Serenade Of The Seas accidents and incidents

Serenade Of The Seas cruise ship


Length (LOA)
293 m / 961 ft

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CruiseMapper's Serenade Of The Seas cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a 2578-passenger vessel owned by Royal Caribbean. Our Serenade 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could be arrests, filed lawsuits against the shipowner / cruise line company, charges and fines, grievances, settled / withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, virus outbreaks, etc.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 - 2004
  • propulsion/power loss - 2006, 2015
  • deaths - overboard (2012-crew, twice)
  • injuries/crimes - 2008 (crew), 2010 (drug bust in Puerto Rico /4 pax), 2012 (bus crash in St Thomas)
  • illness - 2009 (crew with swine flu virus)
  • Norovirus (passengers/crew) - 2 outbreaks in 2006 (total 169 / 12)
  • medevacs - 2022, 2023

01 January 2023Coast Guard Medevacs

On January 1, 2023, a 43-year-old male passenger was medevaced by a USCG boat dispatched from Coast Guard Station Cortez (Bradenton, Florida USA). The man (a British national) was suffering from chest pain/possible cardiac arrest.

The ship was en route from Florida to The Bahamas when USCG Sector St Petersburg was contacted (being the closest station) for assistance at ~5:30 pm (~22:30 UTC). Then USCG St Petersburg called USCG Cortez from where was deployed a rescue boat, meeting the liner at ~8:30 pm (~1:30 UTC) approx 17 mi (27 km) off Anna Maria Island. The man was offloaded/winched and transferred to USCG Cortez, from where was ambulanced by a paramedics unit from Manatee County.

The incident occurred during the 7-day "Bahamas Cruise" (itinerary Dec 31 - Jan 7, roundtrip from Tampa, Florida USA) with call ports Freeport, Nassau, Bimini Cruise Port (North Bimini Island's Resorts World Bimini) and CocoCay.

10 March 2022Coast Guard Medevacs

On March 10, 2022, a 34-year-old male crew (suffering from abdominal pain) was medevaced from the ship, approx 80 mi (130 km) west of Tampa Bay.

Serenade OTS was without passengers and at anchorage/drifting off Tampa (Florida USA).

For the emergency medical evacuation, the USCG Air Station Clearwater dispatched an MH-60 Jayhawk/rescue helicopter crew. The man was flown to Tampa General Hospital in stable condition.

January 2022Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(Coronavirus) On January 8, 2022, due to several COVID outbreaks in the fleet, RCI-Royal Caribbean decided to cancel the following cruises in 2022:

  • Serenade OTS (January 8 thru March 5), resuming services on April 26
  • Jewel OTS (January 9 thru February 12), resuming services on February 20
  • Symphony OTS (January 8 thru 22), resuming services on January 29
  • Vision OTS (February 4 thru 25), the planned restart was postponed for March 7.

Serenade OTS had a total of 9 voyages canceled (all 7-day Western Caribbean itineraries leaving roundtrip from Tampa Florida), restarting on April 26th with the 5-day Alaskan repositioning cruise from Los Angeles (California USA) to Vancouver (BC Canada).

All affected bookings received full refunds, including non-refundable deposits (if any paid).

December 2019Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(CruiseMapper email from Jim D) On Dec 21, 2018, 12-night cruise on Serenade OTS had a significant norovirus outbreak. The ship went into to protocol with 2 days left in the sail. However, the ship failed to report anything to the passengers until the last night requesting a form to be filled out so they would know if you experienced any GI issues. We know it was Norovirus as my wife and I were both affected. We visited the ship's medical facility and filled out the CDC report as presented to us by the ship's medical staff. Given the late outbreak, we know of one other couple that developed symptoms 10 hours after the end of the cruise.

The incident occurred during the 12-day Southern Caribbean Holiday cruise (itinerary December 21 - January 2) roundtrip from homeport Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades) with call ports Charlotte Amalie (St Thomas, USVI), Philipsburg (St Maarten), St Johns (Antigua), Oranjestad (Aruba), Willemstad (Curacao) and Kralendijk (Bonaire).

19 December 2017Crew / Passenger Deaths

On December 19, 2017, a total of 14 cruise ship tourists were killed in a bus crash accident near Mayan ruins (Yucatan Mexico). Of all the 27 passengers (from the Serenade ship, but also from Celebrity Equinox), 15 died (including the Mexican tour guide) and 18 were injured (3 seriously, 13 hospitalized).

The tour company (Costa Maya Mahahual) operated the excursion from port Costa Maya (approx 160 km / 100 km south of Playa del Carmen). The bus (Mercedes Benz) ran off the road and flipped over on the highway while en-route from Costa Maya to Chacchoben Ruins (approx 110 ml / 170 km south of Tulum).

The crash was due to negligence of the bus driver and exceeded speed limit. None of the passengers was using seat belts. During the accident, the Serenade ship was on 7-day Western Caribbean cruise (itinerary Dec 15-22) roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale to Key West FL, Roatan, Costa Maya and Cozumel.

