Carnival Cruise passenger goes missing from Fantasy, cruise line confirms

Carnival Cruise Line has confirmed that a passenger on the Carnival Fantasy went missing during a cruise to the Western Caribbean. "While Carnival Fantasy was en route to its scheduled call of Progreso, Mexico, a male guest was reported missing," reads a statement from the cruise line obtained by Fox News. "Several announcements have been made … Continue reading “Carnival Cruise passenger goes missing from Fantasy, cruise line confirms”

Carnival Cruise Line has confirmed that a passenger on the Carnival Fantasy went missing during a cruise to the Western Caribbean.

"While Carnival Fantasy was en route to its scheduled call of Progreso, Mexico, a male guest was reported missing," reads a statement from the cruise line obtained by Fox News.

"Several announcements have been made and a shipwide search is underway to locate the guest. All appropriate authorities have been notified and Mexican authorities are providing assistance with the shipboard search."

The ship had originally left from Mobile, Ala., on Saturday for a five-night cruise to Cozumel, Mexico. The ship left Progreso at its scheduled time on Monday, though the cruise line has not yet indicated whether the search has been called off, the Associated Press reported.

NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE SHIP LEAVES COUPLE STRANDED IN CUBA AFTER DEPARTING EARLY

News of the missing passenger follows a similar incident from Dec. 14, during which Carnival Cruise guest Thomas McElhany went overboard approximately 35 miles south of Islamorada, Fla., during the Victory's trip back to Miami after a four-night cruise that made stops in Key West and Cozumel.

The United States Coast Guard suspended its search on Dec. 16 for the 26-year-old passenger. The previous day, representatives for the cruise line told Fox News that "the facts surrounding this unfortunate incident indicate it was an intentional act."

Carnival Cruise passenger reported as missing, Coast Guard search underway

The United States Coast Guard is searching for a 26-year-old male Carnival Cruise Victory passenger who went overboard approximately 35 miles south of Islamorada, Fla. yesterday.

On Dec. 14, the Orlando Sentinel reported that Victory guest Thomas McElhany went overboard at some point during the ship's voyage back to Miami after a four-night cruise that made stops in Key West and Cozumel.

Kimberly Wyatt, a passenger on board, posted an alleged photo of the missing man to Twitter that day, as shared updates from cruise ship officials as they came through.

NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE SHIP LEAVES COUPLE STRANDED IN CUBA AFTER DEPARTING EARLY

“His photo is being displayed on the television on the cruise ship. Security also conducted a room by room, floor by floor search,” she tweeted.

“Cameras confirm the passenger went overboard. It’s unknown if he jumped or fell,” she then wrote.

Wyatt also shared an image of a letter from Carnival to passengers aboard the Victory regarding their search and rescue efforts for the missing guest.

The Coast Guard’s Air Station Miami MH-65 Dolphin helicopter, Air Station Miami HC-144 Ocean Sentry and Coast Guard Cutter Charles David, Jr. (WPC-1107) are active in the search, as per the Sentinel. The rescue mission is said to have continued overnight.

Carnvial spokesman Vance Gulliksen confirmed to Fox 5 San Diego that a man indeed disappeared from the vessel as the ship traveled back to its home port. (iStock)

Though reps for the cruise line did not immediately return Fox News’ request for comment, Carnvial spokesman Vance Gulliksen confirmed to Fox 5 San Diego that a man indeed disappeared from the vessel as the ship traveled back to its home port.

FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK FOR MORE FOX LIFESTYLE NEWS

“All appropriate authorities, including the United States Coast Guard, were notified, and the ship has joined in the search and rescue efforts,” Gulliksen said.

According to the Victory's official web page, the 101,509 gross ton Victory has capacity to accommodate up to 2,764 guests and 1,110 onboard crew. It departs from Miami for trips to the Bahamas, Caribbean and Cuba.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Janine Puhak is an editor for Fox News Lifestyle. Follow her on Twitter at @JaninePuhak

Carnival Cruise Line’s new ship will feature ‘first roller coaster at sea’

The largest Carnival Cruise Line ship ever constructed will also feature the industry's first-ever roller coaster at sea when it debuts in 2020, the cruise line announced Thursday.

