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Events at Sea by Holland America Line

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The events listed have been reported in the public domain or to cruisejunkie by passengers or crew members onboard.  The list is by no means comprehensive.  For that reason it is necessary to be cautious in drawing conclusions from the potentially limited data.  Keep in mind that some companies may be more transparent than others about things that go wrong; conversely, some companies may be better at concealing events and thereby project an appearance that is inaccurate.  With that said, the following list is still interesting, as are the patterns when viewed separately by ship.

March 27 Nieuw Amsterdam From a reader: It appears the two ships canceled today's call to Grand Cayman presumably because of high winds. Three other ships made their port call: Disney Wonder, MSC Poeisa, Navigator of the Seas, and, Celebrity Silhouette. Missed port call
March 16 Multiple ships Cruise Critic reports Holland America Line has canceled calls on Grand Turk after a number of passengers fell ill last week, following calls on the port. A statement from the line says, although the link between sick passengers and the port has not been confirmed, an investigation is ongoing. Eurodam called on Grand Turk last week, but Westerdam skipped its planned visit. Calls on the March 16 Eurodam and March 17 Nieuw Amsterdam itineraries have been scrapped in favor of sea days, meaning the ships will arrive in San Juan, the next port of call, five hours ahead of schedule. There are also reports that Carnival Miracle and Ruby Princess has skipped port calls to Grand Turk. Skipped port calls
December 31 Prinsendam From a passenger (re: 29 November sailing): The ship sailed 5 hours late from Ft. Lauderdale. Passengers waited on collapsible wooden chairs in the crowded waiting room. No explanation was given as to why the ship was late. Word of mouth (from a passenger) had it that sandwiches and water were available but no announcement was made regarding this. We were finally called by numbers assigned to us to get in line to register and board. We waited in line for an hour instead of being seated on the uncomfortable chairs. No provision was made for the handicapped. The cabinets on the decks were not clean. Passengers with verandas said they were dirty. In many rooms air-conditioning and plumbing did not work. Other passengers told us the ship had been late coming out of drydock. We were notified peremptorily in a letter from the captain that the ship would not be making its scheduled stop in Bonaire but would be going to Aruba instead. No explanation was given. Other changes in itinerary were made. No explanation was given.
December 10 Volendam From a passenger: Ship lost all power 12 noon yesterday. Drifted aimlessly for 2 hours. Four hours late into Singapore this morning. Chaos with flights. Volendam is sailing from Sydney to Hong Kong.
Loss of power - adrift
November 29 Eurodam Associated Press reports the U.S. Coast Guard is searching for a Washington state man who has gone missing from a cruise ship in the Caribbean. Coast Guard spokesman Ricardo Castrodad says two ships and a helicopter have been dispatched to search for the 42-year-old man, whose name has not been released. The man's wife reported him missing. The ship was traveling from St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands to the Bahamas when the man disappeared early Thursday. Holland America said in a statement that the ship turned around and has joined the search for the missing passenger. The ship left Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Saturday for a seven-day cruise.
Pax missing
November 26 Veendam The Daily Mail reports the two cruise ships cancelled scheduled stops at the islands last week, apparently as the result of the ransacking of the shipping agent’s office in Buenos Aires. Local agent Sulivan Shipping in Port Stanley tweeted: ‘The AIDAcara due to visit on December 3 has cancelled her visit due to the current political situation in Argentina. A huge blow for all involved, let’s hope this doesn’t continue throughout the season.’ A Holland America Line spokesman said last night: ‘Regarding our scheduled calls to the Falkland Islands, when the weather is good and predictable we go there, when it is not – which is most of the time – we don’t.’ AIDA Cruises in Germany could not be reached for comment.
Port call canaceled
November 18 Ryndam According to the US Coast Guard the ship experienced "material failure". Material failure
October 19 Zaandam From a reader: The ship has made an unscheduled stop in San Diego (Hawaii Circle cruise starting in Vancouver), reportedly because of mechanical problems and/or flooding aboard. The situation is unclear, however there are some reports on Cruise Critic that may give insight.
Mechanical problems
October 9 Veendam CBC reports Halifax Regional Police are asking for the public's help in locating a 70-year-old U.S. citizen who may have walked off a visiting cruise ship in the Maritimes. Sarah Tessier Powell was last seen Sept. 30 on the ship, as it sailed from Quebec City to Charlottetown. The ship's next stops were scheduled in Charlottetown on Oct. 2, Sydney on Oct. 3 and Halifax on Oct. 4. Police said they do not suspect foul play in Powell's disappearance and think she may have walked off the ship without being checked by security. It's not clear where Powell may have disembarked (or whether she disembarked). The Louisiana woman was travelling alone, which is part of the reason it took so long for her disappearance to be noticed, said police.
Pax missing
September 25 Zuiderdam The US Coast Guard reports the ship experienced a "material failure" Material failure
September 24 Veendam Cruise Critic reports the ship failed its health inspection. Here's what they say: "Cinnamon sticks stored next to a baited roach trap, blocks of nonpotable carving ice in contact with containers of ice cream and more than a dozen live flies were recently discovered on Veendam by health inspectors from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those and over 100 other infractions earned the Holland America ship a failing score of 77 out of 100 on its August 19 vessel sanitation inspection.The CDC's surprise cruise ship cleanliness exam is conducted twice a year, with an 86 considered passing. In a detailed report, inspectors documented finding live flies in a pastry dry stores locker, a provisions room, a prep room and numerous galleys throughout the ship. The report recommended that crew effectively control the presence of insects, rodents and other pests to minimize their presence in the food storage, preparation and service areas. Inspectors also found a number of washing and food storage devices, including refrigerators and dishwashing machines, were in need of repair. A leak in a water line directly above one dishwashing machine resulted in water dripping into the machine and contaminating clean dishes after they were sanitized. According to the report, workers were then observed taking contaminated dishes and putting them into clean storage racks. Another infraction involved a goateed cook doing food preparation without wearing a beard restraint. The cook was instructed by staff to put on a beard restraint. Per VSP guidelines, food employees should wear hair restraints and clothing that covers body hair. Additional violations were cited for leaky faucets and ice machines, a lack of serving utensils alongside self-service cereal containers, and failing to include language on a menu about consuming raw foods.
Failed heslth inspection
September 22 Statendam Cruise Law News reports Cruise List broke a story today about a power outage which occurred on Holland America Line's  Statendam cruise ship last Thursday.  The Cruise List blog explains that last Thursday evening his proprietary application which searches for cruise information on Twitter picked up a tweet about a “fuel pump explosion” that caused a “two hour Power Outage on the Statendam.”  He re-tweeted it but later deleted it when he received a direct message from the person originally tweeting the information, begging him to delete it for reasons not explained (he sounds a lot nicer than me). Cruise List then left a post on Cruise Critic asking if anyone knew about an incident on the Statendam. Yes, several passengers responded - the cruise ship indeed "lost all power and were serving cheese sandwiches in the main dining room."
Loss of power
August 19 Veendam The ship failed its inspection by the Vessel Sanitation Program with a score of 77 (a failing score is anything below 86).
Failed health inspection
August 8 Maasdam The Daily Item (Lynn, MA) reports a room tag from the ship was found among a concentrated amount of sewage discovered on Pond Beach Saturday and has led Nahant officials to believe that the liner may have illegally dumped the debris in nearby waters. Harbormaster Rob Tibbo, who found the trash while walking the beach Saturday morning, said in an e-mail to Town Administrator Andy Bisignani that he found "what appears to be macerated sewage and other possible holding tank waste" along with a room tag from the MS Maasdam, a Holland America cruise ship. Vi Patek, president of Safer Waters in Massachusetts, said in an e-mail to her staff that the debris contained a mass of rubber gloves, dental floss, contraceptive and personal hygiene items, and a urinal cake, among other things. She received a report on Sunday from Linda Pivacek, Chairman of the Open Space Committee, that there were "huge masses of brownish foam" along the south shore of Little Nahant. Pivacek added in the e-mail that she could see "toilet paper and other debris ... within the foamy mass." Bisignani said such a high concentration of debris could not have come from beachgoers. Patek said Tuesday that idea is "impossible - that's a fact. This had to have come from a ship. The question for me is whether it came from outside the limit or outside Boston Harbor or what." Bisignani said that cruise ships leave Boston Harbor every Friday afternoon and travel right by Nahant through the North Channel. "With an incoming tide, [the debris] would have come right in," he said. In an e-mail alerting Coast Guard Lieutenant Casey Goranson of the situation, Bisignani said, "I personally observed a cruise ship exiting Boston Harbor through the North Channel on Friday afternoon." Patek said "the biggest problem is enforcement." Bisignani was told in an e-mailed response from Goranson that "without an eye witness or detailed information of a possible release, our options are limited. "Without the ability to enforce the issue, Bisignani and Patek are hoping to increase awareness of illegal dumping. Patek said it's important "for people to be aware that this happened and be aware that it's very difficult to make a case against an individual ship but it's pretty serious and specific evidence."It should noted that Maasdam is in Europe at this time and last called in Boston on 14 July -- thus the illegal dumping of sewage, plastics, and other refuse could have been from another ship. (NOTE: The Cruise Line International Association claims its members' ship discharge nothing within 12 miles of the coastline -- that claim does not appear to be viable given this case.)
Sewage dumping
March 15 Statendam A reader just reported from San Diego that the Statendam is still under a "code red" situation and as a result embarkation will begin at 2PM.
