Sea Princess accidents and incidents

Sea Princess cruise ship
Rating:

Cabins
1007

Length (LOA)
261 m / 856 ft

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CruiseMapper's Sea Princess cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a 2417-passenger vessel owned by Princess Cruises. Our Sea 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could be arrests, filed lawsuits against the shipowner / cruise line company, charges and fines, grievances, settled / withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, Norovirus, etc.

  • christening – 2005 (godmother changed)
  • pollution in Alaska – 2009 (4 times)
  • propulsion/power loss – 2007, 2008 (twice), 2009, 2014
  • Norovirus (passengers/crew)- 2006 (232 / 18), 2007 (82 / 5), 2009 (22 pax), 2 outbreaks in 2011 (total 272 / 21), 2017 (11), 2018 (200)
  • deaths – overboard (2010), 2010 (drowned in Tortola BVI)
  • injuries/crimes – sexual (2014), world’s largest cruise ship drug bust (95 kg cocaine, Sydney Australia, 2016)
  • medevacs – 2012, 2018
  • 2017 – Somalia pirates threat
DateAccident
  13 March 2018Coast Guard Medevacs

On March 13, 2018, an elderly female passenger was medevaced from the ship off Australia's NSW coast (near Coffs Harbour). The woman was airlifted by a Westpac Life Saver Rescue helicopter team and transported to Gold Coast University Hospital in critical condition (result of bleeding).

The ship was en-route from Brisbane QLD to Sydney NSW, on 10-day "Queensland and The Great Barrier Reef" cruise (itinerary March 12-22) roundtrip from homeport Brisbane.

  January 2018Cruise Illness / Norovirus Outbreaks

January 2018, ABC News reported a Norovirus outbreak with ~200 passengers and crew infected during the "Christmas and New Year Cruise" (itinerary December 21 – January 4) to New Zealand roundtrip from homeport Brisbane Australia. Queensland Health department confirmed the outbreak.

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.

  June 2017Pirates / Terrorist Attacks

(Somalia pirates threat) In June 2017, during World Cruise 2017 (104-day itinerary from Sydney Australia), the ship’s passengers spent 10 nights in darkness as the vessel prepared for pirate attacks while navigating through Somalia’s dangerous waters.

Captain Gennaro Arma addressed all passengers via the PA system to be prepared for a pirate attack. The ship left Dubai UAE with stopovers in Melbourne AU and Colombo Sri Lanka. Then it continued to Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden and Suez Canal.

While navigating off Somalia's coast, during a total of 10 days, all lights onboard were turned off in the nights. During that time, outdoor night bars and deck parties were forbidden. All the ship’s shutters were closed, all curtains were drawn.

All passengers were sent back to their staterooms and advised to sit on the floor. Passengers in balcony staterooms were told to close and lock the veranda doors, to lock the entry door and take shelter in the public corridors.

Thankfully, no pirate attacks happened.

  March 2017Cruise Illness / Norovirus Outbreaks

March 2017, news media reported a Norovirus outbreak affecting a total of 11 passengers. The sick passengers were not allowed disembarkation in call port Bridgetown Barbados. The ship was on 90-day “World Cruise” from Brisbane Australia (itinerary Jan 8 – Apr 7) and carrying ~1950 passengers.

  28 August 2016Drug Smuggling

On August 28, 2016, AFP (Federal Police) officers arrested in Sydney Harbor three cruise ship passengers – a 63-year-old male (Andre Tamine), and two Canadian females – Melina Roberce (age 22) and Isabelle Lagace (age 28). They were charged with drug smuggling of a total of 210 pounds / 95 kg of cocaine (street value ~USD 30,5 million).

This quantity ranks the incident as the world’s largest cruise ship drug bust ever. The drug bust made all international headlines after the investigation revealed that the three women had posted on Instagram numerous photos of themselves highlighting their luxury vacation. Each woman's cruise ticket cost USD 13,000.

