Source: Cruise Junkie dot Com

Events at Sea by MSC Cruises

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 seen viewed separately by ship.

March 20 MSC Cruises Crew-Center reports two passengers arrived on Monday to Lisbon from Brazil from transatlantic voyage, were arrested in possession of seven kilograms of cocaine. Two tourists, with Argentinean  passports, boarded Santos, Brazil, and took the transatlantic cruise on a cruise ship to Lisbon in possession of the narcotic product. Early in the morning, the two men were leaving the luxury liner, owned by MSC Cruises, from the cruise terminal Santa Apolonia, as if they were normal tourists to make a visit to the Portuguese capital. However, outside the cruise ship the two men, who were around  40 years old, were surprised by the Customs Authorities , aided by the Maritime Police and arested. In the beginning, they were surprised at the approach of the authorities, but then subject to a search, it was detect the possession of about seven kilograms of cocaine properly wrapped packages that men carrying two backpacks. Drug bust
February 12 Fantasia

Brazilian press reports the search area for architect Luciano Lucca, 30, missing since Saturday night. The teams are now trying to find the tourist in high seas.The incident occurred in the channel of the Port in an area away from the river and beach moments before the ship starts its journey. However, more than 30 hours after the incident, the fire department mobilized its teams in the cities of São Vicente and Guaruja to enhance the search. Lucca was in a cab from the 11th floor of the ship, along with three other people when he fell from a height of about 40 meters, around 18:30. The Navy and Federal Police were triggered and performed on-site expertise, and the boat was only released around 0h20 Sunday. The Port filed an administrative proceeding to investigate the causes of the accident. Within 90 days, the procedure should determine the company or any member of the crew had responsibility in the case. The MSC Fantasia, the largest cruise ship that circulates Brazilian waters, has returned to the port of Santos scheduled for next Saturday, after undergoing Buzios (RJ), Salvador (BA) and Ilha Grande (RJ).

