Radiance Of The Seas accidents and incidents

Radiance Of The Seas cruise ship


Length (LOA)
293 m / 961 ft

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CruiseMapper's Radiance Of The Seas cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a 2546-passenger vessel owned by Royal Caribbean. Our Radiance 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could be arrests, filed lawsuits against the shipowner / cruise line company, charges and fines, grievances, settled / withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, virus outbreaks, etc.

  • fire - 2006
  • ship collision - 2009 (with Carnival Splendor in Puerto Vallarta Mexico)
  • pier collision/allision - 2022 ( in Sitka Alaska)
  • propulsion/power loss - 2002, 2006, 2011, 2018, 2023 (2x canceled Alaskan cruises)
  • sea pollution - 2019 (Wellington Harbour NZ)
  • deaths - overboard (2010), 2018 (snorkeling at Mystery Island)
  • injuries/crimes - 2005, 2018
  • illness - 2006 (227 pax, 12 crew)
  • Norovirus (passengers/crew) - 2011 (150/3)

01 September 2023Propulsion / Power Loss

Departure September 1, 2023, was canceled due to propulsion issues impacting the max speed. The passengers were informed about the cancellation on the embarkation day (Sept 1st) soon after they boarded the ship in Seward.

The 7-day "Southbound Alaska and Hubbard Glacier Cruise" (itinerary Sept 1-8, from Seward to Vancouver) had scheduled visits to Hubbard Glacier, Juneau, Skagway, Haines, Hoonah/Icy Strait Point, and Ketchikan, before the debarkation in Vancouver, BC Canada.

The technical issue with the propulsion system (one of the two Azipods/thrusters failed) occurred on August 25th, at the end of the previous voyage (7-day from Vancouver to Seward). The September 1st voyage had to be canceled after the ship's technical crew failed to complete the repairs. To address the problem, the equipment manufacturer (ABB Marine & Ports/Europe) flew its specialists to Seward.

There was speculation that submerged ice may have collided with the Azipod, damaging its propeller.

As compensation, all affected passengers were fully (100%) refunded of the cruise fares, taxes and fees, pre-paid packages, gratuities, onboard amenities, land tours, as well as all purchased through Royal Caribbean flights.

Additionally, they received a 100% FCC/Future Cruise Credit (towards a future voyage departing through September 1, 2024). Up to US$600 (per person) was given as compensation for change fees for pre-paid travel/transportation.

The company also provided assistance for rebooking all flights (booked either independently or through RCI).

RCI also offered the passengers of the canceled voyage to remain on the ship until September 3rd, during which period they were provided with complimentary amenities and services, including Wi-Fi Internet, beverages (including beer and wine by the glass) as well as shuttle bus transportation to/from downtown Seward to explore the city while waiting for their return flights.

(update) On September 5th, RCI canceled the following Alaskan voyage - departure September 8th (7-day "Northbound Alaska and Hubbard Glacier Cruise" itinerary with the reverse route Vancouver-Seward). The cancellation allowed time for the machinery repairs to be completed as Radiance OTS remained docked in Seward.

In addition to the standard compensations (full refund+100% FCC), affected customers received up to US$250 (domestic) and US$500 (international) for reimbursing pre-purchased/non-refundable travel expenses (hotels, flights, train tickets, car rentals).

(update) After completing the repairs, the vessel remained docked in Seward's harbor due to an anticipated storm in the Gulf of Alaska. As a result, the voyage scheduled to depart on September 15th (7-day from Seward to Vancouver) faced a 4-day delay.

The revised (shortened to 4 days) itinerary allowed for a visit only to Ketchikan (on September 20th). The other 5 Alaskan destinations (Juneau/Sep 16, Skagway/Sep 18, Haines/Sep 18, and Hoonah-Icy Strait Point/Sep 19) were canceled. On September 21st, Radiance OTS traversed Pine Island, Seymour Narrows and Cape Mudge before arriving in Vancouver (September 22nd).

As compensation, all passengers were provided with a 50% refund (of the fare paid), in addition to full refunds of beverage packages. All shore excursions purchased for the canceled ports were also fully refunded.

09 May 2022Ship Collision / Allision

On May 9, 2022, while maneuvering for docking at Sitka Sound Terminal  (in Sitka, Alaska) the ship struck a mooring dolphin. While the vessel sustained only minor hull damage (an indentation at the stern), the mooring structure was severely damaged as three of its four support pilings were destroyed.

