Ruby Princess accidents and incidents

Ruby Princess cruise ship


Length (LOA)
289 m / 948 ft

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CruiseMapper's Ruby Princess cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a 3672-passenger vessel owned by Princess Cruises. Our Ruby 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could be arrests, filed lawsuits against the shipowner / cruise line company, charges and fines, grievances, settled / withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, virus outbreaks, etc.

  • christening - 2008 (worker died)
  • pollution - 2018
  • illness - swine flu (2009)
  • injuries/crimes - overboard/rescued (2010-crew)
  • deaths - 2020 (22 Coronavirus)
  • Norovirus (passengers/crew) - 3 outbreaks in 2012 (total 392 / 34), 2013 (266 / 10)
  • Coronavirus - 2020 (852 passengers-crew, including 22 passenger deaths))
  • medevacs - 2016 (crew)
  March 2020Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(epidemic Coronavirus outbreak) The 13-day Australia to New Zealand cruise (itinerary March 8-21) was ended early as the ship docked in homeport Sydney NSW on March 19. On the same day, all the 2647 passengers were disembarked (at Circular Quay) including 104 seriously sick and 36 with flu-like symptoms. Following the debarkation, the vessel remained at sea (anchored off the NSW coast, close to Sydney Harbour). The ship was also carrying 1151 crew and was mastered by Captain Giorgio Pomata.

Soon after the voyage's end, all former cruisers were emailed by Princess Cruises and informed that on their cruise 2 people tested COVID-19 (Coronavirus) positive. The ship's medical team (3 physicians, 3 nurses) conducted onboard 13 tests, of which 4 returned positive (3 pax, 1 crew). According to the company's official statement, the infected were "among a group of guests and crew members who had reported flu-like symptoms during the cruise".

On March 21, NSW health authorities reported a total of 4 Coronavirus cases from Ruby Princess - 3 passengers (hospitalized) and a crew (quarantined onboard). On March 23, NSW reported 48 confirmed Coronavirus cases among the former cruisers - 27 (NSW) plus 21 (Australia interstate). On March 24, a former passenger died of virus complications. On March 25, the total number of infected grew to 133 (107 NSW, 26 interstate).

As the vessel remained anchored near Sydney Harbour, of its entire staff-crew, on March 26 were reported ~700 people with flu-like symptoms and being isolated onboard (separate passenger staterooms). As the Australian health authorities didn't allow docking, provisioning (food and medications) was conducted via boats.

On March 28, the total number of Coronavirus-positive former cruisers of Ruby Princess (travelling on the revised itinerary March 8-19) reached 293, of whom 171 in NSW and 122 Australia interstate.

On March 29, from the anchored in Botany Bay liner were offloaded and hospitalized (at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney's Camperdown suburb) a total of 3 crew who developed severe respiratory problems. One of the medevaced was in critical condition. On March 29 was also reported that a 75-year-old woman (ex-passenger) died from Coronavirus complications at Caboolture Hospital (Moreton Bay Region, Queensland).

On March 30, Australian health authorities reported as Coronavirus-positive a total of 440 Ruby Princess passengers, including 211 in NSW, 70 in QLD, 71 in South Australia, 43 in Western Australia, 22 in the Canberra Territory, 18 in Victoria, 3 in Tasmania, 2 in Northern Territory.

On March 31 were reported that 5 former cruisers had died, including 1 in the Canberra Territory, 2 in Tasmania, 1 in NSW and 1 in QLD. On April 2, the number of confirmed Ruby Princess cases in NSW was 339 (337 pax + 3 crew), to a total 576.

On April 4, the total number of confirmed cases (among the ex-Australian passengers, excluding the international passengers who were disembarked without testing) reached 662, including 7 passenger deaths.

On April 5 were reported 4 more ex-passenger deaths - 3 in NSW and 1 in QLD. On April 6 one more died in Western Australia, on April 7 - one in Tasmania, bringing the ship's total deaths to 13. By April 13, to the ship were linked 5 more deaths, and 1 more was reported on April 15th - totalling to 19 (all Australians) out of 62 deaths nationwide at the time. On April 20, to the ship were linked 2 more ex-passenger deaths (totalling to 21). On May 13, ship's death toll reached 22 (including 2x Americans).