Code Red
February 9 Zuiderdam From a passenger: I was on the ship Jan 11-27. There was a fire in the engine room. The captain screamed on the intercom that he ran up and down 9 floors. He scared us all but didn't tell us what to do. After an hour at 6AM he finally said fire was out and all was well.
February 3 Rotterdam From a passenger: I've been told to expect a late embarkation today in San Diego. Apparently there has been a Norovirus outbreak, and the ship and pier will be sanitized between debark and embark. Shuttle busses will take guests to Seaport Village from the pier and back from 11 - 3pm.
Delayed embarkation / Illness
December 22 Veendam A poster at Cruise Critic reports the sail away was scheduled for 9:00 pm and we were right on time. However, sailing out of the harbor, we had a little mishap. Seems that one of the container ships had a container derrick swung out over the channel and in squeezing between two container ships, the derrick managed to tear off about a 50 foot section of railing on our Deck 12—and crack a window in the Crows Nest…narrowly avoiding more serious damage. However because of the accident, once out of the immediate harbor area, we had to pull over into an anchorage area a few miles downstream and wait until the next morning for the Argentine Coast Guard to come aboard and inspect the damage as required by International Maritime Law (according to announcements on board). That required us to stay overnight unexpectedly and the inspection took much longer than we did not get underway again until about 11:00 am. All of that delay meant a major shakeup in our original schedule. The captain announced mid-afternoon that we were going into Montivedeo, Uruguay that evening, would stay overnight to do some preliminary repairs, refuel, and restock for the remainder of the trip. That necessitated adjusting our onward itinerary. The cruise line made a decision to SKIP the stop at Puerto Madryn, Argentina…and instead sail directly for Port Stanley, Falkland Islands. That would get us back on our original schedule—in the Falklands on Christmas Day. What impact it will have on our anticipated viewings remains to be seen.
Collision with crane
December 9 Nieuw Amsterdam From a passenger: The ship cancelled its port call to Half Moon Cay on Dec 3rd. Approximately 5-10 minutes before the scheduled first tender to the island, the captain came on the PA to issue a general notice that due to high winds and concern for passengers and crew safety they would be unable to tender to the island and the ship would be turned around to head to its next destination (Fort Lauderdale). Holland America offered passengers an apology, refund for port tax, scheduled excursions and a glass of champagne.
Canceled port call
November 25 Volendam

New Zealand media reports The lack of a lifejacket and a rusty wire contributed to the death of a cruise ship worker in Christchurch's Lyttelton Harbour during a lifeboat exercise, a Transport Accident Investigation Commission report says. A 29-year-old Indonesian man drowned after a wire snapped as he was working on a lifeboat hanging over the side of the cruise ship Volendam in January. He was not wearing a lifejacket and could not swim, the report said. Despite search efforts, the man's body was not found until port authority divers searched the seabed that evening. The man was standing on top of one of the ship's lifeboats with another crew member, greasing the wires that attached it to the ship when a wire broke. The lifeboat fell bow down and was left dangling from its remaining wire. Both men were thrown 16 metres into the water. They had been wearing safety harnesses clipped to a safety line, but it was broken by the boat's fall. One man grabbed a floating bucket of grease to stay afloat and was rescued by the ship's crew. He was taken to Christchurch Hospital to be treated for mild hypothermia and minor bruising. The other man, who had been working on the Volendam for over four months, was briefly seen above the water in a "dazed state" but soon disappeared. A search was made by the vessel's rescue boat, the port authority, the coastguard and emergency services. It was four hours before the body was found. When the ship's lifeboat fittings were inspected after the accident, 10 wires were found to be corroded. The commission made urgent safety recommendations and encouraged owners of ships with the same model of fittings to do immediate inspections to prevent a similar incident. The report said a key lesson to learn was that a wire was only as good as its weakest part. "Wire ropes in a marine environment require frequent and thorough lubrication to prevent corrosion; otherwise other measures will need to be taken to prevent premature failure of the wire ropes." It also suggested crew should always wear lifejackets when working outside a ship's rail.

Rusted rope caused death
November 8 Amsterdam From a passenger: At about 3:45am the quiet of the night was broken by the loud quick bursts of the fire alarm horn. Everyone was awake after the alarm but we had to wait about 5 minutes before the officer of the watch came on the PA system and said that there was apparently a fire in the incinerator room and fire fighting teams were on their way to take appropriate action. Some passengers were scurrying around getting valuables and warm clothing together in case abandon ship was necessary while others just went back to sleep. About 3:55am Captain Eversen came on the PA system and explained that a fire had been found in a hydraulic unit in the incinerator room. An automatic alarm had been set off by a remote sensor. At 4:20am the Captain announced that the fire was put out and we were all in the clear again.
November 1 Oosterdam A reader reports the ship had to turn back to the Hawaiian islands to disembark 3 elderly guests with medical complications. Accoridng to news reports, "The Coast Guard is heading to a cruise ship 100 miles east of Hilo to medevac three elderly passengers. Two helicopters and a plane are en route Tuesday to the San Diego-bound cruise ship Oosterdam to take the passengers to Hilo Medical Center. Coast Guard Petty Officer Anthony Soto says an 86-year-old man appears to having a heart attack, an 82-year-old man has symptoms of internal bleeding and a 76-year-old woman is suffering from abdominal pains. A Coast Guard flight surgeon made the decision to medically evacuate the elderly passengers after hearing about their conditions from the ship's medical staff. The ship will now arrive a day late in San Diego, on Sunday morning. The subsequent cruise will be shortened to a 6 day sailing, going to Cabo San Lucas and PV. Guests who arrive on Saturday will be provided transportation to hotels that are available and brought back to the pier for Sunday's sailing.
3 medical emergencies & Itinerary change for next cruise
October 8 Oosterdam The ship changed its itinerary due to Hurricane Jova (in the Pacific). Puerto Vallarta was dropped and Avalon (Claifornia) and Pichilingue-La Paz (Mexico) were added.
Itinerary change
October 4 Maasdam CBC reports a 75-year-old man whose body was pulled from the Northumberland Strait near western P.E.I. He was reported missing by his wife shortly after 8 a.m. Tuesday after the ship docked in Charlottetown. Crew on the ship, which left from Montreal on Saturday on a seven-day cruise, conducted a shipwide search but failed to locate the man. The Canadian Coast Guard and local law enforcement were contacted but a search of the ship's route did not locate the man. A lobster fisherman found a body, which was brought to a wharf in Abram-Village around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday. The cruise line Holland America issued a press release confirming the body was their passenger.
Pax overboard
October 3 Volendam ABC News (Australia) reports the ship was due to arrive off Eden's Twofold Bay about 7am (AESDT). It was hoped the 1,400 passengers would boost the town's economy. But Cruise Eden's Peter Stransfield says there was a sudden change of plans. “The Volendam was coming direct from Noumea to Eden before it headed off to Sydney,” He said. “But there's been some very bad weather between Australia and Noumea which meant that they would be very, very delayed. “They weren't going to get into Eden until 2pm if they continued so they decided in those conditions that they would go direct to Sydney.”
Canceled port call
September 27 Westerdam
Norwegian Pearl
Norwegian Cruise Line
The Daily Astorian reports the arrival of both ships in Astoria Monday was canceled because of bad weather and a high-wind warning posted by the National Weather Service. Today’s arrival of the Norwegian Star, another Norwegian Cruise Lines ship and the last cruise ship of the season, has also been canceled.
Skipped port call
September 27 Statendam The ship's planned stop in Victoria was canceled because of weather conditions. As a result some 50+ passengers could not embark their cruise. Instead, the cruise line sent those pax wanting to continue the cruise (others either canceled or were given monetary compensation) Seattle and then after an overnight flew them to San Diego to join the ship.
Missed embarkation port call
August 19 Veendam The Bermuda Sun reports a crewmember appeared in court today charged with drugs offences. It is alleged Dhimas Pradiptar conspired with others between a date unknown and August 16 to bring about 340g of cannabis to the island. Mr. Pradiptar, 23, originally from Indonesia, is further charged with having cannabis with intent to supply in Pembroke on August 16. He pleaded not guilty to both offences and was released on $15,000 bail. He is scheduled to reappear at Magistrates’ Court on November 17.
Drug arrest
July 23 Oosterdam
The Alaska Daily News reports a 20 year old California man may have gone overboard somewhere between Sitka and Ketchikan. The man is believed to have disappeared into the water between 1 a.m. and 7 a.m. Friday while the vessel was sailing to Ketchikan. HAL subsequently issue the following statement: During the July 17 seven-day Alaska sailing of ms Oosterdam, a 20-year old male guest was reported missing by his family at approximately 2:30 p.m. local time on July 22. He was last seen by his family between midnight and 1:00 a.m. that same day and the ship’s gangway records do not indicate that he went ashore in Ketchikan during the July 22 call. Per marine regulation and protocol, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) and law enforcement authorities were contacted with all known information and the ship’s course. Following established procedures, the ship’s crew has also conducted a thorough search of the ship without locating the guest. The USCG has launched a search along the route the ship transited. We have offered full support and cooperation for the search conducted by the USCG. The current cruise will end in Seattle on Sunday, July 24. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.
