Passenger Passes Away During Ultimate World Cruise Sailing

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Royal Caribbean International has confirmed that a guest has unfortunately passed away during Serenade of the Seas‘ ongoing World Cruise.

The announcement was first shared via social media from another guest onboard and while that video has now been removed, the cruise line has confirmed the death in a statement provided to Cruise Hive.

Guest on World Cruise Passes Away

Royal Caribbean International’s 274-night World Cruise has not been without drama from the first few weeks of the sailing, but the recent death of a passenger onboard is not social media fodder or being manufactured for likes, views, and shares.

The cruise line has confirmed the guest’s death with a statement, but remains – rightfully so – committed to the guest’s privacy and respecting their loved ones at this difficult time.

“A guest sailing on board Serenade of the Seas has sadly passed away,” a spokesperson from Royal Caribbean said. “We are actively providing support and assistance to the guest’s loved ones at this time. Out of the privacy of the guest and their family, we have nothing further to share at this time.”

Other travelers on the well-publicized cruise have shared that the passenger was an elderly woman, who appeared to have been aboard the ship for a shorter segment of the cruise rather than the full world sailing.

Royal Caribbean's Ultimate World Cruise
Royal Caribbean’s Ultimate World Cruise (Photo Credit: Diego O. Galeano)

To protect the guest’s privacy as well as the privacy of their family members and loved ones, no information has been confirmed about the cause of death or whether any medical treatment was administered onboard. All cruise ships are equipped with medical centers and have medical staff onboard, but sudden emergencies, and unfortunately deaths, do occasionally happen.

Read Also: Do Cruise Ships Have Morgues?

Cruise ships are also equipped to deal with the sad circumstances of a death, and cruise line representatives will assist with making arrangements for the remains to be transported as necessary. While sad and definitely upsetting for both guests and crew members, this incident should have no impact on the ship’s itinerary or cruise operations.

Where Is the Cruise Now?

While the 90,090-gross-ton, Radiance-class Serenade of the Seas can welcome 2,490 passengers aboard, only about 800 travelers are staying on the ship for the entire lengthy cruise. The World Cruise began on December 10, 2023, from Miami, Florida, and will return to the South Florida homeport on September 10, 2024.

In the meantime, destinations in 65 countries adding up to 150 ports of call are on the schedule, though itinerary changes have already happened and more are inevitable as the sailing continues.

Royal Caribbean's Serenade of the Seas
Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of the Seas (Photo Credit: StudioPortoSabbia)

The cruise line is currently evaluating whether or not transit through the Red Sea and Suez Canal will be possible, given recent ongoing tensions in the region. A decision is expected on that within the next few days, though the ship will not reach the area until May.

“The safety of our guests and crew is our top priority. In collaboration with our Global Security team, we continuously monitor the situation in the region and make any necessary adjustments. Guests will be notified directly of any changes,” the cruise line has said of the Red Sea situation.

Serenade of the Seas has begun the next leg of the sailing, having already visited ports in the Caribbean, South America, and Mexico. The ship left California on Sunday, February 11, and is now en route to Hawaii. After exploring the Aloha State, Serenade of the Seas will turn south to French Polynesia, New Zealand, and Australia, before moving on to Asia and India.

Read Also: The Impact of Red Sea Tensions on Cruising

From there, the ship will either transit the Red Sea as planned, or may be rerouted around Africa as has happened with a number of other cruise ships. After time in Europe – which may be replanned depending on the Red Sea leg – the ship will visit Iceland, Greenland, Canada, and Bermuda before finally concluding the epic sailing with great fanfare back in Miami later this year.

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