Freedom Of The Seas cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a passenger vessel with IMO number 9304033, owned by Royal Caribbean. Among the unfortunate events at sea are fire, Norovirus illness outbreaks, crew and passenger incidents (deaths, injuries, crimes), shore excursion incidents, machinery malfunctions.
Here you can also track MS Freedom Of The Seas position at sea.using the AIS live ships tracker of VesselFinder. The 138,200-ton 3120-passenger Royal Caribbean cruise ship Freedom was built in 2000 by the Kvaerner-Masa shipbuilding company in Finland.
Freedom Of The Seas accidents & incidents
At the Freedom Of The Seas CruiseMinus page you will find a complete list of this Royal Caribbean 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 Royal Caribbean Freedom Of The Seas 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 Among those could be arrests, filed lawsuits, charges and fines, grievances, settled /withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, etc.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 Freedom Of The Seas ship incidents (negative cruise experience reports) via the Cruise Minus “contact us” form.
This is link to the ship’s official site RoyalCaribbean.com.
Bus crash accident
- July 19, 2012, 36 passengers from the ship were involved in a bus crash accident during an organized by Royal Caribbean shore excursion on St Maarten. They were on a zip line tour called “Loterie Farm Treetop Adventure”. The tour bus lost control while descending a steep road on a hill, hit a speed bump, stroke a taxi car (overturning it), then hit a tree and and plummet into a ditch. The land tour operator was “Dutch Tours Enterprises NV”.
- Six of the cruise passengers (all US citizens) and the driver were injured (minor injuries, a broken wrist). The taxi driver suffered a broken foot. The injured were transported to Louis Constant Fleming Hospital. Staff members and a doctor from the ship remained with them during the hospital stay. All embarked the ship the same day.
- July 22, 2015, upon entering into Falmouth port, Jamaica, the ship experienced a fire incident. Royal Caribbean announced that “a small fire” started in a “mechanical area”. All passengers were gathered to the respective muster stations. No injuries among passengers were reported, but a crew suffered 1-degree burns. The fire broke out at 9:15 am. The ship’s fire suppression system in the area activated immediately and quickly extinguished it. All the vessel’s systems were functioning normally. Freedom was on a 7-day roundtrip itinerary from Port Canaveral to Labadee (Haiti private resort), Falmouth, Grand Cayman and Cozumel.
- According to an unofficial information leaked via active crew on the ship, during the fire accident, Royal Caribbean was installing on the ship a new generation emission purification system (AEP), often referred to as “scrubber”. Excepting the newest vessels, RCI ships use high-sulphur cheaper diesel fuel instead of low-sulphur diesel fuel. To comply with the industry’s norm and the IMO’s requirements, the line decided to upgrade the existing equipment by installing the new AEP system (scrubber equipment). These new units are located in the engine room, positioned in and around diesel engines and exhaust systems. Usually, for passenger safety reasons, such works are done during dry dock refurbishments.
- A passenger reported to us he saw the equipment being loaded on the ship. When he asked the crew, he was told it is for the water filtration system. Also, the night before, many cruise cabins suffered toilet malfunction, so passengers had to use the public restrooms. The man also told us, that upon leaving the ship, he walked through stairwells and hallways that reeked of urine and feces. On upper decks there was a smell of welding, mold and toxic fumes.
- An anonymous crew reported that the Freedom of the Seas fire in Jamaica was not contained within the mechanical spaces. According to the insider, the fire started near the engine and spread up to the top deck (above the lounge “Viking Crown”) through the exhaust system. Many photos and videos published online confirmed this information. They all showed big flames burning and a billowing smoke erupting from the ship’s top.
- As compensation for the port hours missed in Jamaica, all passengers received US$200 in onboard credit. If the shipowner Royal Caribbean had shut down the vessel in Jamaica for a (mandatory) SOLAS inspection (abbrev from “Safety of Life at Sea”), this would have resulted in huge financial losses from passenger lodging, flights to Miami FL and refunds.
