Disney Wonder cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a passenger vessel with IMO number 9126819, owned by Disney Cruise Line (Magical Cruise Company Ltd), a subsidiary of Walt Disney Company. Among the unfortunate events at sea are Norovirus outbreaks, crew and passenger incidents (deaths, injuries, crimes), shore excursion incidents, machinery malfunctions.
Here you can also track MS Disney Wonder position at sea.using the AIS live ships tracker of VesselFinder. The 83,000-ton 2700-passenger Disney cruise ship Wonder was built in 1999 by the Fincantieri shipbuilding company in Italy.
Disney Wonder accidents & incidents
At the Disney Wonder CruiseMinus page you will find a complete list of Disney Cruises Wonder ship’s major accidents and cruise incidents. Reports are made by our own staff using official data from major online news media sources, Wikipedia and USCG (Coast Guard) reports.
Here we also post updates on Disney Wonder cruise law news. They are related to recent crimes being investigated. Among those could be arrests, filed lawsuits, charges and fines, grievances, settled /withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, etc.
You can add more details or submit your own Disney Wonder ship incidents (negative cruise experience reports) via the Cruise Minus “contact us” form.
This is link to the ship’s official site disney.go.com.
- August 15, 1999, the vessel started its Caribbean cruise service with a 4-night Bahamas cruise from homeport Port Canaveral (Orlando) Florida. The ship originally operated on 3- and 4-night Bahamas cruises, but in 2011 was relocated through Panama Canal from Caribbean Sea to the US Pacific Coast. There, it operated on 7-days Mexico Riviera cruises leaving from California ports (mainly Los Angeles, but also out of San Diego and San Francisco) to call ports Vallarta, Cabo and Baja Ensenada. In 2012 (April through October), this Disney ship was the first one to visit the Hawaii island (ports Hilo, Kahului, Honolulu). In 2012 (May through September), this was again the first Disney ship with Alaska cruise itineraries (leaving from homeport Seattle WA and visiting the Alaskan ports Ketchikan, Skagway, Juneau, and the Canadian port Victoria BC.
- November 30, 2008, the main passenger gangway (telescopic bridge) collapsed into the water. No injuries were reported. The vessel was moved to a cargo pier to complete the passenger embarkation. The incident caused ~1 hour delayed departure from Cape Canaveral.
- November 26, 2009, while on a 7-days Eastern Caribbean itinerary and en-route to Bahamas from St Thomas, the ship experienced engine problems (a failure of its main diesel generator- 1 of all 5 units). The incident was caused by a short circuit in the alternator’s winding, which resulted in the generator’s shutdown. The voltage drop caused shutdowns of the fuel pumps of generators 2, 4 and 5. This subsequently caused the affected generators to shutdown. These shutdowns led to a total blackout (electrical power loss). The ship also lost propulsion and drifted. Soon, the emergency generator started to provide electricity, then the generators were restarted. Full power outage and the propulsion were restored ~45 min after the incident occurred. The main generator’s repair cost the cruise line ~US$1 million.
- September 15, 2013, two early 2014 sailings (January 19 and 24) were officially cancelled by the shipowner Disney Cruise Line, thus allowing the ship to enter dry-dock for maintenance in Freeport Bahamas. As compensation, all booked passengers received a full refund, plus a 25% future Disney cruise booking discount (7-night Caribbean or Bahamas itinerary). The line also covered all flight change fees.
Cuban refugees cruise ship rescue incident
- February 13, 2016, while en-route from Miami to Grand Cayman (sailing southeast of Cuba), at ~ 8 pm the Disney cruise ship Wonder encountered and stopped to pick up 12 Cuban refugees (migrants) on a small boat trying to get to the US by sea. The refugees were brought on board and offloaded in the next port of call (George Town Grand Cayman) on Feb 14. Disney Wonder was on a 5-day Caribbean itinerary (Feb 12 – 17) roundtrip from Miami to Grand Cayman and Castaway Cay (Disney’s private island in The Bahamas).
- Note: Cruise ship operators have agreed to inform the USCG if they spot Cuban refugees in open sea and to rescue them if needed.
- Similar cruise ship rescue incidents happened on Carnival Paradise (Mar 4, 2014, 24 people rescued), Carnival Ecstasy (Mar 25, 2014, 41 people rescued), Carnival Liberty (Aug 22, 2014, 11 people rescued), Carnival Breeze (May 9, 2015, 25 people rescued), Brilliance Of The Seas (Mar 18, 2016, 18 people rescued), Coral Princess (Apr 14, 7 people rescued). All the Cuban refugee boats were reported being both unseaworthy and overcrowded.
Crew & Passenger Death accidents
- March 22, 2011, a 24-year-old female crew (of British origin) was reported missing at ~3 am, after failing to report for her morning shift. The woman (Rebecca Coriam, working on the ship as an youth activities counselor) was last seen in the crew lounge. The CCTV camera showed her talking on the phone upset (obviously drunk, banging her head in the wall), then leaving the room. The alarm for a missing person was raised ~4 hours later. She was presumed fell overboard. The conducted by The Bahamas (the vessel’s flag state) forensic investigation showed no evidences suggesting foul play. However, her credit card activities (2 months after the disappearance) fueled the speculations that the woman might still be alive. An independent journalist sailing on Disney Wonder reported that the ship’s crew apparently knew where exactly their fellow employee went overboard. This was the crew relaxation area (deck 5 fore, where is also the crew pool) – perfectly visable from the Navigation Bridge on Deck 8. He also learned that Disney Cruise Lines have the phone call taped. Then was established the fundraiser Rebecca Coriam Search Foundation. The incident occurred off the Mexico’s coast, when the ship was operating on a 7-days Mexican Riviera itinerary from homeport Los Angeles CA. On March 27, 2014 (law news) her parents (from Chester England) filed a lawsuit against the Disney cruise company for US$75,000 (or GBP 45,000). They announced the lawsuit’s purpose was to draw attention and eventually change the maritime law to allow UK authorities to investigate crimes involving British citizens, even on ships registered in other flag states. Note: There is a suspicion about the woman being under the influence of cocaine when she fell (or jumped) overboard. This theory became very plausible after a former Disney employee was interviewed by the UK’s Mirror news media. The whistleblower claimed that on Disney Magic (just like on all Disney cruise ships) sniffing coke, having casual sex with co-workers and excessive drinking in cabins happen “almost every night”.
