A cruise leaving yesterday from Port Canaveral Florida quickly turned into a nightmare when a family’s one-year-old child fell from a balcony to the balcony below.

According to WFTV, the incident occurred on the Royal Caribbean Monarch of the Seas which left yesterday afternoon from Port Canaveral around 4:30 PM. 

The news station states that a one-year-old child crawled through an 11th floor railing and fell to a balcony one floor below. Other news stations do not refer to a fall from a "balcony" but a fall from one deck to the deck below.

The cruise ship turned around and headed back to port. The child was airlifted to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in Orlando, some say at 6:30 PM and others say at 7:30 PM.

There are many images of stateroom balconies of this cruise ship on line. Some of the images show vertical railings and well as a horizontal railing at the bottom of stateroom balconies. But my understanding is that deck 11 contains the pools and sports deck and does not contain staterooms. Anyone with information about the railings on deck 11 or how this could occur, please leave a comment below. 

Royal Caribbean issued a statement:

"On Friday, December 21, a 14 month old guest from India traveling on Monarch of the Seas was Monarch of the Seas Cruise Shipinjured in a fall. The guest was initially treated in our medical facility, but required additional and urgent medical attention that could only be provided in a hospital. Therefore, the ship turned around and returned to Port Canaveral, Florida, where we could debark the guest and their family so that the guest could receive urgent medical care.

Our Care Team is providing support and assistance to the guest’s family. Our thoughts are with their family, and we will continue to do our very best to assist them.

Monarch of the Seas is sailing a three-night itinerary that will call to CocoCay and Nassau, Bahamas."

December 26, 2012 Update: a passengers on the cruise left a comment below, stating that the toddler fell from deck 12 down to deck 11 (the pool deck, photo above).

  • Ashley Higgs

    Our family was just on royal carribbean – we disembarked that same ship that day… The pool is on deck 11. The upper deck of the pool is 12 and the railing is horizontal… I have a photo… Deck 10 is state rooms and suits.. Great ship and I don’t see how that would even happen!

  • Alicia Flores

    On cases like this,usually the cruises company are responsible for not having enough security in their ships. In this case, I believe the child parents must be severely punished for their negligence in taking no care of the child. Fortunately the child is alive and a horrendous accident did not take place but parents like these must be mentally examined. Only mentally retarded people leave a child unattended.

  • Cindy Lou Who

    I’ve been on 14 cruises and see small children running around all the time while parents are sitting around drinking and paying absolutely no attention to what their very small children are doing–often climbing rails, running up and down steps, etc. I don’t know how this happened, but it surely wouldn’t have happened if a parent was actually WATCHING what their 1 year old was doing.

  • Brandi

    I was on the ship when it happened and the news is misreporting it. It was announced several times on the cruise and explained that the baby fell from the deck 12 onto the pool deck (11). So the baby didn’t fall from 11 to 12, he fell from 12 to 11. It was really scary though because that deck has just mostly sun chairs but it also has a metal rail around the outside of the ship. If baby had fallen just 20 or so feet the other way, he would have fallen off the ship and down clear into the water. It was really scary.