Royal Princess accidents and incidents
CruiseMapper's Royal Princess cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a 4272-passenger vessel owned by Princess Cruises. Our Royal Princess 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could be arrests, filed lawsuits against the shipowner / cruise line company, charges and fines, grievances, settled / withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, virus outbreaks, etc.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 - 2019 (engine room)
- propulsion/power loss - 2013 (twice), 2015 (tender boat)
- pollution - 2019 (Vancouver BC)
- deaths - 2016 (Aruba snorkeling), 2018 (murder), 2019 (seaplane crash in Ketchikan Alaska)
- special events - 2014 (4-part ITV1 documentary series “The Cruise Ship”)
This vessel is the third one carrying this exact name. It was preceded by a 1984-built ship (currently MV Artania) and a 2001-built ship (currently Azamara Pursuit).
07 March 2020Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks
On March 6, 2020, Princess Cruises cancelled the planned for March 7 departure of Royal Princess due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) fears. The cancelled voyage was a 7-day Mexican Riviera itinerary (March 7-14) roundtrip from homeport Long Beach (Los Angeles CA) with planned call ports Cabo San Lucas (Ma 9, 11 am - 8 pm), Mazatlan (Mar 10, 8 am - 6 pm) and Puerto Vallarta (Mar 11, 7 am - 6 pm).
The company officially requested the US CDC for information about a male crew who previously served on the fleetmate Grand Princess (suffering a Coronavirus outbreak in February-March). The man was transferred from Grand to Royal Princess on February 20th (15 days ago) and on Royal Princess remained asymptomatic to COVID-19 (didn't develop any respiratory symptoms or fever). While CDC officially cleared the ship to continue with its scheduled program, Princess Cruises decided to cancel the voyage as the man's Coronavirus testing and timing (to obtain the result) were uncertain.
All booked passengers were fully refunded (cruise fare and prepaid packages and shore excursions) and received USD 300 per person for an overnight hotel in Los Angeles.
14 September 2019Sea Pollution
On September 14, 2019, the liner was scheduled to depart its Alaskan homeport for the season - Vancouver (BC Canada) at 3:30 pm (or 1 hour earlier than the initially planned 4:30 pm) due to in-port congestion. At ~3 pm, Royal Princess' Captain announced (via the PA system) that the departure will be delayed due to fuel spillage (from the ship) and the required clean-up procedures. At ~4 pm, he announced that they are waiting for the Canadian authorities to clear the ship. However, the departure was further significantly delayed due to the high tide preventing it to pass under the Memorial Bridge (clearance 200 ft / 61 m under its mid-point).
As result, the cruise liner left Port Vancouver around midnight and arrived in Port Los Angeles (California) at ~8 am (instead of the scheduled 2:30 pm). The accident occurred at the beginning of the 3-day Alaskan repositioning cruise (itinerary Sept 14-17) Vancouver to LA.
13 September 2019Fire Accident
On September 13, 2019, the ship reported an engine room fire accident while en-route from Ketchikan Alaska to Vancouver (BC Canada). The incident happened on deck 4 aft (zone 5) and affected 1 of the vessel's all 4 diesel-electric generators. The fire suppression system activated immediately and extinguished it. No injuries and were reported.
The accident occurred at the end of 7-day Alaskan cruise (itinerary Sept 7-14) from Whittier AK to Vancouver BC, that visited as call ports Hubbard Glacier, Glacier Bay NP, Skagway, Juneau, and Ketchikan.
13 May 2019Crew / Passenger Deaths
(Alaskan tour planes crash) On May 13, 2019, several US news media (including Alaskan) reported a mid-air collision between two floatplanes during a shore excursion organized for Royal Princess cruise passengers. The crash accident occurred in George Inlet (aka George Arm / a bay at Revillagigedo Island's southern shore) at 1:08 pm, while the cruise liner was docked in call port Ketchikan AK. The floatplanes collided and went down in the water.
In the afternoon were reported 3 dead and the USCG conducting a search for 3 others who were missing. In the evening were reported 5 dead and 1 missing. Both seaplanes carried a total of 16 people, of whom 10 were accounted for. In an official statement, Princess Cruises announced that 10 cruise ship passengers and 1 pilot were in the plane of Taquan Air (Ketchikan-based flightseeing tour company) that was booked via Princess Cruises. The aircraft crashed while returning from a tour in the Misty Fjords. To the scene, the USCG dispatched a 45-ft emergency response boat which transported 10 injured to George Inlet Lodge docks, from where they were taken by an ambulance to Ketchikan's PeaceHealth Medical Center.
The second plane involved in the crash - model "de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver" - carried 4 cruise passengers plus 1 pilot. They were all pronounced dead. The aircraft (owned by Mountain Air Services LLC) was booked as an independent shore excursion. The crash is under investigation by the US governmental agencies FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) and NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board). Taquan Air suspended its scheduled flights.
In Ketchikan, Princess Cruises has on offer 3 floatplane tours - KTN815 (themed "Misty Fjords Seaplane and Crab Feast"), KTN810 ("Misty Fjords Wilderness Cruise and Flight") and KTN800 ("Misty Fjords National Monument by Seaplane with Wilderness Landing").
