A newspaper in the Cayman Islands is reporting that a 37 year old passenger aboard Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas died during an Atlantis sponsored cruise.

Atlantis - Royal Caribbean - Cruise - DeathThe local newspaper carries the sensational headline: "Body Found On Gay Cruise Ship."  The cruise ship had been chartered by Atlantis Events, which organizes parties for the gay community.

The cruise was billed as the Liberty Gay Cruise – the World’s Largest All-Gay Cruise

The local police in the Caymans apparently issued a statement to the effect that "there would appear to be no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death."  This is a ridiculous statement.  Perhaps there is no evidence of a murder, but clearly a death of a 37 year old man healthy enough to go on a vacation cruise is inherently suspicious. 

The Advocate also reports on this latest death.

Previously, we reported on the death of another passenger aboard a Royal Caribbean – Atlantis cruise in October 2009. Spencer Yu, an attorney for Warner Brothers and a board member of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation ("GLAAD"), died on the Mariner of the Seas. There is speculation that Mr. Yu, also a young man of  only 46 years, may have died of a drug overdose during the cruise.

Commenters on the gay community blogs Queerty and JoeMyGod bickered about the use of drugs during Atlantis sponsored events. Whether Mr. Yu’s death is drug related is unknown to us.  

It has been our experience that cruise ships are not the place to have a medical emergency, whether you are gay, lesbian, transgendered, or straight.  Cruise ships are often characterized by the questionable experience and training of the shipboard doctors and staff and the limited nature Rich Campbell - Atlantis Events - Gay Cruise - Royal Caribbean - Deathof the ship’s medical facilities. Are cruise ships equipped to handle medical emergencies which occur during Atlantis parties?  Does Atlantis discuss the use of drugs and the foreseeable risk of a drug overdose with the cruise line to make certain that there are properly trained medical personnel to respond to emergencies?

The Atlantis cruise parties are organized by Rich Campbell who is quoted in a recent article saying: "There’s no turning back. Once you sail, if you forget something, you’re screwed!" 

There doubtlessly will be speculation regarding the cause of this most recent cruise death and the connection to the Atlantis organization.  Is this recent death just a coincidence to the unfortunate death of Mr. Yu on another Royal Caribbean – Atlantis cruise? 

The skeptic in me says there are no such coincidences in life, or in death. 






Newspaper            CompassCayman.com

Rich Campbell       Caribbean Net News "Rainbow Welcome for Gay Cruisers in the Cayman Islands"

Video                      Cayman Islands News 27

According to the Advocate.com, a board member of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation ("GLAAD") died of a "heart attack," allegedly due to drug use, while on the Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas.  Mr. Spencer Yu, a Los Angeles attorney, died after suffering a heart attack on the Royal Caribbean cruise ship which was chartered by Atlantis Events for a seven-day trip along the Mexican Riviera.

Spencer Yu - GLAADThe cruise ship’s doctor and nurse reportedly attempted to resuscitate Mr. Yu before he was taken to a hospital in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico where he was taken from life support.

The Advocate reports that Mr. Yu was a member of the GLAAD national board of directors since 2006, a vice president of business and legal affairs for Warner Bros., and a graduate of University of Texas School of Law. He served as co-chair of the GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles for the past two years and was scheduled to co-host again in 2010.
“Spencer was tirelessly optimistic and brought a ray of sunshine to everyone at GLAAD,” said GLAAD president Jarrett Barrios. Mr. Yu’s surviving partner, Dan Neisen, asked that donations be made to GLAAD’s Spencer Yu Memorial Fund in lieu of flowers. 

There were anonymous reports of widespread drug use on the chartered cruise ship. 

Photo credit            Advocate.com