Celebrity Equinox Drifts Close to House in Port Everglades

Celebrity EquinoxOn Friday March 3rd, the Celebrity Equinox drifted dangerously close to the shore in Port Everglades as the cruise ship was attempting to leave the port.

As shown in a video filed by Fort Lauderdale homeowner Yasmine Todhunter, her husband, Bill, (with the family dogs), is shown as the Celebrity ship drifts dangerously close to their waterfront house.

The Celebrity Equinox is later shown struggling to use its bow thrusters to back back away away from the couple's house.

Facebook readers pointed out that cruise ships in the wide Port Everglades channel usually are being piloted by a local maritime pilot. It is unknown whether the cruise ship experienced a temporary power loss or whether the pilot could not adjust to the high winds that day. 

The homeowners who filmed the ship posted the video on the Celebrity Cruises Facebook page after the cruise line ignored emails asking for an explanation. Celebrity has still not offered an explanation for what happened. The video of the incident was removed from the Celebrity Facebook page. 

A reader on Facebook who watched the video humorously remarked: "New shore excursion ... Bill's house."

Last summer, the Celebrity Infinity slammed into a dock in Ketchikan, Alaska after the ship could not manage the high winds. 

Have a thought? Please leave a comment below or join the discussion on our Facebook page.

March 7, 2017 Update: A reader brought to my attention that an oil tanker overturned on Thursday night near the port, spilling 9,000 gallons of fuel, some of which spilled into the intracoastal waters according to media reports. News7 reported that cleanup efforts were still underway on Friday and ""due to the spill, the Celebrity Equinox cruise ship was not able to come into the port. However, the ship was able to dock at terminal 25, which was accessed through the Interstate 595 entrance to the port." Perhaps this is why the Equinox was redirected? 

Apparently the oil spill was on the other side of the intracoastal and would not explain why the Celebrity ship came so close to the house.

March 8, 2017 Update: News outlets in South Florida are covering the story - Sun Sentinel: Cruise ship has close encounter with home near Port Everglades;  CBS Miami: Couple Recalls Close Encounter With Cruise Ship: ‘This Boat Is Coming To The House!’; Daily Mail Homeowner films her husband waving desperately as massive cruise ship comes terrifyingly close to their $2.3 MILLION waterfront home; Miami New Times Here's Video of a Giant Cruise Ship Nearly Hitting a House at Port Everglades.

A spokesperson for the Port Everglades Pilots & the Florida Harbor Pilots Association said this gobbledygook: "The local Port Everglades harbor pilot maintained navigational control of the vessel throughout this maneuver, skillfully keeping it within the channel, then proceeded to safely guide the vessel out to sea. As stated by the cruise line, the vessel did not touch bottom."

A Celebrity Cruises spokesperson used similarly misleading language to describe the reckless maneuver of the cruise ship:  "As Equinox departed on Friday, March 3, she was in her assigned channel at all times under the guidance of specialized local port pilots. The ship operated safely and did not put guests or crew at risk. We can also confirm the ship did not touch bottom.”

Video Credit: Bill and Yasmine Todhunter 

 

Celebrity Cancels More Stops in Istanbul

Celebrity Cruises canceled a stop in Istanbul earlier this week because of concerns with terrorism.  We were the first to report on the cancellation involving the Equinox.

Today, Celebrity canceled more port stops, announcing that the Reflection will not stay in Istanbul on August 31st and will depart earlier in the day. Celebrity will also skip the Reflection's port call in Istanbul on September 4th & 5th and will instead call on Athens. 

Cruise IstanbulOn August 19th Costa canceled all port stops in Istanbul for the remainder of the year.

Costa and other cruise lines are under pressure not to sail more passengers into danger like Costa  recklessly did when it cruised to Tunisia in March, resulting in passengers being slaughtered. I called for the security chiefs to be sacked

There are hundreds of cruises scheduled for Istanbul this year. Expect more cancelations

Have a comment? Please leave one below or join the discussion on our Facebook page.

Photo Credit: rehbergundemi.com

Celebrity Equinox Cancels Stop In Istanbul

Today I received a message from a passenger aboard the Celebrity Equinox that the Equinox was skipping the port of Istanbul because of the threat of terrorism.

Gabriele Giambrone commented that "Celebrity Equinox canceled our planned stop in Istanbul tomorrow due to terrorist fears and high security alerts. We will be having a day at sea instead."

He states on his Facebook page that "this is an announcement from your Captain: due to high security Celebrity Equinox risks and an increased risk of terrorist attacks, we won't be going to Istanbul tomorrow. Enjoy the rest of your holiday."

