visiting Puerto Plata Dominicana (Feb 6th) and San Juan Puerto Rico (Feb 7th/port stay 10 am-7:30 pm).

03 November 2023Crew / Passenger Deaths

(overboard) On November 3, 2023, a 41-year-old male passenger went overboard while the ship was en route from The Bahamas back to Florida.

The USCG started a search and rescue operation but the man was not found.

The incident occurred during the 4-day "Headbangers Boat Cruise" (itinerary October 31-Nov 4). The roundtrip from Miami visited Nassau on Nov 2nd (port stay 8 am-5:30 pm).

The chartered voyage (themed "Headbangers Boat") featured live performances by various thrash and heavy metal bands including Lamb of God (LoG/1994-formed as Burn the Priest), Mastodon (2000), GWAR (1984), Testament (1983 as Legacy), Hatebreed (1994), Shadows Fall (1996), Lacuna Coil (1994, fka Sleep of Right, and Ethereal), God Forbid (1996), Vio-lence (1985), Dying Wish (1996), Municipal Waste (2001), Bleed from Within (2005), Malevolence (2010), Gatecreeper (2013). The music-themed voyage also featured special guest hosts Jose Mangin and Riki Rachtman, standup comedy performances by Frank Castillo and Steve Forey, a drum-off with Art Cruz (Arthur Cruz/Lamb of God's drummer), a DJ show by Jesse Leach.

30 July 2022Ship Collision / Allision

In the morning of July 30, 2022, while en route from the USA to Bermuda, the cruise ship was struck by a trawler, approx 35 mi / 44 km east of Nantucket (Massachusetts).

The collision was caused by the fishing ship Gabby G (1985-built, IMO 8886333, owned by Gabbi G Fisheries Inc/Montauk NY), reportedly, due to low visibility and heavy rain in the region. The accident was reported to the USCG at 2:25 am (6:25 UTC).

One of Gabby G's crew was treated for minor injuries (a cut) on the boat. No other injuries were reported.

The NCL's ship remained seaworthy, and after a thorough assessment by the USCG was cleared to continue the voyage. The trawler sustained bow hull damage and under its own power returned back to its homeport New Bedford (Massachusetts), arriving at ~5:30 pm (~21:30 UTC) on July 30th.

The ship was operating a 7-day "Bermuda Cruise" (itinerary July 29 - Aug 5, roundtrip from Boston MA) visiting King's Wharf (Bermuda (Jul 31-Aug 2/overnight) and Bar Harbor ME (Aug 4).

January 2022Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(Coronavirus) On January 4, 2022, the current voyage was canceled and the ship returned earlier to PortMiami (on Jan 6th) due to a COVID outbreak among the crew. All cases were discovered during routine testings.

The canceled 11-day Panama Canal/Western Caribbean Cruise (itinerary Jan 3-14, roundtrip from homeport Miami Florida USA) was scheduled to visit ports in Colombia (Cartagena/Jan 7), Panama Canal (Gatun Lake/Jan 7), Panama (Colon/Jan 7), Costa Rica (Puerto Limon/Jan 8), Honduras (Isla Roatan/Jan 10), Belize (Harvest Caye/Jan 11) and Mexico (Costa Maya/Jan 12).

NCL didn't provide information about the exact number of the infected crew and their close contacts, only announcing that they all are currently placed in isolation onboard. According to an anonymous employee, ~300 crew were quarantined for 10 days on the ship. Reportedly, most cases were asymptomatic and of the new COVID Omicron variant.

On January 12, NCL canceled two additional Miami departures of Norwegian Pearl - 3-day Bahamas (Jan 14-17) and 11-day Panama Canal (Jan 17-28).

28 July 2019Structural and Technical Issues

(CruiseMapper emailed incident report by Tricia Christian) I’d like to add an incident that happened on the NCL Pearl on July 28, 2019. A luggage trolley rolled into the sea as it was being loaded onboard the ship. 14 bags and the trolley went down. The bags were recovered by divers, damaged and filled with saltwater and pollutants from the port waters. The incident was kept hush-hush and the passengers involved still have not received reimbursement for their damaged belongings. NCL is passing this off on the Rome Port Authority Stevedores but ultimately they are responsible because our “cruise contract” was with them. We are still struggling for a monetary recovery!!! This needs to be made public!!

The incident occurred during 11-day Mediterranean and Adriatic cruise (itinerary July 28 - August 8) from Civitavecchia-Rome to Barcelona, visiting Croatia (Dubrovnik), Montenegro (Kotor), Greek Islands (Corfu, Santorini, Mykonos, Kefalonia), Sicily (Messina), and Balearic Spain (Palma de Majorca). The incident took place in Port Civitavecchia as the bags were being loaded.

