Disney cruise ship rescues passenger that fell off of Royal Caribbean ship

Posted Tuesday, January 13, 2015 10:22 AM | Contributed by Jeff

The rescue of a Royal Caribbean cruise ship passenger by the crew of a Port Canaveral-based Disney cruise ship from the water off the coast of Mexico is generating buzz on cruise-focused social media. It's also raising questions about how the Oasis of the Seas passenger got into the water, and whether cruise ships have the proper technology to detect when someone on the ship goes overboard.

Read more from Florida Today.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015 10:27 AM
Jeff's avatar

I would love to know how something like that happens. I mean, the first issue is that you're looking at a minimum of a 40-foot drop to the water. That's a long way to fall.

But the idea that it could happen with no one knowing... I believe that. I was walking around deck 4 of the Magic, the lowest one outside, where the track is, and I thought it was a little creepy at 1 a.m. I assume they have cameras and stuff, but still.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015 10:38 AM
sws's avatar

Now are we absolutely sure that Disney Cruises didn't simply push him overboard because he had a cough?

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015 10:57 AM

I'm surprised this doesn't happen more often; or perhaps it does and we just don't hear about it.

Think about it; the average cruise ship has several thousand passengers on board (the article says Oasis alone has a capacity of more than 6,000 passengers). Multiply that with all of the ships sailing every day, all year long and you would think that some small percentage of knuckleheads will find their way into the water.

Crows nests existed on ships for a reason (at least they used to). I'm surprised that if a cruise ship isn't using technology to detect a man overboard, they would at least have a few people on "watch", for situations like this. Especially considering the general free flowing of alcohol that accompanies many sailings.

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015 11:02 AM
skydivingjeff's avatar

I was on a cruise on the Allure of the Seas (the sister ship to the Oasis) when a man went overboard — coincidentally enough it was also just prior to docking in Cozumel, however the story had a much more tragic ending. In any event, someone in a stateroom noticed the man falling and called 911 on the ship, alerting the crew who then confirmed it from one of the 3,000+ closed-circuit cameras; otherwise, I'm not sure if it would have ever been noticed. All of a sudden the ship came to a very quick stop, everyone was woken up and told to proceed to their emergency muster stations, and they accounted for every remaining passenger on the ship while rescue efforts were being mounted. A very unnerving situation to be sure.


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Tuesday, January 13, 2015 12:52 PM
Jeff's avatar

Disney cruise ships do have lights pointed at the water, though I always assumed that was because it looks cool. Perhaps it's for cases like this, in addition to bona fide emergencies.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Thursday, January 15, 2015 12:03 PM

Hanging n' Banging said:

I'm surprised this doesn't happen more often; or perhaps it does and we just don't hear about it.

Think about it; the average cruise ship has several thousand passengers on board (the article says Oasis alone has a capacity of more than 6,000 passengers). Multiply that with all of the ships sailing every day, all year long and you would think that some small percentage of knuckleheads will find their way into the water.

It does happen more often, and yes you don't hear about most of them. It's happened to other Royal Caribbean ships in the past few months. Still, considering the number of people that sail on cruises, it is a rare occurrence.

I don't know how far this person fell, but the height of the Oasis above the water line is 236 ft. Of course, this would be to the top of the exhaust pipes.

Supposedly most cruise lines don't want to install the automatic man overboard systems because of the install cost, and turning the ship around for every false-positive would be costly (fuel, etc.). They'd rather spend that money on sky diving simulators, bumper cars, and other ridiculous gimmicks a cruise ship shouldn't need.

This even though the Cruise Vessel Safety and Security Act of 2010, effective 1/1/2012, said that cruise lines would install automatic man overboard systems.

This is one such system:
http://www.marss.mc/mobtronic

Holland America claims they're the first to test such a system. They state this in their daily ship handouts. ie.:
http://halfacts.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/ekaka.7.pdf
Although I've read posts by a few people (non Disney employees) saying Disney might have it as well, but I can't find anything confirming. For what Disney charges for cruise fare, they certainly can/should have it.