Pax missing
July 21 Ryndam Tampa Bay Online reports a 45 year old passenger from Thousand Oaks, Calif., readily admits he got drunk and broke into a control room aboard the MS Ryndam and deployed the ship's anchor early on the morning of Nov. 27, said lawyer Daniel L. Castillo. "I guess he thought it was a big joke." Castillo added, "He's got a lot of money. It was a silly thing to do. It's silly. He's not denying he did it." But is Ehlert guilty of a federal crime? Castillo says no. "He's guilty of felony stupidity, that he is," Castillo said. "But I don't think it should be a federal crime." The attorney filed a motion this afternoon to dismiss a three-count indictment against Ehlert, whom Castillo said is a wealthy Californian who owns an RV business. "An alcohol-induced reckless act does not necessarily equate to a violation of federal criminal statutes," Castillo wrote. The lawyer says the charges – part of federal antiterrorism legislation – carry a maximum possible prison term of 20 years, although prosecutors have told him they expect sentencing guidelines to call for probation. Castillo said he tried, without success, to have Ehlert admitted to a pretrial diversion program. The Holland America ship, which was sailing from Costa Maya, Mexico, to Tampa, wasn't damaged, but it could have been, according to an arrest affidavit. Authorities say releasing an anchor on a moving cruise ship could damage the rudder and propeller, disabling the vessel's ability to maneuver. It could puncture the ship, causing it to flood or sink. Shortly after the anchor was released at 5:25 a.m., someone deployed a life buoy from Deck 11, the affidavit states. About 7:30 a.m., the ship's captain made an announcement asking passengers and crew to come forward with information about the buoy, the affidavit states. When no one stepped forward, the ship's emergency alarm was sounded, and all passengers and crew were mustered on deck. After about 40 minutes, with everyone accounted for, passengers were allowed to leave the deck. "Everybody was mad at him," Castillo said, but there was no damage to the ship and no one was hurt. "Where's the crime?"
Pax arrested
May 11 Westerdam The US Coast Guard reports it is investigating a collision between the ship and ice in the vicinity of Yakutat Bay, Alaska today. The ship was reportedly maneuvering through ice near Hubbard Glacier when it sustained damage approximately 15 feet below the water line. The hull was not breached and no injuries or pollution were reported. The ship continued to Sitka where it was met by Coast Guard officials.
Collision with ice
April 5 Statendam The Sun Sentinel reports the Coast Guard was notified that on 1 April 2011, while in port at Port Everglades, FL, the ship had a 25 year old crewmember sustain a back injury for which he had to receive medical treatment beyond first aid. Drug and alcohol tests were conducted for the crewmember. Crewmember was disembarked from the ship to receive medical treatment in Jakarta
Injured worker - sent to Jakarta
March 15 Veendam From a passenger: Buenos Aires was grand, beautiful, all that's been said. THAT said... We sailed from BA a couple of hours late on the 12th due to traffic in in Rio de la Plata channel. Almost immediately it was announced that the call at Punta del Este (Uruguay) would be skipped due to heavy winds that would make it impossible to dock. Yesterday we were informed that the call at Paranagua, Brazil would be cancelled due to flooding. Instead, we are now holding off Itajai, Brazil, waiting for a container ship to clear the dock. This may give us five hours ashore. No one imagines there will be a lot to do or see. I'm only on for a week, leaving the ship in Rio on the 18th, so this is disappointing. Pax on for the ca-54-day cruise ending in Florida are probably taking it more in stride, heavy winds, grey skies and all.
Canceled ports
February 2 Ryndam 7 News in Belize reports a cruise tourist suffered a tragic death in Belize's waters today. Reports are that sometime around two this afternoon, a 60 year old woman from the US was snorkeling at Goff's Caye when she got caught in the boat's propeller - which cut her up - and then her head was slammed against the vessel. She was very badly injured and rushed to Belize Medical Associates where she succumbed to her injuries. She was on a snorkel tour when she was caught in the propeller. According to a late police report, she had a large cut wound to her right leg and two small cut wounds to the right side of the face. The report further states that she and her husband were aboard a 65 foot catamaran, captained by Martin Manuel Pariente. Police say she was in the water snorkeling with three other tourists when she went under the boat and received the mentioned injuries from the boat's propeller. This is a highly irregular accident because usually boats are turned off while snorkelers are in the water - and at Goff's caye, the snorkelers usually go to the back of the island while the boats are parked at the front. But some sort of grave error or deviation from standard procedure occurred, and it has cost the life of a tourist.
Passenger death on shore excursion
January 8 Volendam

Otaga Daily Times reports a lifeboat is still dangling off the side of a cruise ship, moored at Christchurch's Port Lyttelton, after a cable broke sending two crew members into the water, with one of the men presumed drowned. Divers are searching the water for the 29-year-old Indonesian man who fell overboard this afternoon around 2PM. The other crew member managed to use a bucket to stay afloat and was rescued. Both men were wearing heavy clothing, overalls and boots but no lifejackets: "It appears that one of the cables has let go at one (the lifeboat) is dangling there by one cable at the moment." According to one report, the accident occured during a lifeboat training exercise. The man's body was subsequently recovered. Police are investigating the incident.

Tragic accident - one crew member dead
27.12.10 Zuiderdam The Eleutheran reports on the afternoon of Christmas Eve, a three year-old female child apparently drowned on Holland America Line's private island (Half Moon Cay, also known as Little San Salvador) off Eleuthera. The child is believed to have been in the care of her father when the tragic incident occurred. She was found lying face down in shallow waters and
subsequently transported via boat to Davis Harbour and then on to Rock Sound Clinic where she was pronounced dead.
Drowning at private island
17.12.10 Prinsendam The Sun Sentinel reports the Motor Winch on #7 Lifeboat failed. Flag and Class authorized 4 additional 25 person davit launched liferafts in lieu of lifeboat until parts are received and repairs are made.Temporary PSSC issued until Jan 5, 2011. 05JAN11: Lifeboat #7 hydro-motor repaired by Schatt Harding, and tested satisfactory by attending Lloyd's surveyor and USCG Inspector.
Lifeboat failure
29.11.10 Ryndam The Smoking Gun reports an intoxicated California man early Saturday released the anchor while the vessel was traveling in international waters en route to Florida, investigators allege. The deployment of the stern anchor on the MS Ryndam “could have caused significant damage,” though the 719-foot ship was unharmed, according to an affidavit sworn by FBI Agent John Manning. A review of surveillance video identified Rick Ehlert, 44, as the passenger who released the anchor (as well as a life buoy). Ehlert, who was traveling with his girlfriend, admitted to deploying the ship’s anchor and throwing the life buoy overboard. Ehlert, who owns an RV dealership in Thousand Oaks, was arrested on a felony charge of attempting to “damage, destroy, disable, or wreck a vessel.” The FBI affidavit notes that the MS Ryndam’s captain made an announcement Saturday morning asking any passengers or crew members to come forward with information regarding the tossing of the life buoy overboard. When nobody came forward, “the ship’s emergency alarm was sounded and all passengers and crew were mustered on deck.” After everyone on board was accounted for, “they were released from the deck.”
Anchor released by pax
11.9.10 Prinsendam Received from a reader - from Cruise Critic: Received a note from a friend who's aboard the Prinsendam: "Seems that the high winds that kept us from anchoring at Portree, Isle of Skye and Scrabster had a few more surprises in store for us last night. Things started getting a little rough during the 7 PM cocktail hour but really not too bad. Dinner was another story entirely. Gale force winds stated to buffet the ship at about 8:15 PM. We were seated at a table for 4 towards the back of the Pinnacle Grill. Next thing you know, we were holding on to the glassware and the table for dear life. The large window next to my seat made a sound like a shotgun and shattered but didn’t break as it is safety glass. It scared the hell out of us. We could hear all hell breaking loose in the kitchen. I shudder to think of what happened to all of that lovely Bulgari china. The Captain came on to the P.A. system to tell all passengers to remain seated, if possible, or to get down on the floor as we were in for some really rough seas. What an understatement. A window was blown out in the showroom and water started pouring in there during the entertainment. One of my table-mates was the Event Manager for the Prinsendam. She had to leave and see to passenger safety and help move people out of harm’s way. We sat and held on to our wine and water glasses and ate bread. Best way to avoid mal de mer is to keep something on your stomach. All around us we could hear pots, pans, dishes, glassware flying in the kitchen while the staff was trying to secure all flying objects. One waiter was stationed at a marble topped cart to keep it from sliding all over the dining room. The worst part of the rocking and rolling went on for about 1.5 hours. As all of the craziness was going on the staff of the Prinsendam remained calm and did an outstanding job of protecting the passengers and securing the ship. I can’t say enough about their skill and calm demeanor throughout this unexpected event. The Captain kept us all informed of what to expect and was a calming and professional voice. The Pinnacle staff was superb. Picking up where they left off as if this was just a little glitch in an otherwise normal day. When we got back to our cabin, we found that anything that wasn’t secured was on the floor. Good thing we’re neat. It didn’t take too long to put things back in order. One of our neighbors couldn’t get back into their cabin until the winds died down as their balcony door had opened and the wind kept them from opening their cabin door." And later:"Update to the adventure. It turns out we unexpectedly hit a force 12 storm. That's hurricane force. We lost about 50 windows and there is a dent in the prow of the ship. What a 'fun' ride."
Major storm damage
5.9.10 Zaandam Zaandam, Holland America Line
The ship was cited for violating Alaska Wastewater Quality Standards in September. On September 5 the ship's effluent exceeded the allowable level of ammonia.
Water pollution
22.8.10 Zaandam The ship was cited for violating Alaska Wastewater Quality Standards in August. On August 22 the ship's effluent exceeded the allowable level of ammonia.