Passenger overboard
December 6 Fantasia Brazilian press reports the entrepreneur Theobald Ferreira da Cruz, 52, died after suffering a fall in the early hours of Thursday (6). According to the company, the man fell from an upper floor, and when he was found by officials, was already dead. Cruz worked in the business and distributing goods wholesaler in the city of Ilheus, in southern Bahia. At the time of the accident, the ship sailed from Santos, in São Paulo coast, and Ilha Grande, in Rio de Janeiro. In a statement, MSC Cruises says the death of the passenger was seen by a doctor of the vessel, but the exact causes have not yet been identified.
Pax dies in fall on ship
December 3 Sinfonia Eyewitness News reports around 2,000 people are stranded on the ship at Cape Town harbour. The vessel was supposed to leave for Walvis Bay in Namibia on Wednesday, but remained stuck in the harbour due to strong winds. Making matters worse, all shops and casinos on the vessel are closed. Sinfonia passenger Fred Hofman said, “If they allowed the shops and casino to be open, we could function normally until Monday, but now we're stuck. In addition, immigration doesn't want to let us off the ship and the captain doesn't want to let the ship out of the harbour because of the wind.”
Stuck in port
October 8 Orchestra ANSAmed reports four crew members are in hospital, including one who is fighting for his life, following an outbreak of bacterial meningitis. The four were admitted to hospital in the Tuscan port of Livorno on Sunday at the end of a cruise. A 32-year-old Indonesian crew member is the most ill of the four. He is in the intensive care department of Livorno hospital as is another man who is seriously ill, a 47-year-old Italian who worked in the kitchen of the ship. The two other crew members are in the hospital's infectious diseases department. The ship left Livorno to start another cruise late on Sunday. MSC Cruises said that ‘as a precaution and in agreement with the local maritime authorities, all the passengers on board were treated with antibiotics.’ Crew were also treated. UPDATE: AFP reports an Indonesian cruise ship crew member died of meningitis, nine days after being hospitalised with three colleagues in the western Italian port city of Livorno, health sources said. Ermandiasa I Gede, 32, died Tuesday despite intensive attempts to save him since he was hospitalised on October 7. According to the company, a 47-year-old Italian cook from the ship was still on life support but his condition had "improved markedly" in recent days.
Meningitis attacks 4 crew members
August 25 Lirica The Press and Journal reports businesses at Oban were dealt a blow yesterday when a visit by a cruise ship was diverted farther south. The MSC Lirica had been scheduled to arrive off Oban with more than 1,500 passengers on board, but due to the weather forecast earlier in the week, the cruise company changed its plans and decided to call at Greenock. Despite the company’s fears, the Argyll town experienced a few showers and a light breeze yesterday and none of the ferries was disrupted due to weather conditions. At the same time Greenock Telegraph reports the ship made its first ever call to Greenock yesterday after being added to the list of visitors at the last minute. It was added to the busy Ocean Terminal schedule earlier this week after a change of plans saw the ship berth here instead of Oban.
Itinerary change
April 29 Lirica From a passenger: While turning in Aarhus, Denmark before docking we hit part of the port pier/wall, not sure about the exact English term, with the aft of the ship. Wall was pushed in quite a bit and back of the ship below the name bent in a bit and some black marks from the impact. Impact was felt (if you were a cruiser) - I was in a lounge near the back talking and felt it, first thought it was a tug pushing us but rushed outside to see the tug next to us and the damage to the port wall. Dent/scratches were painted over already in Arhus, in Copenhagen next day only the dents were still visible. No announcement or mention of it onboard whatsoever...pretty typical cruise line behaviour I guess (otherwise loved the ship+staff, so dont wanna sound too critical). Here are some pics.
Collision with pier
April 6 Lirica From a passenger: On 25 March the ship was overtaken by a container ship, the MSC LAUREN, in a very close quarter situation. Weather conditions were fine and seas were open. The ship was sailing south of Sicily at about 17  kts on a voyagefrom Kuwait to Hamburg. As we know since the sinking of the Costa Concordia and the claims of Capt. Schettino, that his company and others like to pass extremely close certain geographical co-ordinates, the same seems to be the philosophy of  another cruise ship company too - to meet company ships as well as in a close-up situation of less than 100 meters. The MSC LAUREN approached the MSC LIRICA from starboard aft - she came closer and closer and once the LAUREN was abeam the distance was less than one cable. See the photos. Whistles were blowing, passengers waving and none of them was aware about the high risk in case of a blackout or engine or rudder-failure on one of the ships. This practice is inconsistent good bridge management practices.
Close pass
February 18 Armonia Globo News and Ultimo Segundo report a 30 year old female crew member (waitress) has died after been hospitalized in serious conndition for a fever and cough -- she was breathing with the help of a ventilator when she died. She had been diagnosed with pneumonia. Five other crew members remain in hospital under observation with the same symptoms. The ship docked at the Port of Santos today. Officials of the National Agency of Sanitary Surveillance met the ship and it took six hours for the 2,000 passengers to be cleared to disembark. The company says the next cruise will proceed as normal. UPDATE: The Buenos Aires Herald reports Health Minister Juan Manzur confirmed this morning that the situation on the ship, which lost a crew member last Friday to Influenza B, “was under control” and in a “normal state” after it arrived to Buenos Aires port to be inspected by customs and health authorities today. After speaking with doctors on board the cruise and carrying out a series of controls, the health minister told the press that both passengers and crew members on board the ship were “all clear of risk and that there aren’t any complications.”
Illness - Crew death
January 10 Poesia There are reports that the ship collided with the pier while leave Jamaica causing major damage to the pier and damage to the ship.
Collision with pier
January 7 Poesia The Bahamas Weekly reports that the ship ran aground at Port Lucaya near Freeport, Bahamas. The ship waited for the tide to get high at 18:00, she was pulled off with 4 tugs and a 5th tug standing by. At 20:00hrs she was free and continued on her journey at 19.5 kts to little Salvador.
December 27 Splendida From a passenger: The ship missed Malta today (27 Dec) and sailed straight to Tunis. This was due to the port being closed as winds were reported at 40+ knots. Malta has been replaced with a call to Messina on the 28th. UPDATE Dec 29th: We are now missing Marseille (where I am scheduled to disembark) due to adverse weather and will now dock in Cannes and be shuttled via coach to Marseille.
