Waiter on HAL's Veendam Arrested on Charges of Lewd and Lascivious Conduct with Minor

HAL Waiter Yesterday, the Broward County Sheriff's office arrested a Holland America Line (HAL) cruise ship waiter for engaging in lewd and lascivious conduct involving a minor, according to Local 10-ABC.  

The case arises out of an incident on the M/S Veendam last Sunday when the HAL waiter, identified as Gede Sukrantara, age 26, convinced a 15-year-old girl to go into a bathroom on the 12th deck of the ship. He locked the door of the bathroom and the child is alleged to have then engaged in oral sex. She later reported the incident to the cruise ship staff. 

According to the news station, Broward County Sheriff detectives interviewed Sukrantara, who is from Indonesia, yesterday after the child's father said that he wanted to prosecute the cruise employee. 

The detectives arrested Sukrantara on a charge of committing a lewd and lascivious act involving a minor where the victim is between 12 and 16 years of age. He is current imprisoned in the maximum security jail facility adjacent to the Broward County Courthouse in downtown Fort Lauderdale.

Photo credit: Broward Sheriff's Office   

HAL's Veendam Hit with GI Outbreak

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that fifty-seven (57) of 1429 passengers (3.99%) and ten (10) of 588 crew members (1.70%) have been reported ill with gastrointestinal illness aboard the Veendam cruise ship operated by Holland American Line.

The CDC has yet to figure out what type of outbreak is involved. It is probably norovirus, as was the case in the last 11 GI cruise ship outbreaks this year. A CDC environmental health officer will board the HAL cruise ship at the end of the cruise in San Diego, California on December 27, 2015.

The Veendam had its last norovirus outbreak in 2014, in February.

 

HAL's Veendam Rescues Pilot in Pacific Ocean

A Holland America Line cruise ship came to the rescue, reports KCRA, after a pilot in a small, single-engine airplane on a 2,400 mile trip to Maui, Hawaii ran out of gas fuel over the Pacific Ocean and was forced to ditch his plane. 

The news station says that the plane ran out of fuel about 250 miles northeast of Maui yesterday afternoon.

The U.S. Coast Guard launched an Hercules 130 aircraft and a MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Oahu, and alerted the HAL Veendam to the scene.

The Veendam is expected to reach Lahaina, Maui today. 

The Star Advertiser reported that the rescue took place amidst 9- to 12-foot seas and 25 to 28 mph winds.

I can't wait to see the rescue on the passengers' YouTube videos.

Video Credit: Defense Video and Imagery Distribution System. 

 

Propeller Woes Continue: HAL Cancels Third Consecutive Veendam Cruise

HAL Vendaam Holland America Line announced that it is cancelling the 7 night October 11th cruise of the Veendam from Quebec, Canada to Boston because of problems with one of the cruise ship's propellers. 

HAL has already cancelled the sailings on the Veendam for the September 28th and October 4th cruises to try and fix the propeller. 

The Veendam is going into dry-dock to complete the more extensive work necessary to effect the repairs. The company is not disclosing what exactly is wrong with the propeller except to refer to unspecified "technical problems."

USA TODAY published this statement from HAL:

"Repair work has been in progress to address a technical problem with one of the propellers on ms Veendam. As work has progressed alongside in Quebec, it has been determined that a complete repair can only be made in a dry-dock."

Passengers will receive a full refund and a cruise credit worth equal to the costs of the cruise. 

 

Photo Credit: Wikipedia / Bahnfrend Creative Commons 3.0

Disease Outbreak on HAL Veendam

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that there has been a disease outbreak on the  M/S Veendam operated by Holland America Line (HAL)

The CDC states that the Veendam cruise ship has returned after a a 14 day cruise from February 8-22, 2014 with 114 of 1273 (8.96%) passengers suffering from norovirus-like symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea. 10 of 575 (1.74%) crew members are reportedly ill.

The CDC has not figured out the type or cause of the disease outbreak.

Veendam Cruise Ship - NorovirusThe CDC has confirmed four disease outbreaks on cruise ships so far this year.

The story was first mentioned by the Cruise Fever blog.

The HAL Veendam was last infected with e-coli last year. You can read about that outbreak here: Gastrointestinal Virus Plagues Passengers Aboard HAL's Veendam Cruise Ship.

The Veendam has experienced problems with cleanliness and Illnesses over the years.

In 2012, this HAL cruise ship flunked a health inspection. That's hard to do. Read our article: Gross! Holland America Line's Veendam Flunks Health Inspection.

