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. 

  • Will B.

    Clearly, there a lot of bad things that happen aboard cruise ships. Considering that such a small percentage of Americans (nay, Earthlings) have taken cruises, how does this compare to typical “land-based” crimes? By this question, I mean to imply that you, as a cruise-law laywer, focus on these areas. But I would love to see some statistics, even focusing on just the United States, as to the relativity of such issues. I don’t deny that there are a lot of cruise-based crimes, I would just like to see them presented in an equal light.

    I am an avid watcher of your blog, as well as that of ICV, but I can’t remember a single instance of good news to go with the bad. Everyone declares Fox News to be very right-wing (or is it left-wing) coverage, as well as CNN and even NPR as having a “slant”. Certainly the Cruise Law News blog does, too. Let’s see something positive, even if the slant is based on the results of trial cases or precedent or law being set forth based on your firm’s work.


    Interested in Texas,

    – Will B.

  • Will:

    Professor Ross Klein performed an analysis of crime data and concluded that that certain crimes (rape) are twice as likely to occur during cruises than on land. You can read his data by clicking on

    The difficulty with a straight cruise crime versus land-based crime analysis is that the cruise lines conceal their data to avoid scaring their customers.

    Regarding positive versus negative stories, the primary purpose of my blog is to educate cruisers and would be travelers about dangers on cruise ships that they would otherwise not understand. Hence, our working motto “everything the cruise lines don’t want you to know.”

    There are lots of cruise lines, cruise trade groups, travel agents and cruise bloggers who write happy cruise stories under banner ads advertising cruises. My blog is not among them and never will.

    But if you need a cruise story I wrote to feel good about, you can read:

    “Three Happy Cruise Stories – Salvation, Generosity & Rebirth”

    Thanks for reading.


    Jim Walker

  • Katie

    I have read so many stories similar to this one in the past couple of weeks it’s untrue, surely cruise lines should take it as a warning and be stricter in the background checks they do when they’re hiring crew members?!

    Unfortunately though, things like this happen all the time both on land and at sea, it’s disgusting that humans can have these thoughts.

    I must say though that I was reading through some Celebrity Cruise Reviews at and they tend to be, as a whole, excellent. I hope an incident like this won’t put people off cruising.

  • Crew member

    working on EQuinox, this was not a permanent crew member, nor a member of the entertainment department. CM are fully trained & aware of the repercussions of such actions. constant surveilance makes it a safer place to work than most land based jobs

  • “Crew Member”

    What was the job title of the crew member?

    If there was “constant surveillance” then how could this crew member (permanent or temporary) drink for hours with a guest in a public location with no concern by the company?

    How could the crew member walk all the way from an upper bar down and across the ship into a passenger hallway and into a passenger cabin with no concern by the company?

    As you should know, no one monitors surveillance cameras except in the casinos to protect the cruise line’s money.

    There has been testimony by a cruise expert that sexual assaults are more likely on a cruise ship than ashore.

    The usual “repercussion” is simply being terminated when caught – not prosecution or jail time . . .

  • ex colleague

    I use to work with the person being charged in this incident. We use to work doing install projects onboard ships. He always came off a little strange, and at times a little too off the edge. It does not surprise to hear this kind a news about him…my prayers are with the families in all this.

  • ex CM

    Insane people are everywhere, in my case I know stories face to face about “guests harrasing crew members in a very very scary way”, and nobody says anything about that?, the right thing is to be careful with whom you are talking, dealing, etc, beacause danger, unfortunatly, is everywhere, these kind of events shouldn’t happen in none of the sides of the coin…

  • Gigi

    Company employee was held in Italian prison for 4 weeks.

    When he showed up in front of the judge, it was shown that he did not break any law and all charges where dropped.

    It is against company policy for an employee to have consensual sex with a passenger, but it is not against the law.

    He is now home safe

    Many times in the past, things like this have happen to employeer by guess attempting to get a cash settlement.

  • SM

    Ack.. I was on the cruise ship at that time… I didn’t hear anything about that incident. Wow.

  • karl

    I’m a crew member with RC. Someone asked here if RC checks employees’ background before hire. The answer is yes, at least in my country. We had to provide the Police Clearance Certificate, or we don’t get hired. Princess and P&O also. I don’t know about the other cruise companies, but I imagine Carnival does it as well, all of these big cruise companies have recruitment partner offices in many countries around the world, and they DO require the job candidate to bring in his Police Clearance.

    And all crew know it’s instant dismissal if interacting with passengers any other way than purely professional, so who still does it it means they really didn’t care about losing their job and NEVER be able to work for that company again.