Missed port - Itinerary change
December 18 Sinfonia The Saturday Star reports a Durban man claims South African courts cannot try him for allegedly raping a Joburg woman on a cruise ship – because the incident happened on international waters. Lawyers for Pinetown resident Sindhu Ramanandh Bhogal say he does not have a case to answer. Bhogal, a married man and a father of one, appeared in the Durban Magistrate’s Court on Thursday to face charges of raping Gauteng woman Anika Marks on board the MSC Sinfonia on November 28, 2009, after allegedly spiking her drink. After two years of legal arguments, the case now rests on whether the state’s legal team has jurisdiction to continue with the prosecution – a matter which Bhogal’s new advocate has challenged as the incident was alleged to have happened in international waters. Marks says she awoke two hours after the alleged rape. She accompanied her colleagues to Portuguese islands – one of the ship’s stops on the cruise – and only reported the matter to the ship’s manager, after confiding in a close friend, a day before it was due to dock in Durban harbour. Bhogal has denied the charge, and is out on R1 000 bail. Bhogal’s advocate, Ken McIntosh, citing Section 61 of the Criminal Procedures Act, said as the alleged crime occurred in international waters, the court could not proceed with the matter.
Sexual assault
May 27 Opera
BBC reports the ship has been detained in Southampton following an inspection. Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) staff visited the MSC Opera when it returned on Wednesday. The MCA said: "The ship was not fully compliant with international maritime safety regulations." The company said: "They are doing the checks now and the ship is supposed to leave this evening. This is just a rumour." The ship is due to sail from Southampton later for an eight-night cruise in the Norwegian fjords. The MCA statement said the vessel would be detained in Southampton until the owners were able to demonstrate compliance. UPDATE: MSNBC reports the ship left Southampton on time. (See USA Today for more details about reasons for the ship being detained.)
Detained for safety violations
May 15 Opera Italian media reports the ship suffedered a failure to an electric panel, causing an initial low power and afterwards a total loss while the ship was near Wisby in Baltic Sea. On board passengers suffer many inconvenience, especially in toilette. MSC offered a refund of 30% for a new cruise within 2012, but a passenger on board report that all cruisers will ask for a total refund. According to Swiss media, the ship spent much of Sunday adrift in the Baltic sea after an electrical failure. "It appears that there was a complete electrical failure. In that situation, the engines do not work," Birger Knutsson of the rescue centre told AFP. The cruise line said the ship would be towed to the port of Nynashamn near Stockholm overnight, where it would organise the repatriation of its 1,800 passengers. Travellers would be offered another cruise, valid until December 2012. The ship left Southampton on May 7 for a 10-night trip taking in Stockholm, Helsinki, St Petersburg and Copenhagen, and was due to return to Southampton on Tuesday. It began drifting at about 11:00 am (0900 GMT) and by 1730 GMT was approximately 10 kilometres (six miles) from Visby, Gotland's main town.
Power loss - ship adrift
March 30 Opera Safe Seas reports the ship collided twice with the pier as it was leaving Buenos Aires on March 25. According to a report from one of the crew members (in Portuguese), the two collisions caused damage to “2 or 3 cabins” on the decks 3 and 4, but nobody was hurt. As a result of the accident, the Argentine Maritime Authority reportedly held the ship in order to inspect her eventually allowing MSC Opera to continue her trip after repairs, approximately 10 hours later.
Collision with pier
January 7 Orchestra Kent Online reports seven Eastern Europeans who smuggled over £4m of cocaine into Dover concealed in body suits on board the ship have been sentenced to up to 20 years. The five men and three women from Bulgaria and Lithuania were arrested after UKBA officials boarded the ship in May and searched luggage in four of the cabins. They found specially made shorts which would reach from waist to knee. Stitched into each were packets of cocaine along with either each defendant's name or nickname. Total pure weight of the cocaine was 27.2kg with a street value of between £4.1 and £5.1m. Prosecutor Patrick Maggs said the bookings had all been made in Amsterdam and paid for in cash. The ship had sailed from Brazil and called at The Canaries, Madeira, Portugal and Spain before Dover. Handing down sentences ranging from 20 to 12 years, Judge James O'Mahony described the importation as ingenious and akin to an Army or Naval exercise. "It was planned to the last detail and no expense spared." He said the operation had the most sophisticated cover of a luxury cruise with adjacent cabins and all the defendants eating together.
Drug sentencing
January 7 Poesia The Orlando Sentinel reports before the ship set sail with music fans on its Jam Fest cruise around the western Caribbean, U.S. Customs and Border Protection says it raided the ship for illegal drugs and contraband while it was docked at Port Everglades. The Jan. 4 operation resulted in 15 seizures of Marijuana; LSD; mushrooms, hash oil; Ecstasy; prescription drugs and drug paraphernalia in mostly small quantities. Agents and K-9 officers from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; the U.S.Marshals Service; U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Broward Sheriff's Office participated in the raid.
Drug bust
22.12.10 Orchestra Brazilian media report a 19 year old male passenger fell from 14th floor around 4AM today while the ship was anchored at Ilhabela, in the coast of the state of Sao Paulo. Apparently the man was talking with friends near the disco, when he seated on the rail and fell backwards. Friends threw floaters, but he did not answer. After the rescue he was brought to hospital to be declared dead. The man was the only son of a couple too shocked to give statements (they were not on the ship). He was himself a rescuer and studied biomedicine at an university in Curitiba, the capital of the state of Parana, Brazil.
Fall overboard
19.12.10 Musica Brazilian media report a fire in the engine room knocked out air conditioning and the water supply. The ship had boarded at Rio de Janeiro and was supposed to leave at 18:00 for an eight-day trip with stopovers in the ports of Recife, Maceió and Salvador. With no airconditioning and no water supply, passengers were angered. Nevertheless, shortly after 18:30 the sound system announced the departure of the ship. Disgusted, a group of about 50 people took to the gangway of the ship, preventing it to be hoisted. The trip was then canceled. The ship is due to re-enter service on Dec. 26 from Rio for its scheduled week-long cruise to Salvador, Buzios, Copacabana and Ilha Grande.