- February 27, 2015, a 38–year-old male passenger drowned on the Disney Cruise Lines private island Castaway Cay, Bahamas (formerly Gorda Cay). The man (of NYC New York origin) drowned while swimming ashore (at the Adult Beach). The accident occurred while the ship was docked at the island – an exclusive call port along the 5-days Bahamas cruise itinerary from Miami.
- March 1, 2015, a 56-year-old male passenger was found dead in his cabin. The accident occurred at ~ 7 am, while the ship was docked in call port Castaway Cay (exclusive Disney Bahamas private island resort). The investigation showed man (from Cleveland, Ohio) died from natural causes.
Crew & Passenger incidents (injuries, crimes)
- September 1, 2006, a male crew (of Turkish origin) was arrested and charged with sexual offense. The man (working in the ship’s food & beverage department) exposed himself to 3 female passengers on board. He was later fired and deported.
- January 1, 2007, a 21-year-old male passenger was arrested and charged with sexual contact with a minor. The man (from Rochester New York) raped a 13-year-old female passenger on the ship, returning from a 4-days Bahamas New Year cruise from homeport Port Canaveral (Orlando) to Nassau (Dec 31 2006 to Jan 3 2007). The man was indicted for aggravated sexual abuse. The girl traveled together with her family. In the early morning of Jan 1, after leaving the teens-only disco club Vibe (on top deck 11), she was stalling around with 2 other teens when the defendant approached and told them they should return to their staterooms. The girl followed him, believing he was a security staff. Then the adult man took her to a secluded stern area on the Sports Deck 10 below, forced her to take her pants off and to perform him oral sex. He also threatened to throw her overboard if she screamed or called for help. In federal court (law news) on September 27, 2010, the man pleaded guilty to abusive sexual assault on the high seas, the penalty for which could be imprisonment up to 10 years. On February 11, 2011 (law news) he was sentenced to 46 months in jail, and ordered to pay ~US$2,700 in restitution.
- September 2, 2009, a 34-year-old male passenger from Carnival Cruise Lines Carnival Sensation ship jumped overboard but was rescued by the passing nearby Disney ship Wonder. The emergency call was made by the Carnival ship at ~11:30 pm. The Disney ship found the man at ~12:40 am, some 30 ml / 50 km off the Port St Lucie Florida coast. Both cruise vessels were on roundtrip Bahamas itineraries leaving from Port Canaveral (Orlando).In the conducted rescue operation participated also USCG assets (a helicopter and 2 boats).
- November 21, 2009, a group of 17 passengers were robbed by 2 armed men while ashore on a sponsored by Disney Cruises shore excursion in Nassau. The incident occurred at ~1 pm, on the tour to Earth Village. The robbers, armed with shotguns, ambushed the group. The tour guide was tied up, while the passengers were ordered to lay face down on the ground and robbed of all their valuables and documents. During the robbery, another tour group arrived on the scene and was robbed too. On the same day, a Nassau police patrol chased and arrested a 49-year-old Bahamian man, who happened to be one of the suspects responsible for the robbery.
- October 13, 2016, a Spanish news media reported that a Disney Wonder crew member was arrested for an alleged sexual assault against a 27-year-old female crew. The incident occurred on another ship where most of the crew were housed during the Disney Wonder’s 40-days long drydock stay in Cadiz (Spain) for repairs and some modifications. The arrested man (from St Lucia) knew the woman (of British origin) and they spent the night together. On the morning, he wanted to have anal sex with her, which she strongly opposed, but reportedly was forced and sodomized by her partner. The police was informed and the man was arrested at the shipyard. The same news source stated (unconfirmed), that in early October (date unspecified) the body of a male crew (of Polish origin) was found floating in the shipyard’s water.
- November 14, 2016, a 66-year-old female passenger was medevaced after falling down stairs. The woman suffered a skull fracture and bleeding. The ship was ~50 ml (80 km) east of Galveston TX.
Norovirus cruise illness outbreaks
- April – May 2016, CDC reported on itinerary April 27 to May 1, a Norovirus outbreak (gastrointestinal illness) infected a total of 131 passengers (out of 2680, or 4,9%) and 14 crew (out of 991, or 1,4%). All sick suffered from Noro virus symptoms (headache, vomiting, diarrhea) and were quarantined to their cabins. The onboard announcement stated “We have reached over 3% of guest/crew being isolated, therefore we are currently at HIGH LEVEL of Virus Response Matrix”, with an additional note explaining that “High Level” signifies heavy prevention procedures. The illness incident occurred on a 4-days Bahamas cruise round-trip from Miami Florida to Castaway Cay (private island), Nassau and Key West FL. The next scheduled sailing was a 14-days Panama Canal: itinerary (May 1 – 15) from Miami to San Diego California.
- 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.
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