Carnival's highly anticipated Mardi Gras will feature BOLT: Ultimate Sea Coaster, an open-air thrill ride encompassing hundreds of feet of twists, turns and drops that riders will experience at speeds of up to 40 mph.

Developed by Munich-based Maurer Rides, the all-electric roller coaster will race along the track nearly 190 feet above sea level, providing riders with dramatic 360-degree views of the ship's surroundings.

Utilizing a motorcycle-like vehicle carrying up to two riders at a time, BOLT will launch guests around the nearly 800-foot-long track, which will culminate with a hairpin turn around the ship's iconic funnel.

Perhaps the coolest part is that guests will be able to select their own speed (via a gas pedal), which will then be posted after the race. Riders will also have their photo taken during the ride.

"Mardi Gras will be our most innovative ship ever with some truly special features and attractions, highlighted by BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea," Carnival Cruise Line president Christine Duffy said in a statement. "BOLT will continue the tradition of Carnival providing exciting new ways for our guests to 'Choose Fun.' We are so thrilled to introduce this one-of-a-kind, game-changing, exhilarating attraction — our guests are going to love it."

Once launched, Mardi Gras will be based in Port Canaveral, Fla.

Carnival plans to reveal itinerary information early next month and additional details regarding its features over the course of 2019. A second XL-class ship will start construction in 2020 and be delivered in 2022 to mark the cruise line's 50th anniversary.

This article originally appeared on TravelPulse as "Carnival Cruise Line's Mardi Gras to Feature First-Ever Roller Coaster at Sea."

Carnival Cruise Line’s new ship will feature ‘first roller coaster at sea’

The largest Carnival Cruise Line ship ever constructed will also feature the industry's first-ever roller coaster at sea when it debuts in 2020, the cruise line announced Thursday.

Carnival's highly anticipated Mardi Gras will feature BOLT: Ultimate Sea Coaster, an open-air thrill ride encompassing hundreds of feet of twists, turns and drops that riders will experience at speeds of up to 40 mph.

Developed by Munich-based Maurer Rides, the all-electric roller coaster will race along the track nearly 190 feet above sea level, providing riders with dramatic 360-degree views of the ship's surroundings.

Developed by Munich-based Maurer Rides, the all-electric roller coaster will race along the track nearly 190 feet above sea level, providing riders with dramatic 360-degree views of the ship’s surroundings. (Carnival Cruise Line)

"Mardi Gras will be our most innovative ship ever with some truly special features and attractions, highlighted by BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea." (Carnival Cruise Line)

Utilizing a motorcycle-like vehicle carrying up to two riders at a time, BOLT will launch guests around the nearly 800-foot-long track, which will culminate with a hairpin turn around the ship's iconic funnel.

Perhaps the coolest part is that guests will be able to select their own speed (via a gas pedal), which will then be posted after the race. Riders will also have their photo taken during the ride.

More from TravelPulse:

  • Elderly Couple Arrested for Cocaine Possession on Cruise Ship
  • Oasis of the Seas to Make NYC Home in 2020
  • AmaWaterways Unveils 2020 Preview Brochure
  • Seatrade Cruise Global Announces 2019 State of the Industry Keynote Event
  • Crew Member on Cruise Ship Reportedly Commits Suicide
  • "Mardi Gras will be our most innovative ship ever with some truly special features and attractions, highlighted by BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea," Carnival Cruise Line president Christine Duffy said in a statement. "BOLT will continue the tradition of Carnival providing exciting new ways for our guests to 'Choose Fun.' We are so thrilled to introduce this one-of-a-kind, game-changing, exhilarating attraction — our guests are going to love it."

    Once launched, Mardi Gras will be based in Port Canaveral, Fla.

    Carnival plans to reveal itinerary information early next month and additional details regarding its features over the course of 2019. A second XL-class ship will start construction in 2020 and be delivered in 2022 to mark the cruise line's 50th anniversary.

    This story was originally published by TravelPulse.

    Woman sues Royal Caribbean Cruises over husband’s zip line death

    A woman claims Royal Caribbean Cruises is responsible for a zip line accident that killed her husband on the Honduran island of Roatan.