Water pollution
20.8.10 Ryndam The ship was cited for violating Alaska Wastewater Quality Standards in August. On August 20 the ship's effluent exceeded the allowable level of ammonia.
Water pollution
8.8.10 Zaandam The ship was cited for violating Alaska Wastewater Quality Standards in August. On August 8 the ship's effluent exceeded the allowable level of ammonia.
Water pollution
20.7.10 Statendam The ship was cited for violating Alaska Wastewater Quality Standards in July. On July 20 the ship's effluent exceeded the allowable level of ammonia.
Water pollution
9.7.10 Volendam The ship was cited for violating Alaska Wastewater Quality Standards in July. On July 9 the ship's effluent exceeded the allowable level of zinc.
Water pollution
16.6.10 Statendam The ship was cited for violating Alaska Wastewater Quality Standards in June. On June 16 the ship's effluent exceeded the allowable level of ammonia.
Water pollution
15.6.10 Maasdam The Guardian reports the ship is taking a pass on Charlottetown today because of gusty winds which are expected to strengthen as the day progresses. The vessel, with almost 2,000 passengers and crew aboard, was scheduled to dock at 8 a.m. and depart at 5 p.m. But winds are forecast to approach 80 km/h in gusts this afternoon which might make docking treacherous for the Maasdam which sailed past the P.E.I. capital this morning towards its next port of call.
Skipped port call
2.6.10 Statendam The ship was cited for violating Alaska Wastewater Quality Standards in June. On June 2 the ship's effluent exceeded the allowable level of ammonia.
Water pollution
28.5.10 Statendam The ship was cited for violating Alaska Wastewater Quality Standards in May. On May 28 the ship's effluent exceeded the allowable level of ammonia.
Water pollution
26.5.10 Maasdam The Charleston Post and Courier reports Federal, state and local authorities are looking for an Indonesian man who deserted a cruise ship while it was docked in Charleston. The 25 year old crew member owent ashore May 16 some time after 7:30 a.m. and failed to return before the ship departed at 5 p.m. He left his passport with the ship, as is protocol when crew members take shore leave. The only identification he would have is a ship ID photo and an I-95 card issued by U.S. Customs.
Crew member abandons ship
21.5.10 Volendam The ship was cited for violating Alaska Wastewater Quality Standards in May. On May 21 the ship's effluent exceeded the allowable level of copper.
Water pollution
20.5.10 Ryndam The ship was cited for two violations of Alaska Wastewater Quality Standards in May. On May 20 the ship's effluent exceeded the allowable level of ammonia and fecal coliform bacteria.
Water pollution
14.5.10 Volendam The ship was cited for violating Alaska Wastewater Quality Standards in May. On May 14 the ship's effluent exceeded the allowable level of copper. Water pollution
28.4.10 Oosterdam From a passenger: During the week of 3/17-3/24/2010, my husband and I cruised the Mexican Riviera Cruise on the ship. We were in Cabin 7046 (Port-side, Penthouse Suite). From day one of the cruise, and throughout the cruise, we had a smell of sewage throughout the suite, but worse in both the master & the guest bathroom. The smell seemed to be coming from the deck drains. We immediately informed the Cabin Steward who sprayed both bathrooms but this did not help at all. On day two, we complained to the Front Desk and a supervisor came to the room with a ship's plumber. The supervisor acknowledged the smell, the plumber said there was nothing wrong with the plumbing, he said we should pour hot water in the drains/toilet to clean it out. The front desk supervisor suggested we use hot coffee because she had used this on another ship and it kept the smell away longer. My husband said to her, "You want me to pour hot coffee in the drains?" She replied "Oh no, we will do it". They never did. The next day we informed the Hotel Manager (Marcella). She and another Supervisor, (Eddie), came to the room. Marcella said she did not smell anything, but they would try to do something, not sure what. We asked about alternate accommodations, but the only thing they "may" have to offer was a lower deck, inside stateroom. Our Penthouse Suite cost $7,000. We wanted to fly home but were advised against it as there was no guarantee that we would be compensated. The HAL home office offered us a $750 on board credit as compensation which we refused. We asked that they not put any credit on our account, but they went ahead, and did so anyway. We asked, again, that this offer be removed. Marcella and Eddie said they had never had a prior problem with this suite but we were told otherwise by crew. After many discussions with Eddie, nothing was ever resolved. On the final day of the cruise, the problem continued. We never heard from the Hotel Manager after that one encounter. The smell of sewage never disipated. I think the gas from sewage is methane, and we were exposed to it for the entire cruise. We kept the doors open to the balcony whenever we were in the room to keep it aired out. We had a guest in the suite, (an authority on ships), who complained of the smell, and said it was most definitely toxic. I am concerned about any long term outcome of being exposed for the week to toxic fumes. We e-mailed Walter, Guest Relations, at HAL, on 4/23/10. We never recieved a reply. Our travel agent has been working diligently to try to resolve this matter, but even she is encountering apathy, and road blocks.
Sewage smell in room
23.3.10 Maasdam From a reader: Me, my friend and his service dog recently took a 14-day Panama Canal cruise that turned out to be 3-day. First off, when we embarked in San Diego on 03/19/10, we were not aware that the ship was in Code Red with the Norovirus on board. Nor were we informed until I demanded notification on 03/22/10 when we disembarked. My friend got seriously ill which caused us to disembark in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; I had to take him to the hospital emergency when we returned to Long Beach, Ca. from Mexico. For 3 days during the cruise we called each day complaining about the air-conditioner dirt, our sinus problems as a result, and requested a cabin change. We were told several times that a cabin was available and that we would be moved or upgraded to a different cabin, but later we were told there were no cabins available. Even though, we took our service dog on board with Holland America twice in the past 18 months, and we left the dog in the cabin at times unattended when we go to dinner, this time the ship had a problem with our service dog being left unattended in the cabin -- even though a front desk employees told us that it was okay. So now they have banned us and our dog from all future cruises owned by Carnival Cruise Lines. NOTE: The company says it has a policy that service dogs must never be left unattanded in a passenger cabin and that in this case the passengers violated the policy. I am not in a position to judge whether the cruise line's policy is reasonable or whether it poses a problem for others who use a service dog.
?Service dog unfriendly?
16.3.10 Volendam ABC in New South Wales reports the ship cancelled its visit to Batemans Bay on the New South Wales far south coast. The ship was expected to arrive this morning, but has announced that it will stop at Eden instead for operational reasons. The ship was expected to bring around 1,500 passengers and crew to Batemans Bay.
Itinerary change
26.2.10 Rotterdam A reader provided the following report: Around 10 A.M. this morning, morning while breakfast was going on, one guest, supposedly of cabin 1905, jumped from the outside deck. The jump was apparently witnessed as there was an immediate man overboard call and the ship manouvered quickly and then anchored and a search happened. The ship staff searched for hours, and then about 5 pm, they recovered the nan's body. The ship has been under code red for 6 days for norovirus and the staff was already under huge stress. Another passenger writes: The GI illness was all over the ship -  I was diagnosed  with the illness a day after the passenger jumped.  All self-serve areas were completely shut down to passenger access and were administered by the crew – this was in place for the remainder of the journey.  I am a 46 year old male and this illness was one of the worst I ever had  I experienced diarrhea for a solid 36 hours, going to restroom every 15 minutes (literally) coupled with vomiting.  I was given 6 Imodium tablets to take, which didn’t stop it – I started running fever and was very weak. Then I was given antibiotics with a stronger anti-diarrheal medication.  It finally subsided and was able to keep food down.  Please take caution if you hear of an outbreak on a cruise line.  
Passenger overboard


19.2.10 Statendam CTV (Canada) reports a crew member aboard a ship housing 2010 Olympic security forces is bring treated for leprosy. Leprosy is typically characterized by skin rashes and nerve damage. It is easily treated with antibiotics. The crew member visited a doctor aboard the ship, who in turn referred the case to a dermatologist in Vancouver. Samples were sent to a lab and came back positive. The crew member was immediately treated. Leprosy is not highly contagious to begin with, and there is no risk of the disease spreading 24 hours after treatment. The crew member worked in the engine room so had no contact with passengers and there is no indication that it spread to any other crew members.
12.2.10 Volendam The Howich and Pakuranga Times reports a New Zealand couple were evicted from the ship last summer in Juneau after a passenger who asked for a room upgrade was turned down and jokingly commented that if he threatened to jump overboard they'd probably give him a balcony cabin. The article reports, he was sent immediately to the ship’s doctor and “I was told I was a nut case”. Adding insult to injury they were confined to their cabin, except for being escorted to meals, until the ship docked in Juneau, Alaska. To their astonishment an ambulance was waiting to take them to nearby Bartlett Hospital. “They made us take all our gear with us,” says the passenger. “They had no right to put my wife off the ship as well.” A day of tests followed, including a brain scan for a possible tumour which the medics felt could explain his “erratic behaviour”. After they racked up about $3330 in fees, the hospital gave him a three-page letter saying he was fit and healthy, and was no danger to himself or to anyone else. But when they returned to the ship, they were refused permission to re-board it.
Passengers evicted
16.1.10 Volendam Fiji Times reports the ship cancelled its visit to Levuka after an assessment by the ship's master that showed that the passage and the currents were unsafe for passengers to go ashore from the vessel. The ship had to leave for Suva early in the morning. The vessel started its journey on January 6 from Sydney, Australia heading to New Caledonia, on to Vanuatu, then to Fiji yesterday.
