Odyssey Of The Seas accidents and incidents

Odyssey Of The Seas cruise ship


Length (LOA)
347 m / 1138 ft

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CruiseMapper's Odyssey Of The Seas cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a 4805-passenger vessel owned by Royal Caribbean. Our Odyssey 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could be arrests, filed lawsuits against the shipowner / cruise line company, charges and fines, grievances, settled / withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, virus outbreaks, etc.

  • 2021- canceled ex-Israel cruise program in the Eastern Mediterranean
  • 2021 - delayed delivery (due to Coronavirus)
  • fires - 2020 (during construction at Meyer Werft Shipyard, Papenburg Germany)
  • deaths - 2021 (crew)
  • Coronavirus - 2021 (8 crew; 3 pax + 52 crew)

December 2021Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(Coronavirus) During the 8-day Southern Caribbean voyage (December 18-26, roundtrip from Port Everglades/Fort Lauderdale, Florida) was reported an outbreak with a total of 55 people who tested COVID-positive. The infected included 3 passengers and 52 crew/staff, all of whom were asymptomatic.

The 8-day voyage visited The Bahamas (CocoCay) and the Dutch Antilles (Willemstad Curacao, and Oranjestad Aruba). As Odyssey OTS was denied entry to Aruba and Curacao, the current itinerary was changed (Willemstad and Oranjestad were replaced with seadays). The next-schedule voyage was not impacted.

The liner was carrying a total of 3587 passengers plus 1599 crew. All crew and adult passengers (over 12-year-old) were fully-vaccinated and tested prior to boarding. Royal Caribbean's new health protocols also required wearing masks indoor.

15 June 2021Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(Coronavirus) On June 15, 2021, RCI officially rescheduled the ship's Maiden Voyage due to COVID-positive crew.

On June 4, following the Odyssey OTS's arrival in Port Canaveral, all crew were vaccinated and tested as part of CDC's CSO (Conditional Sailing Order). Following the second onboard testing (conducted on June 10), a total of 8 crew tested positive (6x asymptomatic, 2x with mild symptoms).

The infected were isolated, monitored by the Infirmary's medical team and reported as being "in good health". RCI's statement mentioned that the 8x positive cases were identified following the vaccination but before it was considered fully effective (June 18).

To ensure the ship's safety, the company decided to cancel several departures from homeport Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades, Florida) for a 2-week quarantine of the entire crew.

The Inaugural Cruise (planned for July 3) was rescheduled for July 31. Also canceled were the "simulation voyages" (test cruises with non-paying passengers) planned to start in late-June.

15 May 2021Other Incidents

Odyssey OTS's itinerary program was planned to start on November 5, 2020 (Inaugural Cruise), with homeporting in Florida USA (Port Everglades/Fort Lauderdale). However, due to delayed delivery (Coronavirus impact), the liner was rescheduled to start operations in 2021 on April 21, then on May 9, and finally on June 6, 2021 (Maiden Voyage in Europe).

In late-October 2020 were added new voyages for 2021. Excepting the April 21 departure, all other dates were canceled in early-November 2020.

  • (April 2) 3-night "Weekend Getaway" from Southampton
  • (April 5) 5-night repositioning cruise from Southampton to Barcelona
  • (April 12 and April 21) 5-night roundtrips from Barcelona
  • (April 26) 4-night roundtrip from Barcelona

Following all the Coronavirus-related cancellations (2020-2021), Odyssey OTS's inaugural season was planned to be in Europe (Eastern Mediterranean, leaving from homeport Civitavecchia-Rome), with 7-9-12-day itineraries to ports in Greece/Greek islands, Turkey, Italy, Israel. The summer 2021 program featured longer port stays and overnights in major port cities (also on Greek Isles), with up to 15 hours at every port. Two full days (overnights) were offered in Piraeus-Athens and Naples - on the 12-day Holy Land and 9-day Greek Isles voyages.

In early-March 2021, RCI rescheduled Odyssey OTS's inaugural season to start in June 2021, but open for residents of Israel only. The revised itinerary program offered 3- to 7-night long roundtrips from Haifa-Tel Aviv Israel (homeport/first-time for RCI).

On May 15, 2021, this program was officially canceled due to "unrest in Israel and the region".

  • The "2021 Israel-Palestine crisis" (Wikipedia) started on May 6 with Palestinians protesting in Jerusalem over Israel's Supreme Court's decision to evict 13 Palestinian families (58 people) from Sheikh Jarrah. This is an East Jerusalem neighborhood under international law that Israel holds under unrecognized annexation and military occupation.
  • The protests eventually escalated into violent confrontations. On May 10, Hamas and PIJ-Palestinian Islamic Jihad (Palestinian militant groups) started firing rockets from Gaza (self-governing Palestinian territory). Israel returned with airstrikes against Gaza, including a Gaza school and the Al-Jalaa media building (housing Al Jazeera and AP-Associated Press journalists).
  • As result were killed 230 Palestinians (including 61 children/from the school) and injured 1500+.

In Port Limassol (Cyprus), all the Odyssey's crew without USA visas were ship-to-ship transferred to Anthem OTS.