On April 5, the NSW Police started a criminal investigation to determine whether Australia's Biosecurity Act 2015 (enacted June 16th) and NSW laws had been contravened. The investigation (Strike Force Bast) included questioning around 220 people, including Carnival Australia (Carnival Corporation subsidiary company) officials, port personnel, the ship's crew and former passengers. Strike Force Bast (30 detectives) included personnel from NSW Police divisions Counter-Terrorism and Special Tactics, State Crime Command and Marine Area Command.

On April 6, the vessel was relocated from Sydney to Port Kembla (south of Wollongong NSW) where Australian health authorities could assess the onboard situation. Of all the crew (1040), 235 were exhibiting flu-like symptoms and 18 tested Coronavirus-positive. In April (9th through 11th) were announced a total of 77 confirmed cases (crew tested positive for COVID-19) of whom 66 remained onboard and 11 were hospitalized.

Ruby Princess was initially scheduled to leave Australia on April 18 (after completing the 14-day quarantine) and relocate to Bermuda. On April 20, the NSW Police announced that the cruise ship leaves Australia in 3 days (April 23), carrying a total of 171 Coronavirus-positive crew. Unconfirmed reports said that the ship's Captain was among the infected and in isolation.

On April 21, a total of 57 crew were disembarked and flown home. On April 22, the NSW Police (via commissioner Fuller) confirmed that the ship's Captain was healthy and will continue to master the vessel. He also announced that a total of 275 Filipino staff-crew will be repatriated (via a Carnival Australia-chartered flight) to Manila Philippines. The police official also confirmed that the cruise ship has a total of 190 Coronavirus-positive crew, including 13 hospitalized in NSW clinics. On April 23, refuelled and fully provisioned, the vessel departed Port Kembla with 214 crew (all healthy) and headed for Manila, where arrived on May 7. A total of 12 crew remained hospitalized in NSW. Earlier that day (April 23), 350+ crew were bused to Sydney Airport for their home flights. In April 20-23, 542 crew were disembarked and repatriated via charter flights of Canada, USA, UK, New Zealand, France, Germany, Mexico and Brazil.

(update) On August 16, NSW's Premier Gladys Berejiklian officially apologized for poor handling of the outbreak on Ruby Princess and failing to stop infected passengers from disembarking the ship in Port Sydney in March.

A public inquiry into the Ruby Princess outbreak concluded that NSW health officials made "inexcusable" mistakes when they allowed 2700 passengers (120 of whom felt unwell) to leave the ship on March 19. According to the inquiry, a total of 914 infections could be traced back to Princess Cruises Ruby ship. The outbreak led to 28 deaths. Previously, Ruby Princess' Coronavirus cases were reported "at least 852" and including 22 deaths - 20x in Australia and 2x in the USA.

  27 October 2018Other Incidents

The 7-day Mexican Riviera cruise (itinerary Oct 27 - Nov 3) was overbooked. Princess Cruises offered as compensation full refunds or complimentary cruise for re-booking on another voyage (or ship from the fleet).

The overbooked cruise was a roundtrip from homeport Los Angeles (Long Beach CA) to the Mexican ports Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta.

  07 August 2018Other Incidents

On August 7, 2018, due to extreme weather (gale with forecasted high winds up to 60 mph / 90 kph), the liner was rerouted and instead Skagway visited Haines AK. Cruise passengers were to be shuttled from Haines to Skagway via fast ferry, but the operation was cancelled due to rough sea conditions in Lynn Canal.

The incident occurred during 7-day Inside Passage cruise itinerary Aug 4-11) roundtrip from homeport Seattle WA to Juneau, Skagway (replaced with Haines), Glacier Bay, Ketchikan and Victoria (BC Canada).