Cancelled port call
21.12.09 Statendam The 10 day cruise ending today had a number of problems. According to a passenger, the cruise started out on a troubling note as we had a delayed departure due to mysterious "engine problems". We had a GI outbreak, which I guess you would call "code red". We were no longer allowed to help ourselves to food and had to be served, salt and pepper shakers were removed from tables, and so many of the crew got sick that other crew members who didn't normally work in the restaurants were now working in the restaurants. Luckily I didn't get sick. In addition, the call at Half Moon Cay was canceled because the captain said they had a big storm the night before which destroyed 70% of the beach, and Other ports throughout the cruise we arrived late, left late, and left early. The schedule was never stuck to and we were shorted many hours on each island. On top of this, the shore excursion had major bus problems, including one catching fire -- we had three buses with three different drivers for one tour.
Engine problems; shore excursion problems
23.11.09 Ryndam The ship was cited for one air quality violation in Alaska during the 2009 cruise season. Environmental
23.11.09 Oosterdam The ship was cited for one air quality violation in Alaska during the 2009 cruise season. Environmental
2.11.09 Statendam The ship was cited for violating Alaska Wastewater Quality Standards in September. On September 16 the ship's effluent exceeded the allowable level of pH. Environmental
22.10.09 Zuiderdam Tico Times (Costa Rica) reports a dockworkers strike that began Tuesday has paralyzed Costa Rica's Caribbean port of Limón and prevented a 1,896-passenger cruise ship from docking. On Tuesday, workers began a protest for higher pay and proceeded to block three outgoing ships in Moín and two in Limón. The union's administration is trying to distance itself from the strike, calling it irresponsible and unjustified. The strike ended the following day. Missed port call
28.9.09 Zuiderdam KGW News (Portland) reports a woman who passed out hot-tubbing on the ship while passing through Tillamook Bay was evacuated and hospitalized. Tillamook Bay’s Coast Guard personnel were called near 11 a.m. Sunday to evacuate the woman, who was found unconscious in a hot tub. A lifeboat hauled the woman back to the Coast Guard station and she was then transported to Tillamook County General Hospital. Her condition was unknown. Unconscious in hot tub
1.9.09 Ryndam The ship was cited for violating Alaska Wastewater Quality Standards in July. There were two violations. The ship's effluent on July 21 and for the monthly average exceeded the allowable level of fecal coliform bacteria. Environmental
1.9.09 Prinsendam Hurricanes and tropical storms have, in the past two weeks,caused changes of intineraries in the Caribbean, Atlantic Canada, and the Mexican Riviera. Now, as reported by BBC, the Prinsendam was prevented from stopping at Greencastle in Donegal because the captain felt it was too rough to disembark. The Harbourmaster at Londonderry Port said the ship had arrived too late for the tide. "You've got to have all the tidal conditions right for a vessel that size to get in. She's just at the limit of what we can do up in Lisahally. The ship travelled from Liverpool to near Derry as part of the 14-day itinerary of the Gaelic Legend cruise. Weather-effect itinerary change
3.8.09 Zaandam Anchorage Daily News reports a 45-year-old woman has gone missing, presumed overboard, between Douglas Island and Glacier Bay National Park. The last known sighting of the woman was about 12:30 a.m., when she ordered room service while the ship was near Douglas Island. She was reported missing by a friend about 9 a.m., after the ship was already in the park. In a statement released Monday, Holland America said the ship's crew conducted a thorough search and was unable to find the woman, whose family has been notified of her disappearance. The ship sailed from Seattle Friday bound for Alaska on a seven-day cruise and departed Juneau bound for Glacier Bay on Sunday. The Coast Guard deployed an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Sitka and diverted the patrol boats Long Island and Liberty and launched two rescue boats from Station Juneau. The Civil Air Patrol is also assisting the search with two aircraft and the park service is combing the shoreline with multiple vessels, the Coast Guard said. They are focusing their search on Stephens Passage, Lynn Canal and Icy Strait. The water temperature in the area is about 57 degrees. UPDATE: About 4:30 p.m. a helicopter found a body washed up on the west side of Douglas Island. The tide had apparently carried the body to shore and left it high on the beach as it receded. The body was taken to Juneau to be positively identified. Pax Overboard
27.7.09 Volendam The Juneau Empire reports the ship violated Alaska Wastewater Quality Standards in May. There were three violations. The ship's effluent on May 18 had 4800 fecal coliforms per 100 milliliters, while the limit is 43 in any one day. It had a monthly average for fecal coliform of 4800/100ml (effluent limit is 14/100ml) and was also cited for exceding the allowable level of biological oxygen demand (44.1 mg/L (effluent limit is 30 mg/L). Environmental
8.6.09 Zaandam Associated Press reports at least three crew members tested positive for swine flu. The seven-night, round-trip cruise had departed Seattle on May 29 and returned Friday. It visited Ketchikan on Wednesday. A medical epidemiologist with the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, said her department was informed Tuesday that three crew members were affected. More were reported with symptoms Wednesday. Specimens were collected and sent to the department's lab in Fairbanks for analysis. Swine flu was confirmed Thursday. None of the officials had an exact number of cases available. Subsequent reports from Agenece France Presse put the number at five crew members comfirmed illwith swine flu. Swine flu
22.5.09 Maasdam Posters at Cruise Critic report the ship tilted sharply to the starboard side while on the St. Lawrence Seaway at about 9:45 PM. Things in my stateroom slid and crashed. I understand the china and glasses in the dining room ended up on the floor (just as they were serving the baked Alaska). Another poster says s/he was with an officer that night and was told that his department was heavily damaged. He said it was caused by the pilot error and the captain was on the bridge at the time and took command of his ship. The captain saw a sand bar coming on the sonar and took action to avoid a mishap. We saw much damage in the dining room and heard the bars had some damage. I hear a bill will be sent to the pilot and hope they have good insurance. Now a few minutes later we did pass by a cargo ship very closely and wonder who was driving that evening on the river. Severe list
17.3.09 Maasdam The Sun Sentinel reports a fire on board. It was determined the source of fire to be in the crew galley. Fire started in a "tilt-pan." Tilt-pan looks very similar to a huge deep sink that is used to cook large quantities of food such as soups, boil large quantities of vegetables, etc. Mess cook poured canola oil into the empty/hot "tilt pan" which resulted in an immediate flash and fire. Crew immediately used dry-chem extinguisher to put out fire, vacated space, closed local FSDs, and notified bridge. Large quantities of smoke were noted and as a precautionary measure vsl engaged Gaylord system and discharged fixed CO2 system into ventilation ducts. Accessed space and noted no damage in area. Fire contained to metal tilt-pan. Vsl recharged fixed CO2 bottle in port and put back into service. Fire in crew mess
Volendam Passengers were notified that the ship's call to Petropavlovsk (Kamchatka), Russia on May 10, 2009 has been cancelled and has been replaced with a call to Aomori, Japan. Passengers booking shore excursion received full refunds. Shore excursions in Aomori will be available in time.
Itinerary change
13.1.09 Zaandam The Sun Sentinel reports the ship suffered a loss of propulsion. The vessel is powered by electric generators. Location - N 20-38-7 W 157-00-3 approx 5nm due south of Palaoa Pt, Lanai. A current transformer in the alternator of the #5 generator exploded causing the main switchboard to ground out. The vessels emergency generator started 43 seconds after the loss of power. No injuries, fire or further damage was discovered. The vessel regained power generation and safely arrived at Lahaina. After the #5 generator was isolated the electrical generation plant satisfactorily demonstrated operation and passed auto start process for simulated generator failures. As a result of the investigation the vessel was issued two deficiencies through a Form - B Port State Control Report of Inspection Loss of propulsion
Zuiderdam A reported has been received that a small fire - believed to be electrical - was reported overnight on the 30/11/2008. It was quickly dealt with and no injuries or damage has been reported.
Noordam A poster at Cruise Critic wrote a review of her cruise in the Mediterranean and their experience of being off-loaded in a remote area of Italy with no support or assistance from the cruise line. It is an illuminating read.
Offloaded - Failed duty of care
Volendam A 75-year-old Dutch passenger was photographing vintage cars parked nearby when he walked backwards off the edge of the wharf at Napier (New Zealand), falling 4-5m into the sea, about 12.30pm. A cruise ship staff member jumped into the water and rescued the man who was later taken to Hawke's Bay hospital suffering water inhalation. The man, due to leave aboard the ship this afternoon, was expected to rejoin the vessel in Tauranga.
Pax falls off dock
Eurodam A blogger reports (here and here) that passengers were awakened at 4AM by a fire alarm and the following over the ship's PA system: "There's not need for concern, ladies and gentlemen, we've detected a fire in the engine room.  No cause for concern, the ship's crew will be taking care of everything.  Fire crews, emergency response teams, emergency elevator operators, traffic control teams, hotel manager (and others) all report to your stations, please." A short time later another announcement was made: "Ladies and Gentlemen, this is the Captain here. The Fire Suppression System has done it's job, and the temperature is dropping in the boiler. I'm going to stop giving you updates now, do please go back to sleep and enjoy an unworried slumber."