A bit more:
http://www.cruiselawnews.com/tags/man-overboard-system/

Last edited by Clark Griswold, Thursday, January 15, 2015 5:00 PM
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Thursday, January 15, 2015 1:31 PM
Jeff's avatar

At the very least, they do light the exterior of the hull at night, and the surrounding water.

As an aside, Disney may cost a little more, but after four sailings, I can say without hesitation that the service is better than anything I've had in any hotel, some of which cost more (and don't include food or anything else). I think it's an exceptional value. Comparing to something else that isn't Carnival, the pricing is generally only a little more, and Disney has bigger rooms.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015 4:32 PM

All cruise ships seem to have the lights you're referring to (all that I've seen). Unfortunately I don't think they help in most MOB situations, since most of the time no one knows anyone went over, especially since most pax aren't looking out at sea at night, and it's usually at times when most pax are asleep (or at least at shows, bars, etc., or in their cabins).

Yes Disney has very good service, but there's not much value for me, since I've never had bad service on any other cruise line. Have you?

As far as the price, Disney is definately not "a little more", and the rooms are not larger if you compare fairly. I've compared many times in the past, but here's an example. I'll use Royal Caribbean as an example, just because they're the highest of the popular cruise lines other than Disney. And I'll even use a much larger RCI ship (154,407 GT Freedom of the Seas vs. 129,690 GT Disney Fantasy (same size as the Disney Dream)). Same number of nights, same room type, similar dates, similar ports. Prices are total for two people.

The cheapest Disney offers for 7 night to the Caribbean on the Fantasy in April 2015 is $2,458.32 total for "7-Night Western Caribbean Cruise on Disney Magic - Itinerary A"
The cruise choices with similar criteria (same ship/length/dates, different Caribbean ports) go way up to $3,835.64 for "7-Night Eastern Caribbean Cruise on Disney Fantasy - Itinerary B", with not that much difference in the cruise. These rooms are 169 sq ft.

Royal Caribbean offers a 7 Night Western Caribbean Cruise out of the same port (Port Canaveral) Sun 12 Apr - Sun 19 Apr 2015 on Freedom Of The Seas for $1,254.06 total for an Interior Stateroom Guarantee. These rooms are 150 and 160 sq ft.
Or one could upgrade to an Oceanview (159 sqft) for $1,654 total, Large Oceanview (175sqft) for $1,794, Balcony Guarantee for $2,055, Deluxe Oceanview (184 sqft, balcony 66 sqft) for $2,355, Superior Oceanview (199 sqft, balcony 65 sqft) for $2,155, or even a Junior Suite (297 sqft, balcony 94 sqft) for $3,054. So a ~76% larger room + balcony Junior Suite could still end up cheaper than Disney's interior room. And the suites have several more amenities than just the larger room size.

A Voyager class ship would be even cheaper, which although an older ship, at 137,276 GT, is closer to the size of the Fantasy.

Personally I would pick Princess, which would be even cheaper than RCI, and offer *me* a better overall cruise than any other.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015 7:36 PM
Jeff's avatar

I didn't care enough to write things down, but I found little difference in prices, so yay I guess? I don't know what the size of the ship has to do with anything. But since you're using real fares, I looked up a 3-night Bahamas from Port Canaveral, for the three of us (adults + 5-year-old), departing 12/4/15:

  • Royal Caribbean: 230 sq. ft. with balcony, deck 7, Enchantment of The Seas, $1,470
  • Disney: 246 sq. ft. with verandah, deck 9, Dream, $1,654

I mean, if $184 is "a lot" more, OK, but I like what I got for that price.