The Wall Street Journal recently mentioned "a spate of attacks across Turkey that targeted security forces and a U.S. consulate killed six people." 

"A recent surge in violence on Turkish soil has largely been blamed on the domestic conflict with Kurdish separatist group PKK, not Islamic State . . . Turkey is now battling a chaotic mix of the PKK, Marxist militants and Islamic State while dealing with a huge influx of Syrian refugees." 

Costa recently canceled all stops in Turkey.

Royal Caribbean and Celebrity have a Global Security Team headed by former FBI senior official Gary Bald. Foreign port safety assessment is a function of every cruise line. It's good to see cruise lines taking affirmative steps to keep passengers and crew members safe, rather than Costa and MSC sailing their guests blindly into a danger spot like Tunis earlier this year. 

Have a thought? Please leave one below or join the discussion on our Facebook page.

 

Photo Credit: Marc Ryckaert (MJJR) via Wikipedia Creative Commons 3.0

British Cruise Passenger: Crew Member Raped Me on the Celebrity Equinox

The U.K.'s Mail Online reports today that a 27 year old British passenger alleges that a Celebrity Cruises ship employee raped her in her cabin aboard the Celebrity Equinox.

The article reports that the crew member, believed to be working on the cruise ship in the entertainment department, met the passenger in a bar and spent several hours drinking with her.  He then allegedly followed her back to her cabin where he raped her.  The articles states that although she said she was tired and going to bed, the crew employee attacked her. 

The Celebrity Equinox had left the Italian port of Civitavecchia and the arrest came some 17 hours later.

Rape Aboard Celebrity Equinox cruise ShipThe arrest took place after ship video showed the crew member and passenger in the bar, with him then following her back to her cabin. 

The woman was seen by a doctor on board the ship.

Celebrity's parent company, Royal Caribbean Cruises, has not made a comment to date about this alleged crime. 

The last rape aboard the Celebrity Equinox we reported on was last September - Perfume Sales Assistant Alleges Rape Aboard the Celebrity Equinox

As we mentioned in our prior article, Celebrity and its parent company Royal Caribbean have known about the high rate of sexual assaults on cruise ships for over a decade.  

In 1999, Royal Caribbean hired two top notch firms to study the problem of sexual assaults on the Royal Caribbean and Celebrity fleet of cruise ships. The cruise line retained a consulting firm called "Sheridan, Swailes" to study the company's security systems. Royal Caribbean also retained a nationally recognized expert on sexual harassment issues, Dr. Kay Krohne, who previously was a commanding officer at the Naval Training Station in San Diego.

After conducting an extensive analysis of the Royal Caribbean / Celebrity fleet, these experts concluded that sexual misconduct occurred "frequently" during cruises. They attributed this problem to the fact that most crew members were not afraid of being arrested, much less convicted.  

Unfortunately, Celebrity Cruises does not warn its guests of the history of men attacking women during cruises.

Women on cruise ships need to be aware of the danger of rape by crew members, especially after drinking alcohol.

 

July 20, 2012 Update: We were informed that the crew member who allegedly raped the passenger was an IT employee. 

July 21, 2012 Update: A newspaper in Italy identified the alleged rapist as an American. 

Celebrity Cruises Passenger Missing Off Coast Of Mexico

Christina Cassin - Celebrity Equinox - MissingThe Atlanta Constitution Journal reports that a 49 year old woman from Georgia disappeared last week while diving on a reef near Cozumel

The newspaper states that Christina Cassin, age 49, and her husband, Scott Turco, were passengers on the Celebrity Equinox cruise ship, which docked in Cozumel on March 28th.  The couple were diving with a group on a reef about a kilometer from the coast when she disappeared.

"They were about 10 minutes into the dive when Cassin decided to return to the surface. She said Turco turned to tell the dive master, who was right next to them, that she was going back to the surface, and when he turned back around, Cassin was gone."

The newspaper suggests that Ms. Cassin may have been caught in a strong downward current along the reef wall. 

Ms. Cassin worked as a nurse and lived with her husband in Acworth, Georgia, which is northeast of Atlanta.

 

Photo credit:  Atlanta Constitution Journal 

24 Year Old Passenger Falls to His Death on the Celebrity Equinox

Multiple sources are reporting that a U.S. passenger fell from an upper balcony to his death while cruising aboard the Celebrity Equinox in the Mediterranean Sea.

The incident occurred on September 26th while the Equinox was sailing toward the port of Kusadasi Turkey.