Westerdam The Juneau Empire reports that each ship reportedly violated its wastewater discharge permit in September (2008), according to Alaska state regulators. Wastewater samples from the ship had higher-than-permitted levels on two parameters. Environmental
Westerdam The Juneau Empire reports the ship violated its wastewater discharge permit in May, June and July (2008), according to Alaska state regulators. Wastewater samples from the ship had higher-than-permitted ammonia, zinc and biological oxygen demand. The latter indicates the amount of organic waste in the water. Environmental
Eurodam High winds caused the ship to skip its port call to Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.
Skipped port call
Zuiderdam A passenger reports there was an onboard fire while the ship was docked at Dubrovnik. S/he returned to the ship at around 1:30 PM, and during lunch heard a fire alarm. As they tried to return to their cabin, they found a strong smell of smsoke and instead went to the Promenade. Upon arrival at the Promenade we saw that 4 fire trucks arrived and more were beginning to put the hoses on the boat. About 40 minutes after the initial warning, the fire appeared to be under control and 10 minutes later firefighters began to leave. The fire apparently burned some kind of warehouse and had been burning an hour. The degree of damage was not known.
Zaandam From a passenger: Just finished 7 day cruise in Alaska...ending 7/13...something happened that caused smell of kerosene inside several decks..we were on deck 6..woke up to the smell..opened the balcony..made smell worse..closed it back..woke up again later and smell was better..listened to passengers talking....some slept out by pool deck smell was so bad..heard 200 gallons of diesel was in bilge pump....somebody else said it affected everybody on deck 2....some on 6 didn't notice at up morning of departure opened door to hallway...still smelled kerosene...made son-in-law sick....I'd like to know what really happened???
Noxious smell
3.7.08 Statendam The Sun Sentinel reports at approximately 1345 on July 3rd 2008, Sector Juneau was notified of a minor hydraulic leak on the ship. The leak was from the port side controllable pitch propeller system due to a loose cover plate on the hub. The leak was approximately one drop of hydraulic fluid every two seconds into Tongass Narrows, which is a navigable waterway of the United States. The vessel hired divers to repair the hub. No cleanup was necessary due to the minor amount. The vessel placed absorbent boom around the vessel to contain the sheen. Envivronmental - oil leak

The ship was forced to skip its port call at Ketchikan today because of winds of 40 knots. It was en route from Skagway and continued on to Vancouver where the cruise disembarks.
Missed port
Three ships (RCI's Serenade of the Seas, HAL's Maasdam, and Pullmantur's Holiday Dream) were prevented from docking at Bridgetown because of high seas. Two of the ships made it into port, but a decision was made to not disembark passengers. A fourth ship, Silversea's Silver Wind cancelled its call for March 21, also because of sea conditions.
Canceled port call
Veendam From a passenger: The ship arrived late today at St. Thomas (approximately 2pm, instead of normal time of 8 am) due to a medical evacuation that happened at 3 am yesterday morning. A helicopter was called to evacuate the passenger. The delay was also caused by engine trouble, which the Captain described as "oil overheating", and had to reduce speed to reduce the temperature of the oil. Once arriving in St. Thomas, the passengers will have to see immigration officials, as per the Jones Act, and the Veendam will have to depart at 5pm to make it's next port of call in Dominica. All shore excursions are cancelled. According to rumor, Head Office in Seattle would not let the Captain skip the port of St. Thomas as they insisted they stop there.  The ship left Tampa Feb 3 on a 14 day cruise.
Delayed arrival in port
Maasdam Dozens of people, just disembarked from the ship, were injured when a car collided with their bus while traveling west on I-595 near the interchange with Florida State Road 7 and Florida Turnpike. According to Associate Press, at least four people were critically injured, four others seriously injured and at least 20 people sustained minor injuries.
Onshore bus accident
Veendam The port call at Belize was cancelled today because of rough weather. Passengers were refunded ports fees and plied with free champagne.
Canceled port call (Weather)
FROM A PASSENGER:  The ship was in dry dock for 21 days and they didn’t get everything done.  I would say they got nothing done.  The ship was late getting  to Fort Lauderdale, they did not contact us to tell us it was over 12 hours late and then shoved us into the Westin near I 95.  We could  have delayed coming as we live in Southern FL but they assured it would just be an hour or so (we were there hours with bad, dried up, cold pasta as our “luncheon”).  Lies, lies lies.  We did not leave port until the next day! We got on the ship at 7 pm and there were staterooms and public areas devoid of furniture.  The hallways on deck 5 and 6 were flooded for the first three days and several passengers have respiratory aliments.  They still smell like indoor pools that have never been cleaned.  The cabins on those decks are contaminated too.  If you have to get out of the elevators on those decks, it hits you every time.  They are painting pieces of the ship in the hallways (not the hallways themselves) and noxious fumes are everywhere.  The ship did not pass its coast guard inspection and if it doesn’t pass it on January 3 the ship isn’t going anywhere.  Every day large areas of the ship have no working plumbing.  The plumbers just drilled into the wall on the second day and flooded another deck.  The lido swimming pool is still not filled but they finally filled the aft one, which you have to navigate past the gym equipment to get to.  Since we left so late, they change the itinerary so that the first three days were at sea, with no pool at all. The air conditioning isn’t working right in the dining room and it is over 28C/ 80 F at dinner.  And people are complaining about the food and the service. The same can be said about several staterooms.  They are too hot or too cold.  There is dust everywhere on the ship and in the cabins.  When we put our clothes in the closet, they got covered with dust because the shelves and hanging bars were not washed down. There are queues of people at the front office howling for justice and relief, and the response is, “the cruise isn’t over yet, it will get better.”  I thought how could it get any worse, but it has.  After all the time in dry dock you would think the ship was sanitized.  But there are people coming down with Norwalk Virus.  And tons of respiratory ailments. The ship has not offered a single dollar worth of credit.  They have not offered to clean clothes for people who have placed them in dusty/dirty closets or sat on dirty outside chairs, nor have they offered to provide free of charge the medical care for those sickened by the moldy carpets and staterooms. The ship is on a 16 day cruise of the Eastern and Soutnern Caribbean.
Multiple problems
Not ready after drydock
Veendam The ship is continuing to have engine problems (see November 25) and according to a passenger missed San Juan on its current 14 day southern Caribbean cruise. In addition, the passenger writes: On this current cruise, a man collapsed in the Ocean Bar, and several calls were made to 911, including the bar staff, who went down to the front desk to plead for help. It took over 20 minutes for the paramedics to arrive. One of the bar staff then went down and yelled at the front desk and said “Thank you very much – the man has died!”
Engine problems
Missed port
Veendam According to passengers on the 7 day cruise to the Western Caribbean which ended today, there were engine problems that caused the ship to miss two ports: Key West and Cozumel. They did make the port calls at Belize and Guatemala. According to a passenger: Many guests are angry that the ship is experiencing so many problems, in addition to the engine problems, there was floodings, toilets did not work, and water was turned off several times. Engine problems
Missed ports
Statendam Australia's The Age reports that the ship "...was damaged and came within seconds of running aground while entering Port Phillip Bay (Melbourne) without a pilot in board and without perission in December last year."  A top-level marine investigation of the December 6, 2006 incident found serious lapses by both the ship and the Port of Melbourne.  Despite compulsory pilotage, the ship continued torard the port and travelled at a speed well above the recommended limit.  The port was criticised for not challenging the ship's entry into the port.  One of the ship's stabiliser fins had been damaged; a full grounding had been narrowly averted.
Zuiderdam 9-passengers (7 of whom were on a Holland America cruise) were on board when a flightseeing aircraft went down in Traitor's Cove (near Ketchikan), just 200-feet from the water. 5-people were killed.  3 of the 4-surviving victims were medi-vacd to a hospital in Seattle.  The cause of the crash is under investigation – State Troopers say high winds could have been a factor and they said darkness and worsening weather ended recovery efforts on Thursday night.
Flightseeing plane crash
Oosterdam From a passenger:  There was a small electrical fire on the cruise to Alaska. The fire alarm (which sounded eerily similar to the 'put on your lifevest and head for the lifeboats' alarm) went off shortly before midnight on May 21, 2007. There were three announcements over the public address system; the final one informing us that the fire was due to an air conditioning belt in the Vista dining lounge area. The cruiseproceeded as if nothing had happened.
Small fire
Maasdam The ship's docking at Sydney (Nova Scotia) was delayed more than 5 hours because of a med-evac from the ship shorrtly after it departed Halifax last night.  The evacuation meant the ship -- the first to visit Cape Breton in 2007 -- arrived at 12:45PM instead of 7:30AM.
Delayed arrival
Maasdam One hundred thrity-three (133) passengers  were denied boarding (as planned by the cruise ticket) at Savannah (Georgia) on May 6 because the port was not set up to handle cruise ship security.  Instead, these passengers were transported by bus and caught up with the ship today during its port call at Charleston (South Carolina).  HAL, in a letter to affected passengers, apologized for the missed embarkation and told passengers their onboard account would be credited for the lost day (not a refund) plus they would receive a $100 shipboard credit per person.
Embarkation screw-up
Ryndam A passenger reports: At about 1:00 PM, April 11, I was finishing lunch in the dining room at a window table at the aft end of the ship when there was a loud clatter and the ship shuddered.  Looking out we could see that the stream from the propellers had stopped, and the ship was losing way and eventually came to a complete stop.  The Captain announced the Engineering Dept was working on it, and after awhile the ship was making 4.5 to 5 kts (per my GPS).  The was eventually increased to 14 to 17 kts, so we arrived at San Diego only some 4 hours late.  The Captain said the Coast Guard required the ship to have 2 tugboats to assist entering the harbor and docking.  The Captain said a representative of the propulsion unit manufacturer was flying to San Diego from Finland to help resolve the situation.  That evening the ships electrical power failed and the emergency lights came on.  The power was restored to some circuits after about 30 minutes, but other circuits, such as the main lighting and TV power in my cabin we not restored until after we docked in San Diego the next day.
