Rhapsody Of The Seas accidents and incidents

Rhapsody Of The Seas cruise ship


Length (LOA)
279 m / 915 ft

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CruiseMapper's Rhapsody Of The Seas cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a 2431-passenger vessel owned by Royal Caribbean. Our Rhapsody 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could be arrests, filed lawsuits against the shipowner / cruise line company, charges and fines, grievances, settled / withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, virus outbreaks, etc.

  • ship listing/tilting - 2016 (Mediterranean)
  • pollution in Alaska - 2008
  • Norovirus (passengers/crew) - 2012-Australia (53), 2012-Alaska (153 / 6)
  • deaths - 2012 (Mendenhall Lake kayaking in Alaska), overboard (2013, 2019)
  • injuries/crimes - 2013 (pax expelled)

16 October 2023Other Incidents

On October 16, 2023, Rhapsody OTS arrived and docked at Port Haifa Israel (at 05:18 UTC) in order to evacuate Americans and transport them to Limassol (Cyprus).

While the scheduled cruise was canceled (due to the war) the ship was requested for assistance by the US State Department as all major USA airlines suspended their flights to/from Tel Aviv.

The US Embassy in Jerusalem posted on its website information regarding the evacuation of all residents of the USA in Israel, including spouses with valid travel documents. The issued statement also informed that the evacuation voyage from Israel to Cyprus (Haifa to Limassol/~10-12 hours crossing time) is based on available onboard space and on a first-come-first-serve basis.

The passenger boarding process in Port Haifa started immediately. After a nearly 7-hour stay, the ship left Haifa on the same day at noon/12:06 UTC.

Note: On October 9th, Royal Caribbean canceled six voyages from Rhapsody of the Seas' schedule (4-5-day "Greek Isles Cruise" itineraries leaving roundtrip from Haifa) - departures Oct 9th, 13th, 18th, 23rd, 27th, and Nov 1st. All affected bookings were fully refunded, including cruise fares, taxes and fees, pre-paid gratuities, packages and shore excursions, and onboard amenities/services. Also were refunded all flights purchased through Royal Caribbean.

August 2023Other Incidents

In August 2023, RCI made a significant alteration to Rhapsody OTS' winter 2023-2024 program by canceling all the scheduled full transits of the Panama Canal. The original program included 7-night voyages leaving from Colon and Panama City and featured a full transit of the artificial waterway.

The revised itinerary program excluded the Panama Canal and included departures only from Colon (Panama's Caribbean coast) and Cartagena (Colombia) while the Netherlands' ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao) remained as call ports/destinations.

In light of the itinerary changes, RCI provided 3 options to booked customers.

  1. Accept the new itinerary and rebook, with a refund of the price difference if the cruise cost decreases.
  2. Rebook a different RCI cruise (on any ship) without incurring the usual deposit change fees.
  3. Receive a full refund (to the original form of payment) with any utilized FCC/Future Cruise Credit being reinstated.

For options 1 and 2, RCI provided up to US$200 per US passenger and US$400 per international passenger to cover non-refundable travel expenses resulting from the alteration. Any additional expenses beyond this were assessed on a case-by-case basis.

18 June 2020Other Incidents

On June 18, 2020, RCI-Royal Caribbean replaced Venice Italy (as homeport) with Ravenna Italy. The change affected the Rhapsody OTS' Mediterranean cruise schedule 2021 (May 1 through October 23). The itinerary change was explained with "increased concerns regarding the future of cruising in Venice Italy due to port congestion and the ability to control port traffic". 

Customers with already purchased through Royal Caribbean airfare received complimentary shuttle bus transportation (pre- and after-cruise). Optionally was offered purchasing bus transfers from both the Ravenna cruise terminal and/or the Venice Marco Polo Airport.

22 September 2019Crew / Passenger Deaths

(overboard) On September 22, 2019, while the liner was docked in call port Dubrovnik Croatia (port stay 11 am - 7 pm), a 35-year-old male crew fell overboard and died. One of the ship's rescue boats was deployed to recover the body floating in the waters near the pier. The man (Mansley Pereira, from India) was working on the ship as a waiter. He was married and with two kids. The shipowner RCCL claimed that this was suicide committed by jumping overboard.

The incident occurred at the beginning of 7-day "Greece and Croatia Cruise" (itinerary Sept 21-28) roundtrip from homeport Venice (Italy) to Croatia (Dubrovnik), Montenegro (Kotor) and Greece (Santorini Island, and Katakolon-Olympia).

19 September 2016Ship Listing

On September 19, 2016, at ~ 5 am the vessel experienced heavy listing and sustained minor damages after encountering a storm in the Mediterranean Sea (Europe). Among the damages were broken windows in the "Viking Crown Lounge" (deck 11), flooded interior areas, emptied swimming pools (on Lido deck 9).