24 January 2015Structural and Technical Issues

On January 24, 2015, while the ship was docked in Port NOLA New Orleans, just before embarkation a major power loss incident affected 417 cruise cabins (~800 passengers). The accident was caused by a broken water pipe, which resulted in partially flooding. Besides the affected staterooms, other parts of the ship also experienced electrical problems. Royal Caribbean refused to refund the affected passengers, offering only partial cruise credit.

On December 10, 2020, CruiseMapper received the following email from Allen Burkall.

"I read your information about a power failure onboard the Serenade of the Seas in January 2015. The information is incorrect if it was the cruise we were on. During our cruise, there was a power failure while at sea and we were towed to port of New Orleans. We were told the power failure was water shorted out electrical after coming through a hatch. There were rough seas and while waiting for an evening performance to begin in the main venue the power went out. We were actually told something about the helicopter deck."

13 October 2012Crew / Passenger Deaths

On October 13, 2012, a male crew was pronounced missing and presumably overboard. The ship was on an Eastern Mediterranean cruise and en-route from Mykonos Island (Greece) to Salerno (Italy). The man (of Philippine origin) was working on the ship as a cabin steward. Reviewing CCTV camera records showed him at ~1 am walking through a door. A search and rescue operation was conducted by Italy Coast Guard assets (5 boats, 2 aircraft), but the body was never found.

19 September 2012Crew / Passenger Deaths

(overboard) On September 19, 2012, while the ship was in the Mediterranean (Adriatic Sea) and en-route to Venice Italy, an unidentified male crew went overboard. The accident occurred near Ancona, and between 4 and 5 am, when passengers reported a person falling into the sea. Sea conditions were rough, with winds exceeding 60 mph / 100 kph. A search and rescue operation was conducted by Croatia and Italy Coast Guard assets, but the body was never found.

14 April 2012Crew / Passenger Injuries and Overboards

(sexual) On April 14, 2012, a local resident was arrested in St Kitts (West Indies, Caribbean) and charged for sexually assaulting a female cruise ship passenger. The crime was committed while the young woman was on a catamaran tour, and on the boat. The incident occurred while the ship was docked in St Kitts (at Port Zante).

27 January 2012Crew / Passenger Injuries and Overboards

On January 27, 2012, 13 passengers were injured during a bus crash accident on an organized by Royal Caribbean shore excursion in St Thomas. A female passenger suffering hip fracture was hospitalized, the other passengers sustained minor injuries. The tour vehicle was a “safari bus” (open-air). The accident happened near Beacon Point on a steep road.

25 August 2011Other Incidents

On August 25, 2011, a total of 145 passengers missed the Royal Caribbean cruise (roundtrip itinerary from San Juan Puerto Rico). The ship left the homeport early to avoid bad weather (caused by Hurricane Irene). Departure was scheduled for 8:30 pm, but the vessel was forced by port authorities to leave 3 hours early.

Of all passengers left behind, 15 had airfare purchased through RCI and were compensated with 2 hotel stays, then flown to Aruba to catch up with the ship. The other passengers were not compensated and left on their own.

29 October 2010Drug Smuggling

On October 29, 2010, while the ship was docked in homeport San Juan Puerto Rico,  US Customs officers (CBP) seized drugs onboard (cocaine and heroin) in 2 separate incidents. CBP personnel was conducting random cabin inspections using sniffer dogs. First, they discovered 3 brick-sized cocaine packages located in a passenger stateroom between the beds.

In the second incident, a luggage inspection exposed a large number of shoes, inside which the officers found heroin wrapped in duct tape. The estimated worth of the drugs was USD 324,000 (heroin) and USD 84,000 (cocaine). Four passengers were arrested and charged with drug trafficking.

May 2009Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

On May 9, 2009, the ship was on a 14-night Panama Canal repositioning cruise to Alaska from Florida, While in Icy Strait and en-route to Sitka AK, a female crew (working as dining room waitress) was tested H1N1 positive (infected by swine flu virus /influenza). Two other crew were reported with swine flu symptoms a week ago.

19 August 2008Crew / Passenger Injuries and Overboards

(sexual) On August 19, 2008, a female crew was sexually assaulted in her cabin by a 30-year-old male crew (of Turkish origin). The man was arrested in Juneau AK after she complained to the local police.

November 2006Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

October-November 2006, CDC reported on voyage Oct 29 to Nov 11, a Norovirus outbreak (gastrointestinal illness) infected 68 passengers (out of 2023, or 3,4%) and 9 crew (out of 854, or 1,1%). All sick suffered from Norovirus symptoms (vomiting, diarrhoea) and were quarantined to their cabins. On the next voyage (Nov 18 to 25), another Norovirus outbreak affected a total of 101 passengers (out of 2241, or 4,5%) and 3 crew (out of 848, or 0,4%).

27 August 2006Propulsion / Power Loss

On August 27, 2006, upon embarkation passengers were informed that the vessel will be operating at reduced cruising speed due to a propulsion problem (malfunction of one of the Azipods). Ports of call were not dropped, but arrival/departure port times were altered.

23 January 2004Ship Listing

On January 23, 2004, the ship sharply turned causing 13,5 degree listing for 20 sec. The incident was caused by a human error (miscommunication between crew). As a result of the listing, the indoor pool overflew and flooded a stairway. A total of 24 passengers and 4 crew sustained minor injuries.

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