Fire - Canceled cruise

24.7.10 Splendida Italian News reports two Spanish tourists fell about ten meters from the ship during landing operations in Genoa, falling first on the dock and then into the sea. The accident occurred around 13:10. The woman died; the man who has sixty years was taken "code red" (the most severe) to San Martino hospital emergency room with a concussion and a broken leg. It appears from news reports there were other passengers who also fell. The cause is that the gangway from the ship to the quay collapsed as passengers were disembarking. According to Spanish News, the 62-year-old from Barcelona was boarding the ship with her husband and friends when the top step of the gangplank gave way. Sixty-year-old Fausto del Charro, also from Barcelona, also fell from the gangplank and hit the quay but is out of danger, suffering only some bruises. "We were just about to step onto the ship when my husband literally disappeared in front of me, falling into the void," said the man's wife.
Fall from gangway- death
23.6.10 Opera From a passenger: RE: June 4-14 cruise - norovirus was confirmed on the ship with over 400 passengers taken ill; passengers were vomiting in the reception area.  Doctors visits were free and tours were being refunded.
24.5.10 Opera Kent Online reports border officers seized 35 kilos of cocaine worth an estimated £1.4 million when it arrived in Dover. Eight Latvian and Lithuanians were arrested and have appeared in court charged with drug smuggling. All eight pleaded not guilty and have been remanded in custody. The ship had arrived in Dover on May 21 on its way to Amsterdam from Brazil.
Drug bust
16.2.10 Melody Brazilian media reports about 150 people were unable to embark on a cruise that left earlier than expected from the port of Fortaleza. The cruise docked in Fortaleza at 10am and was scheduled to board between noon and 16:00. However, due to strong winds the ship left ahead of schedule. Even crew members were left behind. The ship was beginning a seven day cruise.
Pax left behind
14.1.10 Musica