Propulsion problems
Power Outage
Oosterdam From a passenger: The hoisting mechanism for life boat 12 failed when attempting to stow the craft after using it as a tender in Cabo San Lucas.  The ship left the port at about 6PM, but at a much reduced speed until the crew was able to lash the boat to the Deck 3 railing. The Oosterdam made the next port Mazatlan on time and the hoist was repaired while in port. Life boat problems
Ryndam The cruise scheduled to begin March 13 will be delayed for two days until March 15 so that a thorough cleaning can be completed.  Passengers on the affected cruise can cancel and receive a full refund, or take the cruise and receive a two-day refund plus onboard credits.
Cancelation because of illness
Oosterdam A reader reports that the cruise scheduled for 21 April 07 ( 7-day Mexican Riviera from San Diego) has been canceled due to overhaul of machinery.  She writes: Trouble with this had been reported on your site BEFORE we booked the cruise, and we had our travel agent check with HAL ...  She was told the problem had been fixed.  It was to be our 55th anniversary celebration and we had reserved 3 cabins for ourselves and our sons and daughters-in-law.  We are devastated by the news as it is too late to have any choice on another cruise at the same time.  Our sons have already arranged the vacation time for the dates of that cruise.  We will get a full refund, as we're too old to try to scramble for new reservations with some cruise line, but our plans of spending time with our family have been completely wrecked thanks to HAL not being honest with us.
21 April 07
Ryndam The ship spent the night anchored in Tampa Bay after encountering engine and electrical problems shortly after sailing.   The ship reported engine problems about an hour after sailing and stalled in the channel between the port and the Skyway Bridge.  Power was subsequently restored, but the Coast Guard said the ship would remain moored in the area overnight while they investigated the problem with the engines. Power Loss
Noordam During a four day window starting 8 September, cabins on 10 sailings (from January to April 2007) were sold for $849 rather than $1399.  The company caught its error and is now requiring passengers to pay the difference between the original confirmed fare and the newly revised fare -- a charge of $1100 per couple.  According to the cruise line: "After fully reviewing all the facts ... our conclusion was that we werre not able to offer the mistaken rate."  See USA Today for more details.
Bait and Switch?
Oosterdam From a passenger:  The broken Azipod was still not repaired so HAL gave all passengers a $ 25.00 credit as well as a glass of wine.  Calls at ports were shortened somewhat, especially Puerto Vallarta.  In a conversation with the Captain, he indicated the propulsion unit would not be repaired until April during the next haul out.  The ship was able to maintain 19 knots instead of the regular 23 or 24 knots.  Docking had to be tug assisted. Propulsion problems
Oosterdam A fire alarm went off at 6:00 AM as a result of a fire (or excessive smoke) in the engine room and affected one of the azipods.  The problem was put under control with injuries of difficulty, however one of the azipods was now disabled.  Because of reduced speeds the ship will sail a revised itinerary for the remianing cruise days, skipping Puerto Vallarta.  This is a seven day cruise from San Diego and the incident occured the first morning of the cruises.  The ship will return to San Diego one day early and passengers will be permitted to remain onboard.  Compensation included a $150 shipboard credit and future travel discount of 25% of the fare paid for this cruise.
Zuiderdam A generator malfunction caused the ship to spew black soot and soot on Skagway, AK.  According to HAL, "there was a technical malfunction of one of the ships five diesel generators which resulted in an extraordinarily abnormal emission of heavy black smoke and some soot from its stacks. The emission was exclusively from the ship’s stacks and lasted approximately five minutes."  According to the fire chief, “It came into town at least three blocks.” Environmental
Westerdam 16 passengers were onboard the 48-foot catamaran Ke'el when it struck a rock near Sitka and sustained heavy damage,  No passengers or crew were injured and were transferred to another vessel.  On May 31st, another tour boat owned by the same company, M/V Kalinin Express, hit a rock near Ketchikan with passengers from the Statendam.  15 passengers and 2 crew reported minor injuries in that accident.
Shore Excursion Grounded
Statendam At approx. 5:30 AM the fire alarm (5 short blasts) went off.  The fire was contained in the “stack of the incinerator that burns garbage”, and a fire crew was kept standing by to make sure it didn’t flare up.  I was partially awake, therefore being able to hear the alarm.  But most of our fellow cruisers did not hear the alarm.  A “survey” was taken later that day asking the question about the speakers in the staterooms, etc.  When I asked fellow cruisers, I found out that like in my room, the “speakers” were not operational.  The captain thanked those who responded to the survey, but nothing was done to correct any of the speakers, and even to the end of the cruise, announcements were barely audible unless you opened the cabin doors.  Fire
Zuiderdam The ship lost all power and was adrift for about an hour (midnight to 1 AM) while between St. Thomas and Tortola.
Power Loss
Statendam The ship aborted its planned port call at the Port of Napier (New Zealand) because of "difficult sea conditions."  Extreme surge prevented the ship from being morred safely and no alternative berth was available given the surge conditions.
Cancelled port call
Amsterdam A 30 year old crew member (galley worker) apparently fell overboard early Friday about 1100 miles northeast of Hilo.  The ship was assisted by the Coast Guard in a search, which was called off mid-day on Saturday.  The ship is now en route to San Diego and will arrive one day later than scheduled. Crew member missing
26.10 - 5.11.05
Maasdam From a passenger:  The ship was quite late boarding due to a quarantine.  According to ship authorities, a virus was responsible for an undisclosed number of ill crew and passengers inbound from New England .  Our trip was impacted due to increased sanitation for all but the last two days.  It was difficult to even obtain towels at the pool.  Without a doubt, the worst cruise we ever had because they were obviously very short handed due to sick crew.  No compensation-not that we expected any.  Also on this cruise, a pipe burst ( I believe on level 3) and flooded the floor.  We know a couple who said everything was quite “hush-hush”.  After the pipe was fixed and rooms water vacuumed, we were told that the smell from both the water then the chemicals was awful.  They were compensated with a choice of future cruise or $500.00. Illness / Delay

Burst Pipe
Many ships had their itineraries impacted by Hurricane Wilma, including the port of embarkation and de-barkation changing without proper notice.  I received many e-mails, including from the Coral Princess and Volendam.  The latter two were interesting because passengers complained about the lack of information and the giving of false information by folks on the phones prior to the cruise.  There were also complaints about confusing information onboard.  As one person recommended to cruise lines: This is not the only time this is going to happen -- learn some lessons and develop measures to ensure customer support and satisfaction for the next time.  Interestingly, a passenger on the Coral Princess reported that passengers on the shortened sailing received a refund of 33%; a passenger on the Volendam reported receiving an onboard credit of 78 cents and a free cocktail.
Weather Delays
Maasdam The ship left Sydney, Nova Scotia two hours early for Halifax where it plans to repair one of its failed engines.  It is unclear the degree to which engione problems have influenced the ship's itinerary.
Engine problems
Maasdam From a passenger onboard: Start of the cruise was delayed after the ship arrived 8 hours late into Norfolk, VA on April 10th -- it had engine problems and encountered heavy weather.  The current cruise will skip Half Moon Cay to make up time, and because of engine problems also skipped San Juan.   Passengers were given an onboard credit of $100 plus 20% off a future cruise, although after complaining some (but not all) passengers received credits of larger amounts (as high as $400).
Engine problems / Delay / Missed Ports
Though airlifts from cruise ships are not uncommon, it is unusual that three passengers would be airlifted the same day.  That was the case in San Diego.
A 78-year-old man who fell and broke his hip and a 64-year-old woman with a tear in her esophagus (reportedly after walking through a glass door at an onboard  shop) were airlifted Saturday night; the following morning a 55-year-old woman suffering "severe internal pain" was airlifted from the Paradise.  These are reminders not to travel without adequate health insurance that will cover such emergencies.
Airlift ill pax
Amsterdam A California woman and her son have sued Holland America Line after getting sick on a South America cruise in March 2004 where they said toilets overflowed and crew members were seen with prostitutes at ports of call.  Their lawsuit alleges: "Not long into the cruise, the toilets on lower decks overflowed several times," and it took crew members 15 hours to clean up the mess, which "created incredibly unsanitary conditions on board, separate and apart from a piercing stench."  See Reuters for details and judge for yourself. Lawsuit
Statendam West Hawaii Today received numerous calls that the ship discharged what appeared to be "brown water" into Kailua Bay for about 15 minutes to 20 minutes before it moved further out to sea. Several of the callers reported the discharge left a "brown mark" on the vessel's side.
The following is from Carnival Corporation's Annual Report filed today:
In August 2004, Holland America Line was notified by the National Park Service ("NPS") that the Volendam and Statendam may have violated opacity standards while operating in Glacier Bay. On November 10, 2004, NPS notified Holland America Line in separate letters that a Violation of Record would beentered in the permanent park files for each ship.