The Australian Police used sniffer dogs for searching the ship docked in Sydney NSW. The cocaine was found in locked suitcases. The charge of “importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug” carries max penalty of life imprisonment.

  • In Isabelle Lagace and Andre Tamine's cabin were found 66 pounds / 30 kg of cocaine in 1 suitecase (owned by Isabelle) plus 154 pounds / 70 kg of cocaine in 3 suitcases (owned by Andre).
  • In Melina Roberce;s cabin were found 66 pounds / 30 kg of cocaine in 1 suitecase.

Sea Princess ship visited Sydney as one of the call ports along the 68-day "World Cruise” itinerary (July 6- Aug 28) from Southampton UK to Sydney AU, visiting ports in USA, Canada and South America.

((law news) ) On December 16, 2016, Isabelle Lagace pleaded guilty to the charges. According to Australian Border Force, the three women were working with a “very well organised syndicate”.

(law news) On November 3, 2017, after pleading guilty, Isabelle Lagace was sentenced to 4,5 years in jail. She claimed she did the 30 kg drug smuggling after being given an ultimatum about clearing a debt of USD 20,000 to an unnamed person.

  13 October 2014Crew / Passenger Crimes

(sexual) On October 13, 2014. a 63-year-old male passenger (of Romanian origin) was criminally charged with indecent assault of a female passenger (of Australian origin). She complained to the Auckland police tha the man was touching her genitalia while asleep.

(law news) On August 10, 2015, Auckland High Court sentenced him to pay the woman AUD 5,000 (~USD 3,700) reparation, plus NZD 3,000 (~USD 2,000) court costs. The incident happened on Australia to New Zealand cruise (one-way Brisbane to Auckland).

  September 2014Propulsion / Power Loss

Two cruise itineraries in 2014 (September 14 and 29) were cancelled due to technical problems that resulted in reduced cruising speeds. As compensation, all booked customers were fully refunded, and additionally received a free Princess cruise. On previous voyages, the ship continuously experienced propulsion issues leading to major itinerary changes - skipping call ports in Australia and on South Pacific islands. The vessel had to enter a 2-week drydock for repairs.

  03 November 2012Coast Guard Medevacs

On November 3, 2012, an elderly male passenger was medevaced (airlifted) by a Seahawk Navy helicopter dispatched from frigate ship HMAS Toowoomba. The frigate was participating in training operations off Fremantle, when was contacted by the cruise ship for assistance. The airlifted man suffered from stomach pains and was transported to SCGH (Sir Charles Gairdner / teaching hospital in Nedlands, Western Australia).

  June 2011Cruise Illness / Norovirus Outbreaks

May-June  2011, CDC reported on voyage May 30 to June 9, a Norovirus outbreak infected 144 passengers (out of 2128, or 6,8%) and 8 crew (out of 840, or 1%). All sick suffered from Noro virus symptoms (vomiting, diarrhea) and were quarantined to their cabins for 48 hours. The ship was on 10-day Alaskan cruise roundtrip from homeport San Francisco CA.

  May 2011Cruise Illness / Norovirus Outbreaks

May 2011, CDC reported on voyage May 20 to 30, a Norovirus outbreak (gastrointestinal illness) infected 128 passengers (out of 2053, or 6,2%) and 13 crew (out of 838, or 1,6%). All sick suffered from Noro virus symptoms (vomiting, diarrhea) and were quarantined to their cabins for 48 hours. The ship was on 10-day Alaskan cruise roundtrip from homeport San Francisco CA.

  22 December 2010Crew / Passenger Deaths

(overboard) On December 22, 2010, a 50-year-old female passenger fell overboard from her cabin’s balcony (confirmed by CCTV camera footage). The ship was en-route from Curacao to Grand Turk, on 14-day "Christmas Cruise" from homeport Bridgetown Barbados. After the woman was reported missing by her husband, the ship turned around and conducted search and rescue operation. It was later joined by an USCG plane. The body was never found.