The Veendam also sickened 80 and killed one passenger during a gastrointestinal outbreak in November of 2011.

Over the years, HAL has one of the worst records with disease outbreaks.

 

Photo Credit: Wikipedia / Djheini

Coast Guard Medevacs Injured Passenger From HAL Veendam

Veendam Cruise ShipThe U.S. Coast Guard Sector in San Diego sent a helicopter to a cruise ship approximately 150 miles west of San Diego yesterday (January 23rd).

The Defense Video and Imaging Distribution Services reports that a 69-year-old woman fell down a stairwell and suffered head injuries and internal bleeding.

The video was taken by U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Henry G. Dunphy.

The name of the cruise ship was not released. However, an AIS tracking site indicates that the Holland America Line Veendam turned around and began heading back toward San Diego.

You can watch the helicopter land after transporting the injured woman from the HAL ship.

The Veendam was last in the news when an elderly woman went overboard earlier this month. 

Photo Credit: Holland America Line via L.A. Times 

 

Person Overboard From Holland America Line's Veendam?

HAL VeendamThis weekend we received inquiries from passengers who had been on the Holland America Line Veendam cruise ship about a passenger who apparently went overboard. Passengers indicated that the incident apparently occurred off the coast of Mexico on January 3, 2014 as the ship sailed back to San Diego. 

Here are two of the comments:

"Was on the MS Veendam (Holland America) 7-day Mexican Riviera cruise and a woman mysteriously fell or jumped off the top deck the early afternoon of day 6 (last Friday, Jan 3) off coast of Mexico (coming back to San Diego). She had to be dead (body floating face down in water), as we were sent to cabin for an hour. But no news was shared or online. Crew was working on top rail, which someone (the crew?) had disassembled even before the FBI showed up Sat morning to inspect before disembarkation. Do you have any info on this?  Strange that there hasn't been any news. Rumors were suicide, but I'm really wondering."

"On MS Veendam (HAL) (Jan. 3, 2014) when we had a man overboard called. We were ordered to our cabins but never offered an expiation as what happened. Only rumors that it was murder, suicide or accident . . . How can we find out the truth?"

Anyone with information please leave a comment below, or join the discussion on our Facebook page.

Update: Why is there no information about this overboard on the internet

Photo Credit: Holland America Line via L.A. Times

HAL Cruise Ship Musician Jailed for Child Pornography

A Canadian newspaper reports that a crew member aboard the Holland America Line Veendam cruise ship was jailed for possession of child pornography. 

Sean Richard Bell, age 37, was arrested almost three months ago for possessing images and video of what are described as underage naked boys. He pleaded guilty today in a Halifax courtroom to the criminal charges,

Given time served, Bell will be imprisoned for an additional 69 days of his sentence. He was also given a one year probation order which requires him to take sex offender treatment. He has also been placed on Sean Richard Bell - HAL Cruise Shipthe national sex offender registry for ten years and must provide a DNA sample to the Canadian data base. 

HAL formerly employed Bell as a performer in Neptunes Trio on board the cruise ship. 

We previously reported on this case when Bell was arrested on June 3 2013: Another Cruise Ship Employee Busted with Child Porn - This Time HAL Veendam.  

This is a topic cruise lines would prefer to avoid discussing:

Is Child Pornography Widespread on Cruise Ships?

 

Photo Credit: Global News

Another Cruise Ship Employee Busted with Child Porn - This Time HAL Veendam

Child Porn HAL Veendam Sean BellA newspaper in Canada reports today that a 36-year-old cruise ship employee faces child pornography charges after police and Canadian border officials in Halifax found explicit files aboard the cruise ship where he works. Metro News Canada identified the crew member as Sean Richard Bell.

Halifax Regional Police state that Canada immigration authorities arrested the crew member following a routine search aboard the MS Veendam, a Holland America America (HAL) cruise ship, while it was docked in the Nova Scotia capital on Monday.

Officers from the Canada Border Service Agency discovered "explicit electronic files depicting child pornography" on various electronic equipment belonging to a crew member in his cabin.  

The crew member is reported to be a musician / performer who was employed by HAL. The crew member faces charges of possessing, smuggling and importing child pornography.

This is hardly the first time a crew member has been arrested on child porn charges.  The authorities in Halifax, Canada do an outstanding job of arresting crew members with child pornography, including the following cases. These cases involve just crew members arrested in Halifax:

Edward Brillantes Mangubat, age 40, worked for Cunard. He was arrested in Halifax when Canadian Border officer searched his laptop computer and found sexually explicit video featuring children. Mangubat worked as a stagehand on Cunard's cruise ship Queen Mary 2. He worked on cruise ships for seven years.