The pier's damages cost the Port ~US$2,1 million and also impacted the Terminal's operations/cruise traffic for the remainder of the Alaskan season.

Radiance OTS was carrying a total of 2157 people (1375 passengers plus 782 crew) plus four harbor pilots assisting the berthing. No injuries were reported.

As the following investigation showed, during the docking operation in May 2022, Radiance OTS' crew (Captain and the Navigation Bridge officers) relied only on the ship’s ECDIS (Electronic Chart Display and Information System) and didn't use the radars and cameras upon approaching the pier to identify clearance distances.

‚ÄčIn April 2021, Sitka's cruise pier was extended by 395 ft (120 m) by adding two new dolphins (interconnected by a walkway) and a floating dock (length 410 ft / 125 m) next to the old dolphins. However, the Port didn't inform promptly NOAA (National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration) about the changes done to the infrastructure (the extended pier and the new dolphins), And as NOAA is in charge of updating the USA's coastal nautical charts, these changes were not electronically charted.

April 2020Other Incidents

On April 3, the shipowner RCCL (Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd) announced plans to use its Australia-based vessels to repatriate most of their staff-crew by transporting them to their home-countries - Indonesia, Philippines and China, and to India (via charter flights from Indonesia and Philippines). Three RCI Australia ships (Ovation, Spectrum, Voyager) were at the time anchored off Australia's coast. The 3 cruise liners were scheduled to carry a total of 2584 people - embarked (via tender boats) from all 5 RCCL-owned ships (Radiance, Ovation, Spectrum, Voyager, Celebrity Solstice).

From Radiance OTS to Spectrum OTS were transferred ~600 crew. Spectrum OTS was planned to arrive in Bali Indonesia (April 16, to disembark 261 Indonesians), in Manila Philippines (April 22, to disembark 577 Filipino) and in Shanghai China (May 11, to disembark 522 Chinese). From Bali Indonesia, RCCL arranged charter flights to repatriate 299 Indian nationals.

Crew from Celebrity Solstice were transferred to Ovation OTS (204 Indian, 182 Indonesian, 13 Chinese) and Voyager OTS (382 Filipino). Ovation OTS headed to Bali Indonesia (planned arrival April 19) to disembark 239 Indonesians. Voyager OTS also loaded some of the Ovation's crew (880 Filipino, 13 Chinese) and headed toward Manila Philippines (planned arrival April 25) to disembark a total of 1232 people, plus 438 Indian nationals (charter flights to India).

Radiance OTS departed Australia on April 4.

25 November 2019Sea Pollution

On November 25, 2019, during refueling in Port Wellington (New Zealand), the liner spilled ~100 litres of MDO (Marine Diesel Oil) into the harbour. Initially were reported ~800 litres of fuel spilled, later estimated to ~400 litres and finally reduced to ~100 litres. The ship's fuel supplier (Mobil Oil New Zealand) announced that the MDO leaked from an ashore pipe then entered Wellington Harbour's waters at Aotea Quay - where the ship was berthed for refueling. Standard emergency response procedures for oil spill at sea were conducted (with tugboat assistance) and completed within ~2 hours.

The incident occurred during the 10-day Australia to New Zealand cruise (itinerary Nov 19-29) roundtrip from homeport Sydney NSW to Fiordland NP, Port Chalmers (Dunedin), Akaroa, Wellington (port stay 8 am - 6 pm) and Picton.

27 December 2018Crew / Passenger Deaths

(CruiseMapper emailed incident) An anonymous passenger (Australian) reported that on December 27, 2018, while the ship was docked at Mystery Island (Vanuatu), a male passenger drowned ashore. The man (Tim) was travelling together with his wife and 4 children.

"The Marine Area Command are waiting for the cause of death, so they can determine if they need to review the ship's responsibility on the day".

"The waters were dangerous for snorkelling that day - no "duty of care" from the cruise staff. Strong currents and undertow from ship's stabilizer contributed to this incident".

The incident occurred during 12-day South Pacific Islands holiday cruise (itinerary December 21 - January 2) roundtrip from homeport Sydney NSW to New Caledonia (Noumea), Vanuatu (Port Vila, Mystery Island) and New Caledonia (Mare Island, Isle of Pines, Lifou Island).