01 July 2019Propulsion / Power Loss

On July 1, 2019, while cruising in the Mediterranean and en-route from Malaga to Palma de Mallorca, the liner suffered a mechanical (engine or propulsion) issue that resulted in reduced cruising speed. Port Palma (Majorca Island) was skipped. In Barcelona, the ship remained overnight for further assessments. The next planned port call (Monte Carlo) was dropped.

The accident occurred during the 13-day Baltic to Mediterranean relocation cruise (itinerary June 22 - July 5).

Date / TimePort
22 Jun 17:00Departing from Amsterdam, Holland
23 Jun 08:00 - 20:00Tilbury-London, England
24 Jun 08:00 - 18:00Zeebrugge, Belgium
25 Jun 08:00 - 22:00Le Havre, France
28 Jun 07:00 - 15:00Lisbon, Portugal
29 Jun 09:00 - 18:00Cadiz, Spain
30 Jun 07:00 - 17:00Malaga, Spain
01 Jul 15:00 - 22:00Palma de Mallorca, Majorca Island, Spain (canceled)
02 Jul 08:00 - 17:00Barcelona, Spain
03 Jul 10:00 - 20:00Monte Carlo, Monaco (canceled)
04 Jul 08:00 - 20:00Livorno, Florence-Pisa, Italy
05 Jul 06:00Arriving in Civitavecchia, Italy

On July 3, NCL officially canceled the next scheduled cruise (13-day itinerary "Greek Isles and Italy" roundtrip from Civitavecchia-Rome).

Date / TimePort
05 Jul 17:00Departing from Civitavecchia, Italy
07 Jul 09:00 - 20:00Kotor, Montenegro
08 Jul 08:00 - 17:00Dubrovnik, Croatia
09 Jul 08:00 - 15:00Corfu Island, Kerkyra, Greece
10 Jul 13:00 - 20:00Santorini Island, Greece
11 Jul 08:00 - 18:00Mykonos Island, Greece
12 Jul 07:00 - 19:00Piraeus-Athens, Greece
14 Jul 08:00 - 17:00Messina, Sicily Italy
15 Jul 08:00 - 17:00Naples, Italy
16 Jul 09:00 - 21:00Livorno, Italy
17 Jul 08:00 - 17:00Monte Carlo, Monaco
18 Jul 06:00Arriving in Civitavecchia, Italy

For the canceled voyage, NCl refunded all fares and pre-booked shore excursions but didn't reimburse for airfare and pre-/post-cruise hotels.

April 2019Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(CruiseMapper emailed illness accident report by Richard A Kelly) NCL Pearl Norovirus - a major breakout occurred on the Arpil 28, 2019 Transatlantic to Amsterdam. The virus first appeared on the 2nd or 3rd day out and within a few days, most of the ships areas were shut down except the Casino and Spa which are moneymakers. MANY folks quarantined. We were for 4 days. Forced us to remain in our cabin while people in full hazmat suits sprayed our cabin. We were then left to breath the substance. Asked for an MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) for medical review on returning home but refused. Sent email to Corporate (NCLH) complaining about the lack of candor by all Senior Officers and front desk and was thrown off the ship the next day in Belgium with a sick wife. Requested to remain in our cabin another 24 hours until we reached Amsterdam but all requests were refused. Avid 40-year cruiser and never saw anything like this. We were platinum members but meant nothing. Also banned from all NCL ships for life. Spend a few dollars more and go with Princess. It's very consistent.

The accident allegedly occurred during the 13-day Transatlantic cruise (itinerary April 28 - May 11) from NYC (New York USA) to Amsterdam, with call ports in Ireland (Cobh-Cork, Dublin), France (Le Havre-Paris), England (London-Tilbury), Belgium (Zeebrugge) and Holland (Amsterdam).

11 October 2018Crew / Passenger Crimes

(sexual) On October 11, 2018, a 31-year-old male passenger was arrested on the ship and charged with sexual assault 3 days later (Oct 14), when the liner docked in San Diego CA. On the cruise ship, the man (Saul Clemente Monago, Utah citizen) raped a female passenger.

He entered the victim's cabin accompanied by several other men. According to the witnesses, she was asleep and everyone but him left the room. The woman soon awoke to him sexually assaulting her. She pushed him away, then ran into the deck's corridor screaming for help. A security crew responded and found the intoxicated man lying on the bed inside her stateroom.

In San Diego, during the FBI-conducted interview, Monago admitted to the crime, saying that he was "drunk and not behaving like himself".

(update) On August 23, 2019, a San Diego federal court sentenced the man to 3 years in jail, followed by 1 year supervised release. He was also registered as a sex offender.