The ship was on 10-day Greece and Adriatic cruise (itinerary Sept 16-26) roundtrip from homeport Venice to Corfu Island, Santorini Island, Piraeus-Athens, Mykonos Island, Kotor (Montenegro) and Zadar (Croatia). The accident occurred during the sea day (Sept 19), while the ship was en-route from Corfu to Santorini.

25 April 2016Crew / Passenger Injuries and Overboards

On April 25, 2016, the ship was in the Mediterranean Sea en-route from Barcelona to Corsica, when at ~ 4 am a freak wave struck the superstructure, breaking the windows of 5 Oceanview cabins on Deck 3. The incident resulted in many passengers suffering from shock and minor injuries (bruises and cuts), partial flooding of decks 2 and 3 (hallways, plus around 60 staterooms, 11 of which suffered serious interior damages – broken ceiling panels and insulation, glass, bent balcony doors, crushed veranda partitions). Passengers from the affected cabins spent the rest of the night at "Schooner Bar" and the aft lounge "Shall We Dance" (both on deck 6).

In the morning, 45 were relocated to other accommodations, while another 44 disembarked the ship in Corsica. To fix all damages, the scheduled stay in port Ajaccio (Corsica) was extended with ~6 hours. As compensation, all affected passengers were fully refunded and received a free RCI cruise certificate. For the 44 that left the ship in Corsica, Royal Caribbean arranged and covered all hotel and travel expenses.

The accident occurred at the beginning of a 9-days Mediterranean and Adriatic cruise (Barcelona to Venice, itinerary Apr 24 – May 3) visiting Corsica, Naples, Sicily (Messina), Malta, Montenegro (Kotor), Ravenna.

21 December 2013Crew / Passenger Deaths

(overboard) On December 21, 2013, a male passenger fell overboard at 2 am. The accident happened while the ship was en-route from Sydney NSW (Australia), and approx 340 ml / 550 km east of Brisbane. The man’s body was found at 9:30 am (or ~7,5 hours later). The P&O Australia’s ship Pacific Pearl was involved in the search and rescue operation.

05 April 2013Crew / Passenger Injuries and Overboards

On April 5, 2013, while on an 8-night South Pacific cruise from Sydney Australia, the ship’s security staff disembarked a 29-year-old male passenger (of Australian origin) for rowdy behaviour. He was left in Noumea (first port of call) for throwing items overboard from deck 9. Passengers removed from Royal Caribbean ships for violating the line’s “Guest Conduct Policy” are responsible for paying all travel expenses back home.

October 2012Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

October 2012, a Norovirus outbreak occurred during a South Pacific Islands cruise roundtrip from Sydney Australia. Because the ship didn’t call on US cruise port, the illness incident was not reported to CDC. According to a Fiji news media, when docked at Suva Wharf (Fiji), the vessel was quarantined by local authorities. It was announced that a total of 51 (passengers and crew) suffered from Norovirus symptoms (nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain). The ship was carrying ~2300 pax and 870 crew.

August 2012Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

August 2012, CDC reported on voyage Aug 24 to 31, a major Norovirus outbreak (gastrointestinal illness) infected 153 passengers (of all 2129, or 7%) and  6 crew (of all 812, or 0,7%). All the sick suffered from Noro virus symptoms (vomiting, diarrhoea) and were quarantined to their cabins. The ship was operating on a 7-day Canada and Alaska cruise from Seattle WA.

17 July 2012Crew / Passenger Deaths

On July 17, 2012, a 62-year-old male passenger died ashore in Alaska. The deceased Michael Ray Fullerton was on a self-organized Alaskan kayaking excursion on Mendenhall Lake (near Mendenhall Glacier, 3 ml / 5 km north of Juneau AK). He and 3 members of his family were on a river kayak when it overturned. The man got tired and couldn’t paddle anymore, so the touring group decided to tie all the kayaks together. His kayak somehow overturned, and he fell into the ice-cold water.

When they found and brought him to the shore, he was in the water for ~30 min, and already not breathing. A local fireman tried CPR, but unsuccessfully. The man was pronounced dead at the Juneau’s Bartlett Regional Hospital. The other of the kayaking group were treated for mild hypothermia.

10 February 2009Other Incidents

On February 10, 2009, passengers were forced to disembark at a buoy in Sydney Harbor (Australia) instead of at the pier. The reason for this inconvenience was that all of the berths were used. The ship anchored at a harbour buoy and passengers were taken to land via small boats.

June 2008Sea Pollution

On June 10, 2008, the shipowner Royal Caribbean was found guilty for pollution, breaking the US law and discharging ~20,000 gallons (~75,000 L) of the ship’s greywater into the waters of Chatham Strait (Alaska). The report said crew mistakenly discharged wastewater from all cabin sinks and showers. The incident was discovered a week later.

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