  15 February 2018Sea Pollution

On February 15, 2018, a CAM (Court Appointed Monitor) auditor reported witnessing 55-gallon (208-L) containers filled with unauthorized items (plastic straws, paper, cob holders, wooden stir sticks, bamboo clips, toothpicks, paper clips, Aluminium foil wraps) destined to go down the cruise liner's Food Waste Chute and overboard while at sea. All these items were not segregated (as required) during food waste's collection in the galley (ship's kitchen).

  24 September 2016Coast Guard Medevacs

On September 24, 2016, a 47-year-old male crew (experiencing heart attack symptoms) was USCG-medevaced at ~2 am. The ship was approx 15 km (9 mi) southwest of San Diego (Point Loma). The USCG deployed an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter. The man was airlifted and transferred to a local hospital.

  25 January 2014Crew / Passenger Injuries and Overboards

On January 25, 2014, a male passenger fell off the dock in the water. A crew threw a life preserver and guided him to the ladder. Since the man was exhausted, 2 security men got down, grabbed and hauled him up. The man was not injured and declined to call an ambulance. He was wheeled onto the ship in a wheelchair.

  02 October 2013Structural and Technical Issues

(mooring) On October 1, 2013, the vessel was docked in call port Kusadasi (port to Eusebius, Turkey), when it broke all mooring lines due to strong winds and drifted out of the berth. A tugboat at the stern kept the ship from drifting away from the dock. No injuries or damages were reported.

  March 2013Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

March 2013, CDC reported on the voyage March 3 to 10, a major Norovirus outbreak (gastrointestinal illness) infected 266 passengers (out of 3129, or 8,5%) and 10 crew (out of 1189, or 0,8%). All sick suffered from Norovirus symptoms (vomiting, diarrhoea) and were quarantined to their cabins for 48 hours. The ship was on 7-day Eastern Caribbean cruise leaving from homeport Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale) Florida.

  October 2012Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

October 2012, CDC reported that on a 19-day voyage (Oct 9 to 28), a Norovirus outbreak affected 149 passengers (out of 2971, or 5%) and 14 crew (out of 1177, or 1,2%).

  September 2012Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

August -September 2012, CDC reported that on the voyage Aug 21 to Sept 13, a Norovirus outbreak affected 114 passengers (out of 1778, or 6,4%) and 11 crew (out of 851, or 1,3%). The incident occurred during 25-day repositioning cruise from Asia to the USA via Alaska (Beijing China to San Francisco CA).

  March 2012Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

February-March 2012, CDC reported that on a 7-day voyage from Fort Lauderdale (itinerary Feb 26 - Mar 4), a Norovirus outbreak affected 129 passengers (out of 3147, or 4,1%) and 9 crew (out of 1179, or 0,8%).

  27 May 2011Crew / Passenger Injuries and Overboards

(overboard) On May 27, 2011, at ~2 am, a male crew jumped overboard into the sea, but was rescued alive. The ship was on Eastern Mediterranean cruise from Greece to Italy (Athens to Venice). The Captain announced that a man fell overboard and the ship is turning around for a search and rescue operation. After ~2 hours, the man (working on the ship as a cook) was located and saved.

  28 July 2009Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

On July 28, 2009, after docking in homeport Venice Italy, the vessel was briefly seized (for ~1 hour) by the Italian authorities. Three passengers and 4 crew were previously reported by the ship suffering from swine flu (pig influenza) symptoms – fever, headache, coughing. All the sick were quarantined to their cabins. Two of the passengers were disembarked and treated ashore. The other infected were showing progress and remained on the ship.

Note: When the itinerary doesn’t include US cruise ports, the ship is not required to report to CDC, thus no official illness report would be issued.

  15 October 2008Crew / Passenger Deaths

Incidents during ship christening ceremonies are considered very ominous. The vessel’s christening ceremony was scheduled for October 16, 2008, but was cancelled. The previous night, a 43-year-old worker died in an onboard accident. The man was a supervisor at the shipbuilder Fincantieri’s yard in Monfalcone (Trieste Italy). He was killed upon trying to squeeze through a watertight door. The heavy door closed upon him.

This unfortunate event resulted in an ~8 hours strike, with almost 2000 Italian workers protesting and calling for improved security at work.

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