(CruiseMapper email from Neil Moss) In relation to the email that you have received and posted about the drowning of a passenger on Mystery Island (27/12/2018). I was also a passenger aboard Radiance OTS and strongly disagree with the information that you have received. Yes, Timothy did drown while snorkelling but to place any blame on Royal Caribbean or the crew of Radiance is absurd. We where all snorkelling around Mystery Island but we stayed close to the shore and swam to our own abilities. The mention of the ship's stabilizers affecting the currents is totally wrong and pure speculation by the author of the email you received. I’m surprised CruiseMapper would publish something so inaccurate.

(CruiseMapper email from Renee / Australian) We were also on this cruise and our condolence to the family. My mother was injured at mystery island the same day it was around 10.45am in the morning. On 1 of the snorkelling tours we were on, we got dropped off in the water for the 2nd time by boat and my mother chose to stay on the boat due to the ocean being rough as she is not a strong swimmer and the current was strong with peaks in the water. Once we returned back to shore we were informed by another passenger on the shoreline "the lady had been involved in an accident and has been taken back to the ship"(which no one could tell us if she was ok or what had happened to her). We returned back to the ship which then took a while to find where my mother was my father and my family were very worried by this point. She was in the boat when she witnessed another cruise passager on our tour struggling to stay afloat above the water she informed the tour guide who then went over to render assistance, he was pulled out of the water into the boat. The boat then started making its way to the shore when my mother heard" look out " from the guy that had been pulled out of the water ( he was a crew member on day leave) she didn't know what to look out for then in a second she was in chronic pain, her right hand was pouring out with blood. 

(same email from Renee) The anchor had not been pulled back onto the boat before moving, by what happened it seems he released there was dragging and tried to throttled to get speed up this in return caused the anchor to come up and skip on top of the water, it then projected threw the air coming to rest in the boat hitting my mother's hand that was placed beside her as she holding onto the wooden bench seat she was sitting on. The wooden bench seat had a big cut in the seat from where the anchor hit taking the 1st impact and then the other end coming down hitting my mother's hand. My mother had luck on her side that day if she was sitting just a little more to the right it would of hit her in the head which highly likely would of caused death or for her hand to be just a tiny more to the right she could of lost her hand. Naturally the local painic and took off very fast to the shoreline as she was bleeding alot, my mother had stated she was concerned for the people in the water as the bowel of the boat was in the air and there were people everywhere in the water she was afraid they were going to run someone over in the water. Still, with more than 5 days left of our cruise my mother could not use her hand or complete what we had planned, my father had to help her with her personal needs even cutting up her food. Just found no one (staff)really was bothered by this, in the beginning, yes the 1st day but after this nothing, the passengers on the cruise were more concerned for her as a few had witnessed this accident from the shore line and were very concerned for her. We couldn't enjoy our cruise to the fullest as she couldn't even wash or do her hair, swim, cut food and personal needs and was in pain for the rest of the trip. On return home, the 1st day back she had to go to the GP has her hand was still none functional only now it's a little better, but still tender and sore when trying to complete little task.

25 November 2018Other Incidents

On November 25, 2018, a 59-year-old male passenger was refused disembarkation in Port Chalmers (Dunedin, New Zealand) because he "didn't meet character requirements" (unspecified). The man was held in custody overnight and deported (flown back to Australia on Nov 26). Local news media commented that over 14 passengers have been refused entry in NZ seaports since July 2015.

The incident occurred during 10-day Sydney to Auckland cruise (itinerary Nov 21 - Dec 1) visiting Fiordland Park, Dunedin, Akaroa, Picton, Napier, and Tauranga.

18 October 2018Crew / Passenger Crimes

On October 18, 2018, a 46-year-old male passenger was confined by ship's security personnel after trying to throw his partner overboard (from their cabin balcony). Reportedly, witnesses (fellow passengers) heard screaming and the woman was found covered with bruises. The incident occurred at ~3:30 am. The man (David James Fysh, from Queensland Australia) was arrested by the Tasmanian police in call port Hobart after docking (~8.30 am), charged with attempted murder and taken into custody.

The ship was on 5-day Tasmania cruise (itinerary Oct 16-21) roundtrip from homeport Sydney NSW to Hobart.

06 April 2018Propulsion / Power Loss

Due to propulsion problems requiring drydock repairs, the 11-days New Zealand cruise (itinerary April 6-17) roundtrip from homeport Sydney (NSW Australia) was officially cancelled. The issue was with one of the Azipod units and affected the liner's cruising speed.