    Court records show that attorneys for 27-year-old Shir Frenkel sued the company in Miami federal court last month, seeking more than $1 million in damages.

    The lawsuit says Frenkel and her husband, 24-year-old Igal Tyszman, were passengers on the Allure of the Seas in July when they booked the Extreme Caribe Zip Line Tour at the ship's excursion desk. The suit claims they collided in midair, killing Tyszman and seriously injuring Frenkel.

    The suit says the excursion was operated by an independent contractor, but guests were misled to believe it was operated by Royal Caribbean.

    A Royal Caribbean spokesman says the company doesn't comment on pending litigation.

    Norwegian Cruise Line ship leaves couple stranded in Cuba after departing early

    Kevin Rohrer's and his girlfriend's vacation ended abruptly in Havana, Cuba after their cruise ship left without them on a recent four-night Norwegian Cruise Line sailing in the Caribbean.

    According to News.com.au, the American couple returned to the dock more than an hour ahead of what they thought was the Norwegian Sky's 5 p.m. departure time only to find the ship was already gone.

    "It was a frightening situation. We were devastated," Rohrer said in his complaint to the cruise company. "We exchanged money and we took a taxi to the airport. American Airlines told us they wouldn’t take a credit card and quoted us 472 pesos ($465). We didn’t have that much money."

    Nonetheless, the couple appears to be out of luck as Norwegian Cruise Line made multiple notes of the departure time change well in advance of the cruise. (Norwegian Cruise Line)

    The couple managed to book a flight home and Rohrer has since contacted consumer rights group Elliott Advocacy.

    Read more from TravelPulse:

  • Royal Caribbean, Port of Galveston to Develop New $85 Million Cruise Terminal
  • Key West Port Closed After Cruise Ship Crashes into Mooring
  • Carnival Cruise Line Selects ‘Mardi Gras’ as Name for Largest Ship Ever
  • Norwegian Partners With Huna Totem for Alaska Pier Project
  • 10 Reasons Why Britain is Magical at Christmastime
  • Nonetheless, the couple appears to be out of luck as Norwegian Cruise Line made multiple notes of the departure time change well in advance of the cruise. What's more, the company's terms and conditions point out that "shipboard time may differ from the port of call" and that it's the "guest’s responsibility to pay all expenses incurred to rejoin the ship" in the event they are left behind.

    In a statement to Michelle Couch-Friedman of Elliott Advocacy, Norwegian Cruise Line said it notified guests of the time change and circulated it on their e-documents more than a month before the Havana stop. "Additionally, the day before calling into Havana, the Cruise Director announced the new time repeatedly throughout the day and additional signage was placed on the gangway for all those disembarking to see," the cruise line stated.

    The hard-learned lesson is one that all travelers should take note of. "In the end, it’s the traveler’s responsibility to know when to be back on-board that ship. If you miss your cruise home, unfortunately, there’s no one to turn to for a refund or reimbursement," said Couch-Friedman.

    This story was originally published by TravelPulse.

    Cruise passengers stranded after failing to pay attention to ship announcement

    After a day exploring Cuba’s vibrant capital Havana, Kevin Rohrer and his girlfriend returned to the dock to board their cruise ship and continue their four-night journey.

    They knew the ship, the Norwegian Sky, would leave Havana at 5 p.m. and made sure to arrive at the dock by 3:30 p.m.

    But when they got to the dock they were met with a stomach-sinking sight: the ship was gone. It had weighed anchor and left without them.

    “It was a frightening situation. We were devastated,” Rohrer said in his complaint to the cruise company, Norwegian Cruise Line.

    “We exchanged money and we took a taxi to the airport. American Airlines told us they wouldn’t take a credit card and quoted us 472 pesos ($466). We didn’t have that much money.”

    The American couple managed to buy two seats on a flight home but were devastated their cruise journey had ended prematurely, that Norwegian Cruise Line had apparently stranded them in a foreign country, and they didn’t even understand why — the itinerary clearly said the ship would depart Havana at 5 p.m.