Amsterdam Tenders brought passengers ashore to Port Stanley (Falkland Islands) to explore for the day with a planned 5pm departure. However, the wind picked up and by 1pm , conditions in the outer harbour had deteriorated, suspending launch operations. Conditions deteriorated still further with gale force winds whipping up white-caps, leaving 936 passengers and 63 crew stranded overnight in a town with two tiny full hotels where the population is normally under 2,000. The drill hall of the Falkland Islands Defence Force, the parish hall and the secondary school gymnasium were converted into temporary shelter while all commercial kitchens were pressed into service to feed the thousand stranded people.  Conditions improved by morning and passengers returned to the ship.
Stranded ashore
Statendam A 73 year old man reportedly went overboard when the ship was near the Coronado Islands.
Person overboard
Maasdam The ship will arrive in Norfolk 8 or 9 hours later than scheduled, reportedly because of bad weather.  Disembarking passengers will begin at 5 PM; emabraking passengers will begin boarding at 7:30 PM.
Holland America Line The company agreed to a $2 million plea agreement in return for its discharge of raw sewage in Juneau Harbor in August 2002.  The offense was considered a misdemeanor.
Rotterdam Ambulances greeted the ship in Halifax after passengers and crew endured a harrowing encounter with monster waves generated by hurricane Karl in the North Atlantic. About a dozen passengers were taken to hospital with suspected fractures and severe bruising.  In total, 90 poeple (including five crew) reported some minor injury.  The ship lost power and for 3.5 hours was tossed around in high waves and in total darkness.  Here's a link to a news story if you want more info.  And another.
Power Loss and Adrift
"Cruise from Hell"
Holland America Line
Former Vice President, Richard K. Softye, was fined $10,000 after pleading guilty to falsely certifying that Holland America Line was performing environmental audits when it wasn't.  He was also ordered to perform 450 hours of community service while on probation for three years.
There have been multiple reports on Internet newsgroups of engine/propulsion problems with the Veendam.  The May 14th and May21st cruises skipped College Fjord, cut short the visit to ports, and arrived late into Vancouver (and Seward)  because of the problems, which caused most passengers to miss their scheduled flights home.  
There also appear to have been propulsion problems aboard the Volendam's May 12th cruise -- the right engine was not operational and the cruise was ended on one engine.  
Neither ship has been taken out of service for repairs.
Propulsion problems

Ports skipped

Delayed arrivals & departures
Carnival Corporation reported in its 10Q filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that on March 5, 2004, Holland America Line notified the United States and Netherlands governmental authorities that one of its chief engineers had admitted to improperly processing bilge water on the Noordam. A subsequent internal investigation determined that the improper operation may have begun in January 2004 and may have continued sporadically through March 4, 2004.  The matter had also been raised by Coast Guard officials in San Juan, Puerto Rico to their counterparts in Tampa following a report to them of the incidents.  It isn't clear whether Holland America's self-report predates the report made by the Coast Guard.  Holland America Line and three shipboard engineers have received grand jury subpoenas from the Office of the U.S. Attorney in Tampa, FL (where the ship was homeported).  (See CCL 10Q filed with the SEC on April 8, 2004)
Passenger report:  Both ships were docked at the Cozumel pier stern to stern with approximately 20-30' between the 2 ships.  A sudden breif storm with high wind and rain came in around 7-7:30 and pushed the Veendam into the Norwegian Wind.  The Wind seemed to have more damage than the Veendam.  From what we could see, the Veendam had damage to a window cleaning walkway.  The Wind had a nice size dent 15' wide in the stern at Deck 7/8 towards the port side.  The floor on the deck was buckled where it meets the stern.  Also a section of pipe under deck 8 crimped.  Possibly related to the accident and to the crimped pipe, a sprinker line burst in the aft stairwell around the same time.  Departure from Cozumel was delayed by only 15 minutes and as far as we know, there were no injuries.
Fire broke out on the ship while it was under construction at Fincantieri shipyards in Marghera, Italy.  The fir broke out on the aft section at about 7:30 AM and was extinguished by 11 AM.  The ship's delivery on April 15, 2004 does not appear to be affected.
A 51-year old man was missing from the ship when it disembarked passengers in Vancouver.  Given that he could not be found onboard, and the computer system indicates that he didn't leave the ship, the assumption is that the man fell overboard.
Passenger overboard
"The ship listed to the port side around 6:30 PM and caused injuries to passengers and crew.  Furniture went flying, dishes broke, glasses destroyed.  The pool emptied down the elevator shafts, and put elevators on the port sode out of commission for four days.  They explained the incident as a mechanical failure from going from manual to automatic pilot."  -- Passenger account
Unexpected list
The first two voyages originally planned have been cancelled because the ship's delivery will be delayed.  The maiden voyage will now depart August 3 (instead of July 10)
An elderly man was suspected to have jumped overboard the night before disembarkation at San Diego following a roundtrip cruise from San Diego to Hawaii.  According to a spokeswoman for Holland America Line, "'We're a 130 year old company and it happens very rarely, but it is not unheard of on a cruise ship' to lose a passenger."
Person overboard
Cruise cancelled for thorough cleaning of ship.
Approximately 40,000 gallons (250 according to HAL) of sewage sludge discharged into Juneau harbour.  The incident was reported by harbourmaster staff.  The brown, thick substance is being tested  by Alaska's DEC for fecal coliform, pH, and biochemical demand levels.
A generator stopped running while the ship was in the Lynn Canal (Alaska) causing it to lose power -- it lost all propulsion and was adrift for about 20 minutes (at 1:30 AM -- the water was too deep for the ship to drop anchor).  Passengers awoke expecting to be in Glacier Bay but were instead at Auke Bay. Escorted by a tug, the ship docked to undergo a Coast Guard inspection. Cruise continued, but Glacier Bay replaced by Tracy Arm and Sawyer Glacier.
Power failure & Lost Propulsion
Announced on August 7, that the August 11 cruise was canceled because repairs to the electrical generation system was taking longer than expected.
Five tug boats called to tow the ship back to Vancouver after a small fire in the ship's generator rooms knocked out four generator and the ship's two main propulsion motors.  One  generator continued to operate, so there were lights but no A/C.  Incident happened when the ship was 24 miles from Vancouver, in Strait of Georgia (call for help came at 9 PM). Efforts to repair the problem took too long so the cruise was canceled. (The Canadian Coast Guard says there was a fire; HAL says that a breaker panel overheated and melted, tripping other generators and the propulsion system.)  See: TSB Report on Switchboard Fire Passenger Vessel Statendam Strait of Georgia, British Columbia, 04 August 2002, Transportation Safety Board of Canada Report Number M02W0135 Fire
Cruise canceled because of two successive cruises with  gastrointestinal illness from Norwalk-like virus.   See CDC for more information.
2001 and earlier
The company reports that a crew member noticed a sprinkler head missing from a passenger cabin which led to discovery that a branch of the sprinkler irrigation did not connect to the main water supply.  The problem was fixed on May 31.
Fire sprinklers  defective
A small engine room fire was reported.  It was quickly brought under control.
The ship lost electricity for about 3 hours, leaving the ship without cooling, lighting, running waterr, or ventilation.
Power loss
Nieuw Amsterdam
A fire in the crew quarters was extinguished after 45 minutes, causing extensive damage to 10 crew cabins.  Following a damage assessment, the ship continued on its planned itinerary of cruising Galcier Bay.  See: Fire on Board the Netherlands-Registered Passenger Ship Nieuw Amsterdam at Glacier Bay, Alaska, May 23, 2000, NTSB Report Number: MBR-01-01 Fire
The ship grazed the Mercury (already docked) as it was docking in Victoria, BC.  Damage to both ships was slight.
Hit by rogue wave.  Damage to anything not bolted down; rough seas for Pacific crossing.
Rogue wave
Ryndam Thirteen passengers were injured when a rudder glitch caused a list (estimated at 6 degrees)  that emptied a quarter of the indoor swimming pool.
Severe List
The National Marine Fisheries Service is investigating an incident in which a cruise ship truck a whale in SE Alaska.  It's not known whether the ship killed the whale or if the whale was already dead.
Whale death
In 1994, discharged waste 13 times in 10 days into Alaskan waters.  The ship had fixed, permanent piping that allowed oily waste to be discharged directly overboard.  (Reported Assistant Engineer -- he got $500,000)  Fine = $2 million ($1 million fine, $1 million restitution) Environmental
Westerdam A 28 year old woman believed to be from Turkey jumped overboard after learning she was about to be fired.  The ship was in Howe Sound en route to Vancouver when she leapt from the ship at 4:30 AM.
Forced to abandon a seven day cruise after striking an underwater object off the Mexican Caribbean coast (near Playa del Carmen).  Initial inspections indicate the ship damaged its starboard propeller; the following cruise is cancelled for repairs.
The ship barely averted a collision with a tugboat towing a barge of propane in BC's Inside Passage,  The tug/barge took evasive action, which prevented the accident.  See: Near-collision Between the Cruise Ship "STATENDAM" and the Tug/barge Unit "BELLEISLE SOUND"/"RADIUM 622" Discovery Passage, British Columbia 11 August 1996, Transportation Safety Board of Canada Report Number M96W0187 Near collision
The ship dragged its anchor over Soto's Reef, a key tourist attraction of the Cayman Islands.  It is likely the company will be fined for the damage.
Nieuw Amsterdam Went aground about three miles from Ketchikan and was reported to be leaking oil.  The ship was able to refloat itself and continue on.
Collision of the Netherlands Antilles Passenger Ship Noordam and the Maltese Bulk Carrier Mount Ymitos in the Gulf of Mexico November 6, 1993. (NTSB Report Number: MAR-95-01) Collision