The unique for an RCI ship ex-Israel program included the following itineraries (all Haifa roundtrips):

  • "Cyprus Cruise" - 2-night (to Limassol), 3-night (Limassol)
  • "Cyprus and Greece Cruise" - 4-night (Limassol, Rhodes)
  • "Greece Cruise" - 4-night (Rhodes)
  • "Greek Isles Cruise" - 4-night (Rhodes, Mykonos), 5-night (Rhodes, Mykonos, Piraeus-Athens), 5-night (Piraeus, Mykonos), 5-night (Rhodes, Santorini, Piraeus-Athens), 5-night (Piraeus, Mykonos), 7-night (Limassol, Rhodes, Piraeus-Athens, Santorini, Mykonos)

The program also included the following themed voyages (departure dates in brackets):

  • (Sept 6) "Rosh Hashanah Greek Isles Cruise" - 4-night (Rhodes, Mykonos)
  • (Sept 13) "Yom Kippur Greek Isles Cruise" - 7-night (Limassol, Rhodes, Santorini, Piraeus)
  • (Sept 20) "Sukkot Greek Isles Cruise" - 4-night (Rhodes, Mykonos)
  • (Sept 24) "Sukkot Cyprus Cruise" - 4-night (Limassol)
  • (Sept 27) "Simchat Torah Greek Isles Cruise" - 4-night (Rhodes, Mykonos)
  • (Oct 19) "Greece and Italy Cruise" - 9-night (roundtrip from Civitavecchia-Rome to Heraklion Crete, Mykonos, Santorini, Piraeus, Naples/overnight)

All affected bookings received refunds: 125% in FCC (future cruise credit with rebooking by April 30, 2022) or 100% monetary. With rebooking on Jewel OTS (made by June 13, 2021) was offered US$ 400 in OBC (onboard credit per person). Jewel OTS was scheduled for Greek Isles cruises leaving roundtrip from Limassol Cyprus (July 10 thru October 23, 2021).

Odyssey's Maiden Voyage (also the boat's first Caribbean cruise) was scheduled to start on November 15 (5-night  itinerary from Fort Lauderdale to CocoCay and Labadee Haiti), with prices from USD 680 (EUR 560) per person with double occupancy.

20 April 2021Crew / Passenger Deaths

On April 21, 2021, the ship's Captain announced via the PA system that a male crew committed suicide. The incident happened while the new liner was en route from Cyprus (Limassol) to Israel (Haifa/homeport for the summer season).

The employee’s name and job title were not disclosed. Reportedly, he was from India and ended his life by jumping overboard during the night of April 20th. According to the Captain, the man was last seen when Odyssey OTS was approx 37 km (23 mi) south of Cape Gata (southern Cyprus).

A search and rescue operation was conducted by JRCC Larnaca (Cyprus Joint Rescue Coordination Center/independent agency of Cyprus' Ministry of Defence). JRCC Larnaca was first notified around 12-noon on April 21. Unsuccessful in finding the body, the rescue operation was terminated in the afternoon on April 22. The extensive search operation covered a 500 nm2 (~1700 km2 / ~660 mi2) area and was assisted by navy and rescue aircraft (helicopters and planes) with medical teams onboard.

19 July 2020Structural and Technical Issues

On July 19, 2020, the shipbuilder Meyer Werft announced that due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, the shipyard in Papenburg will be closed for 6 weeks (suspends operations from July 20 through August 30). The announcement mentioned that to stay afloat, Germany's largest shipbuilding company needs to save ~EUR 1,2 billion (~USD 1,4 B) over the next 5 years.

Eventually, Odyssey OTS' entire itinerary program was cancelled through April 12, 2021 (including), with the maiden voyage rescheduled for April 21 (5-day "Spain France and Italy Cruise" roundtrip from Barcelona).

06 July 2020Structural and Technical Issues

On July 6, 2020, the shipbuilder Meyer Werft released photos from the Papenburg Shipyard showing the cruise ship Odyssey OTS being moved ~150 m (490 ft) to the front of Building Hall 6. According to Meyer Werft, the vessel was repositioned to make space for the construction of Aida Cruises' liner AIDAcosma (originally planned for delivery in May 2021).

Odyssey OTS was moved after the drydock was flooded and the vessel was positioned into a wetdock for outfitting.  At the time, at the Papenburg Shipyard worked ~3500 employees. In late-June, a large prefabricated section of the AIDA ship Cosma was pushed out of the drydock via tugboats.

Due to the Coronavirus crisis (see for details below), the Royal Caribbean Odyssey ship's delivery was delayed by ~5 months and all departures planned between November 5, 2020, and April 17, 2021, were cancelled.

Note: In mid-July 18, 2020, Royal Caribbean Group (via its subsidiary Royal Caribbean Cruises Asia) announced that due to delayed delivery from the shipbuilder Chantiers de l’Atlantique (Saint-Nazaire, France), Wonder of the Seas' China debut (planned for 2021-Q2) is postponed "until further notice".

June 2020Fire Accident

In May and June 2020, during cruise ship's construction, the shipbuilder (Meyer Werft, Papenburg Germany) reported two fire accidents. As result, the Odyssey of the Seas project (yard number 713) was further delayed, in addition to the Coronavirus pandemic for which the shipyard suspended temporarily operations in April-May. According to the shipbuilder, the fires caused expensive property damages and led to further construction delays.

The first fire (on May 28) was in a hallway on the vessel's Deck 8 and affected several passenger staterooms. The second fire (on June 24) involved insulation materials stored on Deck 2.

Odyssey OTS' inaugural cruise (roundtrip from Port Everglades / Fort Lauderdale, Florida) was scheduled to depart on November 5 (4-day Bahamas itinerary to Nassau and CocoCay). However, due to the delayed delivery, a total of 25 departures were cancelled and the liner was rescheduled to start operations in April 2021, with voyages in Europe (Eastern Mediterranean) leaving roundtrip from homeport Civitavecchia-Rome on 7-9-12-day itineraries to ports in Greece, Turkey, Italy and Israel. The Transatlantic repositioning cruise to the USA (Port Everglades) was rescheduled for October 28, 2021.

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