  01 January 2010Crew / Passenger Deaths

On January 1, 2010, a male passenger died ashore while the ship was docked in call port Roadtown (Tortola BVI). The man was found unconscious in the waters of Cane Garden Bay. The CPR efforts regained some consciousness. Still, he was not capable of breathing on his own and also had weak pulse.

Lifeguards on the beach got a huge amount of food out of him during rescue measures. The man was transported from the beach to a local hospital, where ~1,5 hours later he died. The Cane Garden Bay beach area and 3 other beaches were red-flagged when the accident occurred.

  26 July 2009Propulsion / Power Loss

On July 26, 2009, at ~8 pm, the ship experienced propulsion failure while transiting Inside Passage Alaska. For ~15 min the vessel was carried only by its momentum, with rudder steerage. Investigation report said the incident was due to the main circuit breaker, which tripped and shut down both pod motors (portside and starboard propulsion units). Propulsion was restored when the crew reset the breaker.

Two days later, the same incident happened a second time when the ship was transiting Lynn Canal. After the inspection in call port Juneau AK, the auxiliary circuit breaker was replaced.

  May 2009Cruise Illness / Norovirus Outbreaks

On May 20, 2009, a news media reported Norovirus outbreak on the ship affecting 11 couples. All sick were disembarked in Montego Bay Jamaica, where were quarantined in a hotel for 48 hours. The cruise company confirmed the incident.

  2009Sea Pollution

Four times in 2009 (on Aug 14, Sept 1, Oct 23, and Nov 2) during the Alaskan season, the vessel was cited for sea pollution. Its wastewater had higher levels of copper and ammonia than allowed by the Alaska’s wastewater standards.

  04 November 2008Propulsion / Power Loss

On November 4, 2008, upon docking in Port Zante (Basseterre, St Kitts), the ship experienced technical issues and remained anchored during the whole port stay. Since the port had no tugboats to assist docking, all passengers were tendered to the adjacent marina. Earlier the same day was reported that the cruise ship had engine problems and for a time was drifting at sea.

  15 August 2008Propulsion / Power Loss

On August 15, 2008, the vessel experienced propulsion system issues with one of its stern thrusters. The incident occurred upon entering and leaving homeport Boston MA. The ship was accompanied by a tugboat to assist if needed.

  12 May 2007Propulsion / Power Loss

On May 12, 2007, the scheduled voyage was last minute cancelled due to propulsion system problems. As compensation, all booked customers received full refund, plus 25% future Princess cruise booking discount.

  March 2007Cruise Illness / Norovirus Outbreaks

March 2007, CDC reported that on voyage March 3 to 17, a Norovirus outbreak (gastrointestinal illness) affected 82 passengers (or 4,1% of all) and 5 crew (or 0,6% of all). The ship was on 14-day Caribbean cruise from homeport Port Everglades Florida.

  May 2006Cruise Illness / Norovirus Outbreaks

May 2006, while operating in Europe on a roundtrip cruise from Southampton England, the ship reported a Norovirus outbreak affecting 232 passengers and 18 crew.  All sick suffered from Noro virus symptoms (vomiting, diarrhea) and were quarantined to their cabins for 48 hours. As compensation, all sick passengers received 30% refund plus GBP 150 in onboard credit on future Princess cruise.

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.

  26 May 2005Other Incidents

Failures during ship christening ceremonies are considered very ominous. When the ship left the P&O Cruises UK fleet (previously operated for 2 years as “MV Adonia”), she had to be christened again as “Sea Princess” before joining Princess Cruises fleet. The ceremony was scheduled for May 26, 2005.

However, the appointed godmother Mrs Goldie Hawn (American actress) refused to christen the vessel, saying she was feeling unwell after the flight from the USA to England. All the guests waiting on the pier in Southampton were disappointed. Then the shipowner invited Mrs Joanna Lumley (UK actress) to christen the ship in the Mrs Hawn’s absence.

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