I first learned of the incident today while reading cruise expert Professor Ross Klein's blog, which contains an account from a cruise passenger that: " . . . a man of age 25ish jumped from the 11th floor and died.  Do you know any thing about this as it has been kept very much in the dark as we were on the side of the ship from where he jumped. Some say he had a disagreement with his girlfriend and some say he was sleep walking. 

The account states that the passenger " . . .  hit the life boat metal rigging gear, it took about 30 mins to get to him but was dead at the scene."

A newspaper in Turkey states that the passenger was allegedly sleepwalking when he went overboard around 3:00 AM.  The cruise ship then arrived in Kusadasi around 8:00 AM.  After an investigation by Turkish police, the cruise ship sailed on to Rhodes Greece as part of its regular itinerary.

Some real conflicting stories, it seems?

Another quick investigation by the Turkish police?  Were these the same police in Turkey which conducted the quick investigation into George Smith's disappearance during his honeymoon

Were you on the cruise?  Do you have information which may shed light on this case?  Please leave a comment below.

Celebrity Equinox Cruise Ship - Passenger Death

 

Photo credit:  Krafft Angerer/Getty Images (via New York Times blog)  

Perfume Sales Assistant Alleges Rape Aboard the Celebrity Equinox

Courthouse News has published a copy of the lawsuit our firm filed against Celebrity Cruises following the alleged rape of an unconscious female crewmember aboard the Celebrity Equinox.  You can read the allegations in the lawsuit here.

According to the lawsuit papers, in October 2010, a crewmember employed as an assistant sales clerk working for a perfume concessionaire aboard the Celebrity Equinox, was raped on the cruise ship in the early morning hours after leaving the crew bar.  "Jane Doe" awoke to find another crewmember sexually assaulting her.

Celebrity Equinox Cruise ShipShe reported the incident to her supervisors and was examined and treated in the ship infirmary.  Police in the next port of call in Israel interviewed her, and the assailant crew member was eventually terminated and sent home.  Like most cruise ship sexual assault allegations, the assailant crew member was not arrested and there was no criminal prosecution.

The ship doctor did not administer any anti-retroviral medications to Jane Doe.  She was permitted four days off from work and thereafter returned to full time duty.  Neither Celebrity Cruises not her employer, Harding Brothers which operates the perfume concession, provided her with a psychiatrist, psychologist or counselor despite her many requests for help dealing with the trauma.

Jane Doe ended her employment on the cruise ship in February 2011.  Jane Doe is from South Africa.  She is unemployed.  Neither Celebrity nor Harding Brothers have provided her with any medical treatment or assistance after she left the cruise ship as required by the doctrine of "maintenance and cure."   

Celebrity and its parent company Royal Caribbean have known about the high rate of sexual assaults on cruise ships for over a decade.  

In 1999, Royal Caribbean hired two top notch firms to study the problem of sexual assaults on the Royal Caribbean and Celebrity fleet of cruise ships.  The cruise line retained a consulting firm called "Sheridan, Swailes" to study the company's security systems.  Royal Caribbean also retained a nationally recognized expert on sexual harassment issues, Dr. Kay Krohne, who previously was a commanding officer at the Naval Training Station in San Diego. 

Kay Krohne - Cruise Sexual Assault - Cruise Sexual HarassmentAfter conducting an extensive analysis of the Royal Caribbean / Celebrity fleet, these experts concluded that sexual misconduct occurred "frequently" during cruises.  They attributed this problem to the fact that most crew members were not afraid of being arrested, much less convicted.  Dr. Krohne reported that the worst thing that could happen to a crew member who committed a crime on a Royal Caribbean or Celebrity cruise ship was to be sent on a one way flight home.

Last summer, we reported on a similar sexual assault allegation involving a crewmember from South Africa. "Taryn" was employed as a beauty therapist on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship.  Another crewmember employed as a fitness instructor allegedly raped her.  The cruise line reportedly sent her home after reporting the incident and refused to provide her with medical treatment or living expenses as required by the maritime law.  Her assailant was not prosecuted. 

We wrote about the case in an article Cruise Rape - Is Royal Caribbean Up To Its Old Tricks?

Women on cruise ships need to be aware of the danger of rape, especially after drinking alcohol.  Crewmembers should also know that if they are sexually assaulted on a cruise ship, they entitled to treatment with psychiatrists and counselors until they reach their maximum medical improvement.   

 

Photo credit:

Celebrity Equinox in Haifa Port, Israel - Wikipedia (Shlomiliss)