The accident occurred during 7-day "Voyage of the Glaciers" cruise (itinerary May 11-18) from Vancouver to Whittier, visiting Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway.
Note: In May 2015, 9 people died (including 8 MS Westerdam cruise passengers) in a floatplane crash near Ella Lake, approx 20 ml / 30 km northeast of Ketchikan.
13 November 2018Crew / Passenger Deaths
(murder) November 13, 2018, while the ship was en-route from Curacao to Aruba, a 52-year-old female passenger (US citizen) fell overboard (from Lido Deck 16), struck a lifeboat (unit number 2) and was found dead on Promenade Deck 7. The accident occurred around 4 am, during 8-day Southern Caribbean cruise (itinerary Nov 9-17) roundtrip from homeport Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale) to Willemstad (Curacao), Oranjestad (Aruba) and Kralendijk (Bonaire).
In Oranjestad, Aruba police officers boarded the ship for investigation of "possible murder". Passenger were alerted via PA announcement at ~4:30 am, requiring security crew response to Deck 7 (underneath lifeboat 2). After docking in Oranjestad at 8 am (Nov 13), via second announcement ship's Captain informed about crime investigators boarding and that no one is allowed to disembark until the ship is cleared.
Ship's security provided the police with video footage. Deck's CCTV cameras captured the moment in which the woman was pushed overboard. According to Aruba media sources, a “muscular” man struggled with the woman, suddenly started to choke her, then pushed her over the railing. She fell several decks and landed on top of the lifeboat. FBI started investigating the death of the woman.
03 December 2016Crew / Passenger Deaths
On December 3, 2016, a 64-year-old male passenger died ashore while snorkelling in Aruba. The man (Martin Brutosky, from NYC, New York) was travelling together with his wife. The ship was on 15-day Caribbean cruise (itinerary Nov 26 – Dec 10) from homeport Fort Lauderdale FL.
The accident occurred in the afternoon, while the ship was docked in St Johns Antigua. During the Stingray City snorkelling tour, the woman alerted the police after noticing that her husband stopped moving after being ~10 min in the water. She brought him to the surface and called for help. One of the tour boat's staff administered CPR, but the man remained unresponsive. He was taken by an ambulance to Jumby Bay, then to Mount St John Medical Centre where was pronounced dead.
18 May 2015Structural and Technical Issues
On May 18, 2015, the ship reported one of its all 11 tender boats (used for ship to shore passenger transportation) experienced a power loss.
May 2014Other Incidents
In May 2014, MS Royal Princess was featured in a 4-part documentary series aired in primetime on ITV1 in May. The documentary (named “The Cruise Ship”) was filmed onboard the ship. The series showed a behind the scenes look at the crew’s daily routines and also interviews with Princess cruise passengers.
Similar 6-part documentary (named “The Cruise”) was filmed onboard the fleet mate and sistership Regal Princess and was screened at prime time on ITV in March 2016.
In both documentaries, the Princess cruise company had no editorial control over the production.
31 March 2014Structural and Technical Issues
(mooring) On March 31, 2014, the vessel was docked in homeport San Francisco CA, when a heavy storm caused its mooring lines to snap. The incident occurred at ~1 pm. Port authorities were called for assistance. The similar incident affected the Cunard liner Queen Victoria (also berthed there). After the Cunard ship broke its mooring ropes, it began listing to starboard / towards San Francisco Bay.
22 September 2013Propulsion / Power Loss
On September 22, 2013, the ship was navigating in the Mediterranean Sea (Europe) on a 12-day cruise from Venice to Barcelona (itinerary Sept 15 to 27). While en-route from Mykonos Greece to Naples Italy, the vessel experienced a total power loss. The incident occurred at ~1:30 pm, and lasted for ~3,5 hours.
During the power outage, the ship’s emergency generators provided power for all the passenger services on board. It was reported that prior to the power outage, the anchor motor failed, leaving 90 ft / 27 m of anchor to hang out. It took the crew ~4 hours to replace the motor with a new one.
Princess Cruises decided to cancel the second leg on the cruise, dropping all the remaining call ports along the itinerary (Civitavecchia-Rome, Livorno, Toulon). After a late arrival in Naples, the cruise company (covering all travel expenses) flew the passengers back home with flights leaving from Naples and also from Rome.
After Naples, the ship continued directly to Barcelona, with the crew doing repair works on the way. The next departure (Barcelona to Venice) was according to schedule. During the accident, the ship had a total of 3594 passengers and 1336 crew. As compensation, all passengers received a full refund, plus 25% future Princess cruise booking discount.
20 August 2013Propulsion / Power Loss
On August 20, 2013, at ~9:30 pm, after leaving call port Piraeus-Athens (Greece), the ship experienced a power outage for ~5 min. After the lights came back, the Captain announced that the vessel lost a power generator and that the emergency generator’s power output will be priority used by the navigation and propulsion systems.
After the announcement, the lighting went out again, then after ~10 minutes, it was back on. The Captain made another announcement that ship will reduce speed in order to save power for the hotel services. This lasted for ~30 min until the problem was fixed. Then power was restored and the ship regained its normal cruising speed.
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