Nyoman Putra, age 26, is an Indonesian working as an assistant room steward on the Carnival Glory, allegedly had child pornography on a laptop computer. Canada Border Services Agency officers were inspecting crew members getting off the cruise ship when they nabbed the Carnival crew member at Pier 22 in Halifax.

Jay-Ar Ramos Trilles, age 23, of the Philippines pleaded guilty in Halifax provincial court to charges of possessing and importing child pornography. Canada Border Services Agency officer arrested an assistant waiter on the Costa Atlantica on Tuesday as he was getting off the cruise ship at Pier 22 in Halifax. Two sexually explicit videos of children were found on both a USB flash drive and a laptop computer. One of the videos depicted a boy and a girl between the ages of 10 and 12, while the other showed a six-year-old girl being sexually abused by a man. The prosecutor in Canada stated that the border agency is determined to keep such "abhorrent" material from being brought into the country. Trilles worked with Costa Cruises for three years.

Menandro Lim Lanzar, age 31, from the Philippines was arraigned in Halifax on a charge of importing child pornography. Mr. Lanzar was employed as a quarter master on the NCL cruise ship Norwegian Jewel.

Hendri Dharmawan, age 29, was working as a pastry chef on the Carnival Triumph when he was arrested in Halifax. The crew member was caught with pornography on his iPhone as he returned to the Carnival cruise ship. The border police then accompanied him back to his cabin where they discovered over two hours of child pornography on Dharmawan's laptop and external hard drive. The footage depicted girls as young as eight and boys as young as 10 being abused.

 

Photo Credit: Winnipeg Free Press / Facebook

Gastrointestinal Virus Plagues Passengers Aboard HAL's Veendam Cruise Ship

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that sixty (60) of the 1237 passengers (4.85%) aboard the HAL Veendam cruise ship exhibited symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea and vomiting during the last cruise.

Ten (10) of the 574 crew members (1.74%) also reported ill with gastrointestinal illness.

You can read the report here

Holland america Line Veendam Cruise ShipThe ship sailed from April 13 to May 4, 2013.

The Veendam has experienced problems with cleanliness and Illnesses over the years.

Last year, this HAL cruise ship flunked a health inspection.  That's hard to do.  Read our article: Gross! Holland America Line's Veendam Flunks Health Inspection.

The Veendam also sickened 80 and killed one passenger during a gastrointestinal outbreak in November of 2011.

Over the last decade HAL's cruise ships have experienced the most gastrointestinal illnesses and the Veendam has the third most outbreaks of the hundreds of cruise ships operating out of the U.S.  The only other cruise ships with a worse records are the Ryndam and the Amsterdam, both HAL ships. Read about the problem here.    

 

Photo Credit:  Wikipedia / Djheini

Holland America Line Cruise Passenger "Disappears" - How Is That Possible?

American passenger Sarah Tessier Powell set sail on the Holland America Line Veendam cruise ship the last week of September.

Two weeks later, no one has any idea where she is.

CBC News in Nova Scotia Canada reports that Ms. Powell, age 70, from Louisiana, was last seen September 30th on the Holland America Line (HAL) cruise ship Veendam, as it sailed from Quebec City to Charlottetown.

The HAL cruise ship's next stops were scheduled in Charlottetown, Sydney, and Halifax on October 2nd, 3rd, and 4th respectively

Halifax police speculate that Ms. Powell "may have walked off the ship without being checked by the Sarah Tessier Powell - HAL Cruise Passengercruise ship security," as CBC reports.  Let's hope that's the case. Assuming that's true, the Canadian police admit that it's not clear where Ms. Powell may have disembarked.  

How on earth is that possible?  Passenger gangways are supposed to be heavily monitored by security with each passenger's sea pass card scanned and the gangways always covered by closed circuit television cameras.

Cruise ships can easily trace the passenger's onboard purchases and use of their cabins by "lock-link" reports which document the opening of cabin doors. When did the passenger last use her card to either charge a purchase or open her cabin door?  The shipboard security should easily be able to know when there was any documented activity by Ms. Powell on the ship.

And why do the police think she left the ship?  If she did, then there should be CCTV film documenting her exit even if the gangway security guards were asleep at the wheel.    

There are a number of news outlets covering the story. That's good news. Passengers should not disappear during cruises, with loved ones wondering whether the passenger went overboard or is wandering around somewhere ashore.

It's been ten days since anyone say this cruise line guest.  Where is she?