    Rohrer told Elliott Advocacy they later found out Norwegian Cruise Lines had changed the scheduled departure time at Havana from 5 p.m. to 2 p.m. (Elliott Advocacy)

    Despite their outrage they weren’t going to be compensated for the trouble, as discovered by Michelle Couch-Friedman from consumer rights group Elliott Advocacy, who Rohrer contacted for help.

    Rohrer told Elliott Advocacy they later found out Norwegian Cruise Lines had changed the scheduled departure time at Havana from 5 p.m. to 2 p.m. and said the company “made no effort to inform travelers of this change.”

    He sent Couch-Friedman a copy of the cruise itinerary, which they booked through a third party. It said the Norwegian Sky would leave Havana at 5 p.m.

    However, Rohrer had a second document from Norwegian with him on the day he and his girlfriend missed their ship. It was a newsletter sent to their cabin, saying passengers in Havana should be “all aboard (the ship at) 1:30 p.m.”

    It appeared the company has tweaked the itinerary and notified passengers in the daily newsletter.

    Rohrer told Elliott Advocacy he hadn’t had a chance to read the newsletter before becoming stranded.

    The day before calling into Havana, the Cruise Director announced the new time repeatedly throughout the day and additional signage was placed on the gangway…

    — Norwegian Sky spokesperson

    “I provided that figure showing the time of ‘all aboard’ news flyer that was sent to our cabin while we ate breakfast on the boat the third day (second day for Cuba),” he said.

    “But I didn’t get to read it at the time of discovery (we had a tight schedule with the Cuban Tour Advocacy). I had folded that flyer and put it in my pocket during our disembarkment from the ship. I read that flyer while waiting for a flight out of Cuba.”

    In its response to Rohrer’s complaint, Norwegian directed him to its terms and conditions, which read, “In all ports of call, it is also the guest’s responsibility to be back on-board the ship no later than one (1) hour prior to the ship’s scheduled departure time. Please be aware that shipboard time may differ from the port of call and it is the guest’s responsibility to follow the shipboard time. In the event a guest misses the ship, it will be the guest’s responsibility to pay all expenses incurred to rejoin the ship.”

    In a statement to Couch-Friedman, Norwegian said more than a month before the Havana stop, the company notified guests of the time change and circulated it on their e-documents.

    “Additionally, the day before calling into Havana, the Cruise Director announced the new time repeatedly throughout the day and additional signage was placed on the gangway for all those disembarking to see,” the company said.

    Rohrer maintains he didn’t hear of any change to the schedule.

    But Couch-Friedman said in any case, Norwegian Cruise Line’s contract of carriage made it clear when you booked a cruise, there was never a guarantee the itinerary would stay the same.

    The couple claims the company “made no effort to inform travelers of this [time] change.” (Elliott Advocacy)

    Other cruise companies have similar disclaimers in their contracts of carriage.

    “In the event of strikes, lockouts, stoppages of labor, riots, weather conditions, mechanical difficulties or any other reason whatsoever, Norwegian Cruise Line has the right to cancel, advance, postpone or substitute any scheduled sailing or itinerary without prior notice,” Norwegian’s terms and conditions read.

    “Norwegian Cruise Line shall not be responsible for failure to adhere to published arrival and departure times for any of its ports of call.”

    Couch-Friedman said it was essential all passengers remained aware the cruise schedule could potentially change.

    “This is especially important if you have booked your own shore excursion,” she said.

    “It may cost a little more money to book the excursion through the cruise line, but you can be certain that the boat won’t sail away without you during your adventure.

    “In the end, it’s the traveler’s responsibility to know when to be back on-board that ship. If you miss your cruise home, unfortunately, there’s no one to turn to for a refund or reimbursement.”

    Rohrer is understood to have been in contact with a lawyer over the incident.

    This article originally appeared on news.com.au.

    ‘Embarrassed’ couple kicked off cruise ship for booking error: ‘We couldn’t believe it’

    A confused couple was booted off their cruise and left stranded in South Korea — and thousands of dollars out of pocket — over a simple but profound error they made when booking their trip.

    And their mistake is a lesson for all of us, said Michelle Couch-Friedman from consumer rights group Elliott Advocacy, which was not able to get compensation for the devastated couple.

