Cruises ship Crown Princess
Crown Princess is a Grand-class cruise ship owned and operated by Princess Cruises. Her maiden voyage took place on June 14, 2006, departing Red Hook, Brooklyn (New York) for Grand Turk (Turks & Caicos), Ocho Rios (Jamaica), Grand Cayman (Cayman Islands), and Port Canaveral (Florida). As of 2015, the Crown Princess sails to Mexico for the Winter season, and Alaska for the Summer season. Like her sister ships and her Skywalkers Night Club is built aft of the funnel rather than suspended over the stern. Her godmother is Martha Stewart.
In December 2012, the Crown Princess made a transatlantic crossing from Venice to Galveston, TX where she stayed to run Caribbean itineraries from December 2012 to April 2013. When the ship arrived in Galveston on December 22, 2012, at least 102 passengers had contracted norovirus. The Crown Princess had previously been plagued by two separate outbreaks of norovirus in January/February 2012.
On July 18, 2006 at approximately 3:30 pm ET, one hour after departing her last port of call in Port Canaveral, the Crown Princess reported "listing" or making "heavy turns". The U.S. Coast Guard was contacted shortly after and crews arrived within minutes to assist the troubled vessel. The cruise ship was on its way home to New York City, and the decision was made to return to Port Canaveral due to what was initially thought to be a malfunction in the steering equipment which caused a severe tilting of the ship, and injuries. However, the NTSB found that the second officer, the senior watch officer on the bridge, disengaged the automatic steering mode of the vessel’s integrated navigation system after it put the ship into what the officer felt was an unusually hard turn to port and took manual control of the steering. The second officer turned the wheel first to port and then from port to starboard several times, eventually causing the vessel to list even more, to a maximum angle of about 24° to starboard. The severe listing tumbled passengers, crew members, pool water, and everything else not secured about the decks.
Fourteen passengers and crew members were seriously injured, one suffering breathing difficulties after being hit in the chest by an airborne chair, and another 284 had minor injuries. Water from the four on-board pools poured into staircases and lift shafts. Most injuries were on the outdoor areas of Decks 15 and 16, where large beach chairs and tables hit and injured passengers. The other area that had many injured passengers was the balcony areas in the grand atrium. Many there were hit by falling objects and heavy marble tables. One woman who had an extended hospital stay was thrown against the glass wall on Deck 15 and covered by pool chairs and water from the pools themselves, being trapped underwater for several seconds. One passenger said "Afterward it was like a war zone with people walking around bleeding." and another added "All the windows were smashed. The top deck looked like a hurricane had hit it." No passengers or crew went overboard.
At 8:30 AM PT on July 19, Princess said that "approximately 240 passengers [were] treated onboard for various injuries such as abrasions, bruises and fractures, of which 94 were transferred to local hospitals ashore for evaluation and treatment." This makes the incident one of the worst in the history of modern day cruising.
The matter was referred to the National Transportation Safety Board and United States Coast Guard for investigation. After an internal review by Princess Cruises, its president Alan Buckelew publicly stated that "the incident was due to human error and the appropriate personnel changes have been made."
With approval from the Coast Guard and the Bermuda flag authorities, the vessel returned to service. A full refund was given to all passengers on the ill-fated cruise, and a 50% refund to passengers on the following cruise which was set to depart July 20 but instead departed from Brooklyn on July 22. Since then, Crown Princess has resumed her normal schedule.
Crown Princess until November 2012 was sailing the for the first time; marking the return of Princess to Galveston, where she sailed 7-Day western Caribbean cruises. In April 2013 she sailed to Southampton, where she sailed to northern Europe/the Mediterranean & the Canary Islands. Following that stint, Crown Princess will returned to the United States to Fort Lauderdale, Florida sailing alternating 7-Day eastern/southern Caribbean cruises to February 2014. On January 18, 2013 it was announced that Crown Princess will sail around South America. During that cruise Princess Cruises marked the first ever call in Ilhabela, Brazil. The southern Caribbean cruises from February 15, 2014 through April 26, 2014 were cancelled to allow for the South America cruise. Passengers who booked the cancelled voyages were notified and were assisted with finding alternate cruise options. After the South America cruise, she has been sailing to Mexico, Hawaii, and Pacific coastal cruises from Los Angeles, as well as Northbound and Southbound cruises from Vancouver and Whittier or Roundtrip Alaskan cruises from Seattle replacing the .
Starting in the 2016-17 season, she will become the largest Princess cruise ship ever to sail a full season to South America. At the end of this season, she will return to Fort Lauderdale to sail Caribbean cruises. This will mark the first time that the ship will be in the Caribbean since 2014.
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