The incident occurred during the previous 8-day Queensland cruise (itinerary March 29 - April 6) to Brisbane, Airlie Beach and Newcastle. As both itineraries were Sydney roundtrips, there were many passengers booked back-to-back (cruise combining both voyages into one).

As compensation, all bookings received a full refund plus 100% future RCI cruise credit. The cancelled voyage included the NZ ports Bay of Islands, Auckland, Akaroa, Dunedin, Fiordland Park.

January 2011Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

January 2011, CDC reported on the voyage January 3 to 8, a Norovirus outbreak infected 150 passengers (out of 2336, or 6,4%) and 3 crew (out of 861, or 0,4%). All sick experienced the Norovirus symptoms (Gastrointestinal disease) of vomiting and diarrhoea. The next departure from homeport Tampa FL was delayed by ~5 hours for extensive sanitizing.

2011Propulsion / Power Loss

On most 2011 cruises, the ship was departing and arriving in homeport Tampa Florida under orders of USCG assigned COTP (“Captain of The Port Order”). This situation was caused by malfunction of one of the vessel’s 2 Azipods (propulsion units).

The propulsion system issue made the ship inoperative for manoeuvring in port and required tractor tugs to escort it every time it was in Tampa Bay (arriving or departing) for safety reasons (in case the other Azipod fails too). The problem was fixed in late Autumn when the ship entered drydock for a scheduled refurbishment.

21 March 2010Crew / Passenger Deaths

(overboard) On March 21, 2010, a male passenger fell overboard at 8 pm. After code “Oscar” was announced, the ship slowed down and turned, then rescue boats were launched. The man was found unresponsive and brought back on the ship. CPR was conducted for ~20 min, but unsuccessfully. The man was pronounced dead.

25 November 2009Ship Collision / Allision

On November 25, 2009, while manoeuvring for docking in Puerto Vallarta Mexico, a minor collision occurred between the docked Radiance and the manoeuvring for docking Carnival cruise ship Carnival Splendor. The incident caused a small dent in the Radiance ship’s front. Both vessels were examined and deemed seaworthy. After the incident, the RCI Captain was evacuated from the ship, and replaced by another Captain.

30 January 2009Other Incidents

On January 30, 2009, while on a South American cruise, the ship docked in Puerto Montt (Chile) with a dead humpback whale (40 ft / 12 m long) entangled on the bulbous bow.

October 2008Other Incidents

In October 2008, due to financial considerations, Royal Caribbean cancelled all the ship’s South American cruises scheduled for 2009 and 2010. The vessel's calendar was rescheduled with additional 24 Mexican Riviera itineraries leaving roundtrip from San Diego CA.

03 January 2008Other Incidents

On January 3, 2008, due to rough weather, passenger tendering in George Town (Grand Cayman) was impossible. Loaded with passengers, tender boats were bouncing in the harbour for ~2 hours. The tendering was forced to be moved from the harbour to the Spotts Beach Dock on the island’s southern side.

04 November 2006Fire Accident

On November 4, 2006, at ~2 am a fire broke out in the buffet restaurant “Windjammer”. The incident occurred on a 7-day Eastern Caribbean cruise roundtrip from Port Everglades FL.

September 2006Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

September 2006, CDC reported on voyage Sept 2 to 9, a major illness outbreak affected a total of 227 passengers (out of 2131, or 10,7%) and 12 crew (out of 870, or 1,4%). Although all sick suffered predominantly from Norovirus symptoms (vomiting, diarrhoea), they tested negative for the Norovirus. The ship was operating on a 7-day Alaskan cruise from Vancouver BC to Seward AK.

27 June 2006Structural and Technical Issues

On June 27, 2006, during an Alaskan cruise, due to problems with the onboard satellite communication equipment, the ship had to skip Juneau AK as a port of call along the itinerary. As compensation, passengers received US$100 in onboard credit.

26 August 2002Propulsion / Power Loss

On August 26, 2002, en-route to Juneau, Alaska, and during preparation to transit Gatineau Channel from Frederick Sound, for ~3 minutes the vessel experienced a malfunction of its propulsion and steering systems. It was reported that the incident was caused by human error when a crew accidentally turned a hydraulic pump off, thus temporary disabling the rudder.

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