    American man William Coates and his wife had booked a 14-day Holland America Line cruise through Japan, South Korea and China on the Westerdam cruise ship in October.

    “This is a trip we had planned for a long time. At 71 years old, we were looking forward to this adventure,” Coates told Elliott Advocacy.

    The couple flew to Japan, where they boarded the ship at Yokohama and settled into the voyage as the Westerdam cruised to South Korea.

    But on the third day of the 14-day trip, a member of the ship’s guest relations staff told the Coates they would be kicked off the ship when it reached the South Korean port at Pusan.

    They would have to gather their things and leave, their journey suddenly over.

    “She (the staff member) told us that it was our responsibility to get ourselves home. We couldn’t believe it,” Coates said.

    The reason the Coates were told to leave the ship was because they didn’t have the necessary visas to enter China.

    “It was up to us to find our way to the airport and then pay $2,400 for additional airfare to get home.”

    — William Coates

    Americans, like Australians, on cruise journeys have to have the right visas for all ports of entry on the voyage.

    And American and Australian travelers need visas to enter China, where authorities “strongly enforce penalties for entry and exit visa violations” according to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

    Coates said that was the first time they were made aware of this.

    “Holland America removed us from the ship. They left us, literally on the dock,” he said. “It was up to us to find our way to the airport and then pay $2,400 for additional airfare to get home.”

    Holland America said its ship staff tried to arrange emergency visas for the Coates at Pusan, and had even negotiated with Chinese authorities that the couple would not leave the ship during its stops at Chinese ports.

    “The Chinese border patrol rejected all of the alternatives,” the company said.

    The Coates said Holland America should have told them about the need for visas.

    “Getting thrown off the ship was a most embarrassing and difficult experience for us,” they told Elliott Advocacy.

    “Our loss is approaching $9,000. Holland America should have alerted us to our missing travel visa and the stringent requirements. No one did.

    “We think that something this serious would be part of the travel professional’s responsibility.”

    Michelle Couch-Friedman said if it was true the consultant had never mentioned a visa, the couple might have had a case for getting at least a partial refund.

    But according to the itinerary Holland America sent to the Coates in January, it had.

    A clause in the terms and conditions read: “It is the guest’s sole responsibility to obtain and have available when necessary the appropriate valid travel documents. All guests are advised to check with their travel agent or the appropriate government authority to determine the necessary documents.

    “You will be refused boarding or disembarked without liability for refund, payment, compensation, or credit of any kind if you do not have proper documentation, and you will be subject to any fine or other costs incurred by carrier which result from improper documentation or noncompliance with applicable regulations, which amount may be charged to your stateroom account and/or credit card.”

    Michelle Couch-Friedman said if it was true the consultant had never mentioned a visa, the couple might have had a case for getting at least a partial refund. (Holland America Line)

    Refusing the couple’s appeal for a full refund, Holland America said it had also sent the couple two extra alerts about the visas.

    The couple was unable to argue they’d been travelling without access to a computer for a few months and didn’t see those alerts.

    Mrs Couch-Friedman said there was an important lesson for all travelers in the Coates’ mistake: Read the fine print of your booking. You are responsible for your own visas.

    “Before you set off on any cruise, it’s imperative to read the contract in its entirety,” she said.

    “Remember that your entry requirements are unique to you, and it’s your responsibility to obtain all necessary documents.

    “In the end, Holland America refunded the couple for their unused return airfare as a gesture of goodwill but declined any other refund.”

    Australian travelers in China who need a full visa have to obtain it before they travel. There are various kinds of visas, which are explained by the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Australia.

    Travelers should also remember it’s not enough just to have a passport — they have to make sure there are a certain number of months left before it expires, which varies from country to country.

    To enter China, for example, Australian passports need to be valid for six months after the intended departure date.

    This is the responsibility of the traveler and not their booking agent or travel company.

    This article originally appeared on news.com.au.

    Carnival Cruise changes smoking policy; offenders can be kicked off ship

    Carnival Cruise Line announced changes to its Tobacco and Marijuana Smoking Policy, including the possibility of passengers being removed from ships if caught smoking on their cabin balconies.