This reflects poorly on HAL and the security systems on HAL's Vandeem.  Wasn't the Vandeem the same HAL ship which just  flunked the Centers for Disease Control inspection of the ship's cleanliness

It looks like the HAL Vandeem's security procedures are no better than its failed sanitation system.  

HAL's Veendam Flunks Health Inspection

Below is a CNN video regarding the 16 year old Holland America Line's Veendam cruise ship which failed an inspection conducted by the Centers for Disease Control.

We blogged about this incident last week in our article:

"Gross! Holland America Line's Veendam Flunks Health Inspection."

CNN described the ship conditions as "really gross:"

 

 

Gross! Holland America Line's Veendam Flunks Health Inspection

Dirty Cruise Ship - CDC - Failed InspectionFlies. Dirty and malfunctioning ice machines, refrigerators & dishwashers. More flies. Dust, dirt, food residue, and debris. Flies and more flies. Flies where food is prepared. Flies where food is stored. Ugh. These unsanitary problems are part of a ridiculously long list that the U.S. Centers for Disease documented during a surprise inspection last month aboard the Holland America Line's Veendam cruise ship.

You can read the gross report here.

The inside word is that most "surprise" inspections are not surprises at all.  Most of the time the cruise lines are tipped off and immense pressure is suddenly applied on the crew to bring the ship up to standards. But here, at least, there was no advance warning. And this is what you get.  

The last cruise ship to fail such an inspection was the Monarch of the Seas last December - Dirty Dishes & Fruit Flies Flourish on Royal Caribbean's Oldest Cruise Ship. That was pretty gross too. 

 

HAL's Veendam: 1 Dead, 80 Sick

Multiple news sources are reporting that an U.S passenger died aboard Holland America Line's Veendam cruise ship that arrived in Rio de Janeiro yesterday.

HAL's Veendam is also the same cruise ship on which approximated 80 passengers fell ill, according to the state-run Brazilian news agency, Agencia Brasil.  The agency refers to the cruise passengers as suffering from "gastro-enteritis."  It is unknown whether there is a norovirus outbreak. 

Forensic doctors are investigating the death of the American passenger.  A CNN article reports that the cruise ship doctors told police that the woman was "elderly and suffered from diabetes and hypertension."  (So much for the confidentiality of a patient's medical information.) 

The Veendam left New York 36 days ago for a South America cruise. The Veendam had stopped earlier in the cruise at ports in Chile, Argentina and Uruguay before reaching Rio de Janeiro.

November 23, 2011 Update: 

HAL claims that the death and the illness of some 80 passengers are unrelated.  HAL issued a statement to Noticias de Cruceros that the passenger died due to a heart condition which had nothing to do with the  gastrointestinal ilnesses.  It's amazing how cruise line PR people suddenly become epidemiologists when someone dies on their cruise ship. 

HAL Veendam - Cruise Cruise Norovirus?But a local newspaper in Brazil, Clarin, has the following account (translated):

An American, 61, died of a suspected food poisoning on a luxury cruise ship which arrived in Rio de Janeiro, from Chile, Argentina and Uruguay, in which 86 other passengers had symptoms such as cramps and vomiting, reported Brazilian authorities, in what is thought to be an outbreak of gastroenteritis due to consumption of bad food and poor hygiene.

The Holland America liner MS Veendam, carrying 1259 passengers, arrived in Rio de Janeiro and was quarantined to be subjected to investigations by the Brazilian Federal Police and the National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) .

Tourism Secretary de Janeiro, Ronald Azaro, said that 79 people have contracted some sort of infection on the trip. When the November 6 cruise departed from Valparaiso, Chile, ANVISA received a warning symptoms of some passengers.  He went to Argentina and Uruguay, having started the journey in New York, USA, with stops in Panama and Colombia, according to the Brazilian press.

The official said the Brazilian Federal Police took over the investigation into the death of the American, identified as Dorothy Philips, age 61, occurred on board as the ship was in the Maua Pier in the city of Rio. 

Sources told the Brazilian media crew that the crew issued a red alert three days ago to take care with hygiene and some food. For now, the pool and the library of the cruise were closed. 

According to the NASS report released last month, 27% of cruise ships passing through the Brazilian coast have health problems than those permitted by the rules in Brazil. Among the problems, according to an official report collection are inadequate food and lack of water conditions offered to passengers. 

ANVISA recalled thatpassengers on the same boat, in March this year, experienced gastroenteritis cruising to  Brazil. At least 43 passengers had symptoms in Belem, capital of Amazon state of Pará.

 

Photo credit:  Michael Penn / Juneau Empire