- When the fire incident occurred, the ship was on a 7-day Western Caribbean roundtrip Port Canaveral cruise itinerary to Haiti (Labadee /private resort), Jamaica (Falmouth / 8 am-4 pm), Grand Cayman (George Town) and Mexico (Cozumel). The voyage started on July 19, and all call ports dates and times were as scheduled.
- The ship was back in homeport Port Canaveral on July 26, 2015 at 6 am. The vessel docked at Cruise Terminal 1 and was boarded and inspected by an USCG team. At 4:30 pm the ship left the port on the next scheduled 7-day Eastern Caribbean itinerary to Bahamas (Coco Cay /private island), St Thomas (Charlotte Amalie), and St Maarten (Philipsburg).
Crew & Passenger Death accidents
- September 4, 2009, a 50-year-old male passenger died after falling overboard from the ship in Cozumel. The vessel was maneuvering for docking when the man fell overboard. The body was sucked into the propellers.
- December 15, 2013, a 75-year-old female passenger died from natural causes on ship during 7-day cruise in Caribbean.
Crew & Passenger incidents (injuries, crimes)
- August 10, 2012, local newspaper reported a 19-year-old female passenger being drugged and sexually assaulted by four Senor Frog’s employees (bar-restaurant in Cozumel, Mexico). When boarded the ship, she experienced pain and had bruises on her body. The girl’s family decided to end the cruise and stay in Cozumel to report the incident to the local police.
- A male passenger was caught with illegal drugs while the ship was docked in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
- In 2013 were filed several reports on medical emergencies. On December 4, due to 3 emergencies, the ship stopped at San Juan Puerto Rico instead of St Thomas. On December 5, the ship returned to St Maarten soon after departure due to an emergency. On December 9, about 3 hours after departure from Port Canaveral the ship returned due to an emergency.
- December 3, 2013, a helicopter airlifted a male passenger from Coco Cay (aka Little Stirrup Cay /private island in Bahamas). Later on the same day, the ship disembarked in Nassau, Bahamas, two other passengers, who were transported to a hospital.
- April 26, 2016, Orlando-based USA news media reported 2 male crew were arrested on the ship and charged with cocaine smuggling into the USA (Port Canaveral Florida) from St Maarten. Both crew members (of Jamaican origin, galley workers) admitted making multiple deliveries using drugs filled sandals. For each delivery they’ve been paid US$1250. The list of other RCI ships with records of drug smuggling incidents includes Allure, Empress, Enchantment, Explorer, Grandeur, Jewell, Liberty, Splendor.
- May 15, 2016, four female passengers (of US origin) were arrested and charged with cocaine smuggling. The drug bust was in Port Canaveral (Orlando, Florida), while the women were disembarking the ship after a 7-night Western Caribbean cruise with call ports Labadee (Haiti(, Falmouth (Jamaica), Grand Cayman and Cozumel (Mexico). Over 6,5 kilos of the drug were discovered in all 5 vacuum-sealed packages. Custom officers searched one of the women after noticing that her hands were shaking and she was avoiding eye contact. Then the officers searched her travel companions and found the packages with cocaine in each of their bras and girdles.
Norovirus cruise illness outbreaks
- December 2006, CDC reported on voyage Dec 3 to 10, a Norovirus outbreak (gastrointestinal illness) infected a total of 338 passengers (out of 3823, or 8,8%) and 46 crew (out of 1402, or 3,3%). All sick suffered from Noro virus symptoms (vomiting, diarrhea) and were quarantined to their cabins. The ship operated on a 7-days Caribbean itinerary from homeport Miami Florida. Because this was the 3rd sailing with Norovirus cruise passengers reported (since Nov 26), CDC inspectors recommended the vessel to remain docked for 48 hours (out of service) for extensive cleaning and disinfection.
- 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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