Police reportedly suspect that a crew member found dead on the ship off Brazil was strangled. The woman’s body was discovered inside her cabin by a man believed to be her partner, the O Globo newspaper reported. She worked as a bartender on the ship, which was about to complete a seven-day, trans-Atlantic cruise. The man who found the woman told police she hanged herself with a bedsheet, but officers said they believed she was strangled, the newspaper said.

7.1.10 Poesia The Sun Sentinel reports authorities evacuated hundreds of people from a Port Everglades terminal after a customs agent stopped a man with a suspicious liquid that may have sickened the agent. The 25-year-old man accused of having the liquid was held on a charge of marijuana possession because he also was found with the drug. The customs agent, as well as the Broward Sheriff's Office, was on the lookout for subjects of arrest warrants, as passengers were disembarking from a cruise ship about 10:30 a.m. at Terminal 4. The ship had returned to Port Everglades after a five-night cruise. About 300 people, including cruise ship passengers, were in the terminal during the incident and were evacuated. Meanwhile, passengers still on the ship were required to remain aboard while hazardous materials technicians investigated. Officials reopened the terminal about three hours after the incident.
Terminal evacuated
9.12.09 Sinfonia Independent Online (South Africa) reports "drunken revelry, debauchery and even vandalism by some passengers, allegedly characterised a three-day party on the luxury cruise liner MSC Sinfonia which ended in Durban yesterday. It was claimed that some passengers "went ape" at the Miller Rock the Boat Party on a cruise from Durban to Mozambique." According to a passenger, some of the young revellers "just went ape, openly bonking on the deck and throwing deck chairs into the sea". A crew member said: "It was unbelievable. I have never seen anything like it." A spokesman for MSC's sales agent Starlight Cruises said the 2 000 passengers had broken records for bar sales. Drunkenness / damage
5.3.09 Fantasia Think Spain reports one person was injured early this afternoon when a gangway joining the ship to the passenger terminal in Palma harbour collapsed. Three crew members also ended up in the sea and had to be fished out by the rescue services. The accident occurred as a result of the strong winds affecting the Balearic Islands today. At about 2.30pm today, as the passengers were disembarking from the cruise ship, a strong gust of wind ripped several of the bow moorings off the bollards and the boat lurched away from the quay, causing the gangway, at some 15m above the sea, to collapse. The passenger who was crossing the gangway at the time fell into the water, hitting their head on the side of the ship on the way down, prompting three crew members to dive into the water to rescue him. All four have been treated for hypothermia and the injured passenger, whilst currently in the care of the cruise company's medical staff, might still be moved to a hospital in Palma. Click here for a video of the incident.
Gangway collapse
Sinfonia O Globo reports the cruise following the outbreak reported January 8 (below) had 46 passengers (approximately 3%) report ill. That was on a cruise between Rio and Buenos Aires.
The Associated Press reports that more than 340 passengers were stricken with severe vomiting and diarrhea.  The Brazilian National Agency for Sanitary Vigilance said in a statement that an inspection found problems with the amount of chlorine in the ship's drinking water and with the storage of some perishable food items, notably mayonnaise. But officials said they would not know what caused the illness until they wrap up their investigation. The health agency said the outbreak was under control, and the victims were being interviewed and treated on board the ship. Most fell ill on Monday and Tuesday. UPDATE: O Globo reports the illness outbreak affected 380 people and is attributed to norovirus. Estadao reports: The analysis of water was negative for all viruses and bacteria. In the analysis of food, were found traces of the bacterium Escherichia coli (known as E.coli) in samples of raw meat. Illness
Poesia &
Costa Classica
The two cruise ships collided in the Adriatic Sea near the Croatian tourist town of Dubrovnik, but no one was injured. According to Croatian media, "Two cruisers collided in the old town harbour. One of them had to make a full circle around the isle of Locrum before returning for the passengers waiting in boats." According to the first assessments, the damage was minimal and the accident occurred when cruiser Poesia's anchor loosened and caused her to hit cruiser Costa Classica. Both continued their scheduled itinerary with no delays. See here for a picture. Collision
The one week Mediterranean cruise scheduled for today has been cancelled in order to accommodate repairs to damage suffered by the vessel when it scraped the pier in Civitavecchia on November 2. The ship went into drydock November 12 and is expected to depart, as scheduled on its transAtlantic cruise departing November 17. It arrives in Fort Lauderdale December 4.
The ship was damaged in Civitavecchia when strong winds during the unmooring operation caused it to scrape the pier. An area between the bow and portside bulwarks was damaged. The company reported the collision to the Italian Coast Guard and classification society, and both inspected the vessel to guarantee its seaworthiness before sailing from Civitavecchia. The ship subsequently went into drydock November 12 to repair the damage. Its final cruise of the Mediterranean season was cancelled to accommodate the repais before the ship sails to the Fort Lauderdale for its winter season.
Scrapes pier and damage to hull