    According to Carnival’s official website, the cruise line’s updated policy now warns customers that anyone caught smoking in non-specified areas will be fined $500 and face the possibility that the passenger and all guests staying in the same cabin could be asked to leave the ship at the next port of call.

    The previous policy only included a fine when passengers were caught smoking since the room needs to be cleaned, but the changes take a much harder stance against the infraction. Carnival is trying to make it as clear as possible for future guests.

    More From TravelPulse

  • This Cruise Line Will Power Their Ships With Dead Fish
  • Celebrity Edge Arrives at New Home in Port Everglades
  • MSC Virtuosa Is Open for Bookings
  • Travelers Still Dealing with Flight Cancellations, Delays After Snowstorm
  • The updated policy reads, in part:

    —Any violation of this policy will result in a $500 charge, per violation, posted on the guest’s Sail & Sign account and may also result in the disembarkation of all guests in the stateroom.

    —Guests who are disembarked for violating our policy will be responsible for all financial charges and expenses to return home, and no refund of their unused cruise fare will be provided. Additionally, they may be prohibited from sailing with Carnival Cruise Line in the future.

    For travelers who smoke and are considering a Carnival cruise, the line still permits smoking in designated areas on the exterior decks of its ships and in the casino and nightclub. The remainder of each ship is a smoke-free zone.

    The smoking ban includes cigarettes, cigars, pipes, vaporizers, electronic cigarettes and marijuana, with Carnival prohibiting possession and use of marijuana.

    Yacht deckhands reveal secrets of the job: luxury perks, expensive jewelry and … joining the boss in the hot tub?

    Life on the open sea is great for the millionaires who can afford to spend months traveling the world and partying on their superyachts. But the same can't always be said for the people who live below deck, and are paid to look after them.

    The lucky ones could get tipped with a brand new Cartier watch, a $75,000 diamond bracelet or an all-expenses-paid weekend break in New York by the superyacht owners. But others are woken up in the early hours of the morning by their filthy rich bosses who fancy a massage — and some miss family weddings and funerals as a result of their long and grueling contracts.

    PHOTOS: ROYAL CARIBBEAN REFUNDS TRAVELERS UPSET BY 'BURLESQUE' ENTERTAINERS

    While these deckhands earn around $5,250 per month tax-free — plus tips and no living costs — the price they pay for traveling the world and earning big money isn't always worth it.

    Sun Online spoke to Bosun Conrad Empson, 24, and Chief Stewardess Brooke Laughton, 27, who both starred in the reality series "Below Deck," to find out what working on a superyacht is really like.

    “I’ve been tipped $15K but was asked to join a male boss in his hot tub”

    Brooke Laughton, 27, is a stewardess from Manchester, England.

    “When I was a little girl, I [spent vacations] on luxury yachts with my family around the Caribbean," Laughton said. "But working on them is definitely different from how I thought it’d be. The movies glamorize superyachts, but you’re really just working crazy hours — sometimes for not very nice people.

    "All owners are different, so when you start working on a new boat you never know what to expect. These are extremely rich people, and some are absolute a——s who are demanding and rude. Others appreciate what they’ve got and treat you like family.

    SEE IT: RITZ-CARLTON CRUISE SHIP SETS SAIL

    "I had one lovely owner who flew us stewardesses — four in total — to New York for a long weekend, all paid for, taking us to amazing restaurants and [inviting] us to their family barbecues. Another time I worked for a family for a year-and-a-half and they didn’t even know my name.

    "On one charter, I was tipped [over $19,000] for one week, and one girl I know was given a yellow diamond bracelet worth [over $75,000]. But there was another time a family gave me a cheap key ring as a tip after a season.

    "Girls do feel pressure to please their bosses — I was once asked to join a male boss in his hot tub. I felt uncomfortable so I said I was working and it wasn’t very professional.

    "The owners also want their crew to be glamorous and well put-together at all times – manicured nails, no chipped polish, lipstick, immaculate hair. But it’s hard to maintain this when you’re working all the time and hardly have time to sleep."

    FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK FOR MORE FOX LIFESTYLE NEWS

    For more from Laughton and Empson, continue reading the original article, first published at The Sun. Read more content from The Sun here.