04 September 2018Sea Pollution

On September 4, 2018, Juneau residents called Alaska state's DEC (Department of Environmental Conservation) complaining about emissions from the liner's exhaust stack during manoeuvring for berthing at ~1:30 pm.

The incident was reported by the local news media  Juneau Empire, which also provided a time-lapse video of the incident. As the media stated, "air quality violations are based on the percentage of opacity" (100% opacity means you can’t see through it). During docking, cruise ships in Alaska are allowed to exceed 20% opacity for only 3 min per hour. When leaving port, anchoring or docking, cruise ship exhausts are allowed to exceed 40% opacity for only 9 min per hour.

The incident occurred on 7-day Alaskan cruise (itinerary Sept 2-9) roundtrip from homeport Seattle WA to Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, Ketchikan, and Victoria (BC Canada).

Note: Compared to 2017, cruise ship fines for violating Alaska's air quality regulations were raised in 2018 - from USD 37,500 to 46,200.

08 September 2016Crew / Passenger Deaths

(overboard) On September 8, 2016, a 25-year-old female crew was reported fell overboard and missing. The CCTV footage revealed the woman (of Colombian origin, with 2 NCL employment contracts) went overboard in Lynn Canal (southeast mainland Alaska).

The ship's location was between Funter Bay (Admiralty Island) and Point Retreat (Granite Harbour, Victoria Land). It happened at ~1:30 am, while the ship was en-route from Skagway to Glacier Bay. For the search and rescue operation, USCG Sitka launched a helicopter, while USCG Juneau launched the Cutter Liberty. Unfortunately, the body was not found and both searches were suspended on Sept 9.

The accident occurred during a 7-day Alaskan cruise (itinerary Sept 4-11) from Seattle WA to Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, Ketchikan, Victoria BC (Canada).

06 March 2016Crew / Passenger Crimes

(sexual) On March 26, 2019, Billera Law (South Florida law firm) filed a lawsuit against the shipowner NCLH about rape and battery that occurred onboard Norwegian Pearl on March 6, 2016. A female crew (working on the liner as a waitress) was allegedly drugged, beaten, strangled and raped twice. The woman was sexually assaulted by a male crew (Kevin Paul) in his cabin while his 3 roommates were outside guarding. After the rape, she tried to run out, screaming and crying in the corridor, being naked from the waist down. The 3 roommates forced her back into the cabin where she was raped again by the same man. The woman was refused medical care, restrained and eventually fired.

After berthing in homeport Miami Florida, Kevin Paul was arrested and charged with aggravated sexual battery. He eventually pleaded guilty. The 2019 lawsuit claimed that the company NCLH is strictly liable for woman's violent rape, also that ship's security was negligent.

12 November 2015Crew / Passenger Deaths

(overboard) On November 12, 2015, a 24-year-old female passenger (Kaylyn Sommer, from Charleston SC, USA) fell overboard and was reported missing. The incident occurred while the ship was approx 25 ml / 40 km off Cuba’s coast (in the Yucatan Channel, aka Straits of Yucatan).

The ship was on a chartered by EDM music-themed cruise out of homeport Miami FL (itinerary Nov 8-19). The 11-day voyage was themed “Mad Decent Boat Party” with only one call port (Cozumel Mexico). The passenger overboard was reported at ~7 pm, after the cruise ship conducted search and rescue operation with 3 of its rescue boats. The USCG deployed an airplane C-130 and 3 patrol boats to assist the search, but the woman’s body was not found.

07 May 2015Other Incidents

May 7, 2015, the episode “Cruisin’ for a Bruisin'” (part of the “Impractical Jokers” – hidden camera reality series) was filmed on the NCL Pearl ship. The episode was aired on the truTV channel (Time Warner) on May 7, 2015.

April 2015Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

March-April 2015, CDC reported on voyage Mar 26 to Apr 6, a Norovirus outbreak affected a total of 145 passengers (out of 2472, or 5,9%) and 13 crew (out of 1062, or 1,2%). The ship was on 11-day Eastern-Southern Caribbean cruise from Miami.

06 April 2014Crew / Passenger Deaths

(murder) On April 6, 2014, a male crew was shot and bled to death ashore in call port Coxen Hole (Roatan Island, Honduras). The man (Jacob Bagan, of Filipino origin) worked on the ship as an assistant cook. He was gunned down for his cell phone. The murderer left his bicycle at the crime scene.

Roatan’s mayor offered ~USD 5,000 reward for capturing the killer. On April 9, the police, assisted by a special force unit, arrested the murder (Guzman Ramirez) and found the revolver involved. After this incident, NCL announced it is cancelling for a week all scheduled stops in Coxen Hole.

In June 2014, the US State Department issued a travel warning stating that Honduras’ murder rate is currently the world's highest.