The ship was "bumped" by Louis Cruises' Oceanic II in Rhodes due to 9 force winds. They had been berthed all morning, and in the late afternoon the winds were so strong that the mooring rope from the Oceanic snapped and the ship hit the Rhapsody's stern causing damage to the deck rail and flag pole.
Bump (Fender Bender)
The ship was delayed an hour and half in disembarking passengers at Malta because of containers obstructing the edge of the Quay.  Until the containers were moved, it was not possible to lower the gangways to allow passengers to disembark.
Delayed disembark
Symphony Police stopped 82 Bolivians from disembarking the ship in Cadiz, suspecting they were illegal immigrants.  The ship sailed from Fortaleza in Brazil, had stopped in Tenerife where authorities also refused to allow them onshore.  The ship heads next to Valencia.
Passengers not allowed ashore
The ship set sail from Durban yesterday for a four-day cruise to ports and cities along the Mozambique coast, but after only five hours into its journey, it was forced to turn back after reports warned that Cyclone Favio was headed for Mozambique.  It cruised into Port Elizabeth tonight.  he ship subsequently left Wednesday night for Durban.
Posted at Cruise Critic: We were standing on our balcony watching people getting off. Two members of my family just got off the gangway when a rope snapped (or the pilot boat ran over it). The ship started to drift out to sea. The gangway fell into the water. I kept watching for people to bob up in the water. They were very fortunate nobody was on the gangway. The pilot boat was dead in the water with one of the ropes in his propeller. He was attached to the ship as other ropes got tangled/sucked into the thrusters, causing the pilot boat to be bashed into the bow of the ship repeatedly. We eventually drifted about a mile or more out to sea before tugs pushed us back. Divers were in the water for about 7 hours removing rope from various places under water. Not a thing was ever said except an announcement was made that “there would be delays” in continuing the debarkation. Instead of leaving port at 6:00 or 7:00 pm we pulled out at 0200. Gangway falls
2006 and earlier
A 24 year old Samoan crew member who wasjilted by his girlfriend and a fellow crew member threw himself overboard while the ship was cruising off the Mozambique coast at about 2 AM.  The girlfriend reported the "man overboard" and a recovery operation was undertaken.  The bridge officers calculated where the man overoard would likely be based on currents, winds, and sea conditions -- at sunrise they found the man, alive, 500m from the anticipated recovery position (17 km from where the many had gone overboard).  The rescue will delay the ships arrival in Durban by about 5 hours.
Person Overboard
 Rescued Alive

Ship ran into the pier at Kusadasi harbour.  Ship had to wait several days for repairs to be completed.