Besides, my coworker's cast member husband can get us on for $40/person for a 3-night out of Canaveral if we can be flexible, so that wins.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015 8:56 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

Tell your coworker I'm always flexible.


cebeavers.tumblr.com

Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

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Thursday, January 22, 2015 2:17 PM

I guess you've ignored my figures. Well sure, there's not a tremendous price difference when comparing 3 night cruises. You could own a Lexus for a month for not too much more money than owning a Versa for a month. Most people opt for cruises longer than 3 nights. The average length of a cruise is 7.2 days. Also I would avoid cruising to the Bahamas if possible, unless I'm interested in the rest of the itinerary (and I wouldn't disembark at the Bahamas stop), as many feel Nassau is the most dangerous cruise port in the world.

What do larger ships have to do with it? I mentioned it because they cost more to cruise on. Also more people want to go on them just because they're larger, but also because they offer more to do, and have less movement.

And there are far better values, and offering (IMO) better overall cruises, than Royal Caribbean. I just picked them because of their high cost (at least on their largest 3 classes) and popularity.

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Thursday, January 22, 2015 2:29 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

Sounds like different people have different desires/expectations from cruises.


Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
-- Groucho Marx

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Thursday, January 22, 2015 3:10 PM
Raven-Phile's avatar

I have yet to go on a cruise, but in July I'm doing a 6-day/5-night Royal Caribbean cruise to Bermuda. I'm quite anxious of how I'm going to do while stranded in the middle of the ocean for a full sailing day, and the motion of the boat, but I'm pretty excited to leave the continent for the first time.


R.I.P LeRoi Moore 9/7/61 - 8/19/2008
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Thursday, January 22, 2015 4:47 PM

Bermuda is awesome. It is beautiful, and although the ships are smaller and with less to do than some of the bigger ships, I really enjoyed the actual cruising part. We WERE following Hurricane Floyd the whole way home, which sucked, but the cruise is still a fantastic memory. I would do it again in a heartbeat. You're gonna love it.

Check out the parasailing in the Bermuda. I'm not a heights person, but it was worth a little fear for that view. One of the prettiest things I've ever seen.

I'm so excited for you.

Last edited by bunky666, Thursday, January 22, 2015 4:50 PM

"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

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Thursday, January 22, 2015 4:59 PM
Jeff's avatar

I had good service and good value at a Holiday Inn Express the last time I stayed at one, but it doesn't make it a AAA 5-diamond hotel.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Friday, January 23, 2015 8:22 AM
Raven-Phile's avatar

I got more information yesterday. Going on Liberty of the Seas from NYC. It looks like a decent sized ship, with all kinds of things to do, so I'm pretty pumped about that. We're docking for 2 full days on Bermuda, so I'm pretty excited to explore - plus there's a brewery that I'm already planning on checking out.

Now, to start the Passport process.


R.I.P LeRoi Moore 9/7/61 - 8/19/2008
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Friday, January 23, 2015 9:05 AM
Jeff's avatar

The State Department has reduced their turnaround time pretty dramatically over the last few years. I've heard of people getting it back in under two weeks. Also, depending on where you live now, a lot of the local library systems can do the photo and paperwork (I did mine in a Medina County Public Library).


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Friday, January 23, 2015 10:33 AM
Vater's avatar

Raven-Phile said:

We're docking for 2 full days on Bermuda, so I'm pretty excited to explore - plus there's a brewery that I'm already planning on checking out.

Hopefully it's nicer than the Malibu Rum distillery in Barbados. Then again, I imagine Bermuda is probably nicer than Barbados as a whole. Actually, pretty much anywhere is nicer than Barbados.

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Friday, January 23, 2015 11:34 AM
Pete's avatar

Vater said:
Hopefully it's nicer than the Malibu Rum distillery in Barbados. Then again, I imagine Bermuda is probably nicer than Barbados as a whole. Actually, pretty much anywhere is nicer than Barbados.

I went to Barbados about 20 years ago and my dad commented "why do you want to go there, just drive through a local slum and you'll see the same thing". Turned out he was right, horrible place. Worst trip ever.


I'd rather be in my boat with a drink on the rocks, than in the drink with a boat on the rocks.

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