24 July 2011Propulsion / Power Loss

On July 24, 2011, the celebrity comedian Bill Cosby performed live on the ship. Both evening shows were held in the onboard theatre on July 24, while the ship was in homeport Seattle WA overnight for propeller repairs. Due to the delayed departure, the next Alaskan itinerary dropped call port Juneau AK.

Passengers received as compensation US$150 per cabin in onboard credit, plus 10% future NCL cruise booking discount. Additionally, to the celebrity comedy shows, passengers also enjoyed free house wine served with dinner, plus a 50% discount on speciality dining cover charges.

2010Sea Pollution

Twice in 2010 (on May 26 and Sept 15), the ship was reported for water pollution in Alaska. The conducted wastewater tests showed higher than allowed levels of Coliform bacteria.

July 2009Sea Pollution

Twice in 2009, the ship was reported for Alaska water pollution. The conducted tests of its wastewater showed higher than allowed levels of Coliform bacteria (July 7) and pH (July 28).

26 December 2008Crew / Passenger Deaths

(overboard) On December 26, 2008, a 36-year-old female passenger jumped overboard. The woman was reported missing by her husband at ~4 am when the ship was approx 15 mi / 25 km east of Cancun Mexico. The ship conducted search and rescue operation, that failed to find the body. Given the woman’s mental health history, the investigation assumed she committed suicide.

27 August 2008Propulsion / Power Loss

On August 27, 2008, during an Alaskan cruise, the ship experienced an Azipod problem (propulsion system issue) resulting in reduced cruising speed and itinerary changes. The stay in call port Victoria BC was only formal (passengers were not allowed to disembark), while call port Ketchikan was dropped.

As compensation, passengers received US$50 PP in onboard credit. The propulsion problem (thrust bearing failure) affected also the next itineraries. NCL announced the cancellation of the Oct 26 itinerary, allowing the vessel to enter drydock in Freeport Bahamas for repairs.

All booked passengers were fully refunded and additionally received a 25% future NCL cruise booking discount. On the Panama Canal repositioning cruise from Alaska to Caribbean (Sept 21), the US call ports San Francisco and Los Angeles were dropped, while the port stays in Mexico (Puerto Vallarta, Acapulco) and Colombia (Cartagena) was shortened. All passengers were compensated with US$50 PP in onboard credit. The ship returned to service on Nov 2, 2008.

17 January 2008Crew / Passenger Crimes

On January 17, 2008, 6 cruise ship passengers were robbed on NCL-sponsored shore excursion in St Lucia. On the Botanical Gardens tour (Soufriere) the passengers (2 from the USA, 4 from Canada) and both tour guides were robbed of all their valuables (ID cards, jewellery, money) by 2 masked and armed men.

2008Sea Pollution

Thrice in 2008 (May, June and July), the vessel was reported for Alaska water pollution. The conducted tests showed higher than allowed pH levels in its wastewater.

December 2007Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

November-December 2007, CDC reported on voyage Nov 30 to Dec 9, a major Norovirus outbreak affected a total of 335 passengers (out of 2377, or 14,1%) and 24 crew (out of 1097, or 2,2%). The ship was on 8-day Eastern Caribbean cruise from Miami.

17 April 2007Crew / Passenger Deaths

On April 17, 2007, a 35-year-old passenger drowned in Barbados. The accident occurred on NCL-sponsored snorkelling excursion off the island’s west coast. The man was snorkelling together with his wife and other passengers from the ship docked in Bridgetown.

April 2007Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

April 2007, CDC reported on the voyage Apr 13 to 22, a Norovirus outbreak (gastrointestinal illness) infected 92 passengers (out of 2490, or 3,7%) and 7 crew (out of 1084, or 0,7%). All sick suffered from Norovirus symptoms (vomiting, diarrhoea) and were quarantined to their cabins for 48 hours. The ship was on 9-day Southern Caribbean cruise from homeport Miami Florida.

04 November 2006Ship Collision / Allision

On November 4, 2006, after leaving the shipbuilding yard and while attempting to pass under River Ems power line (northwestern Germany), the cruise vessel caused a massive blackout – first in Germany, and then in other European countries.

Officially called “380KV-Ems-Overhead Powerline Crossing”, this power line is mounted on two large pylons – each with clearance/height of 110 m / 361 ft. The span between the pylons has a length of 405 m (1329 ft). While the clearance allows cargo ships to pass beneath the power line, some of the Papenburg-built cruise ships (by Meyer Werft) require the powerline to be switched off. The switching off for the NCL Pearl ship caused the infamous “2006 European blackout” – temporarily leaving over 15 million people without electricity.

Note: This type of marine accidents is called “allision” (striking a fixed object) as opposed to “collision” (striking another vessel).

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