Cruise ship passenger dies after falling from balcony, landing on another traveller

FILE - The Valiant Lady arriving in Marseille, France on March 15, 2021. A passenger died onboard the Valiant Lady on April 2, 2023, when they fell over a balcony and collided with another traveler on a lower deck. Getty Images

A Virgin Voyages cruise ship returned to its Miami port Sunday after a passenger fell from a balcony and onto a lower deck, killing them.

The passenger also struck another person while falling to the deck, though the second traveller was not seriously injured, according to a statement from a Virgin Voyages spokesperson.

The cruise line’s Valiant Lady ship was en route to Roatán, Honduras, when staff announced there had been a “medical emergency” involving a passenger.

The passenger has not been named publicly.

“This passenger went over their balcony onto a lower deck, and despite receiving immediate medical attention, has passed away,” reads the Virgin Voyages statement. “We are deeply saddened by this loss of life and our hearts and thoughts are with this person’s loved ones.”

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Passengers onboard the Valiant Lady were informed of the death in an announcement from the captain at 8 a.m. They were told the cruise would be redirected and return to Miami around 1:30 a.m. the following day.

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The cruise ship has since set sail again, though the trip itinerary has been revised. The vessel will no longer dock in Roatán and will instead head for Cozumel, Mexico. A Virgin Voyages spokesperson told the outlet the route shift is due to inclement weather, and doesn’t have anything to do with the passenger’s death.

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J. Alexander, a YouTuber who runs the channel The Shiplife, was onboard the Valiant Lady and included footage of the captain’s announcement regarding a passenger death in a vlog about his cruise experience. Alexander said many travellers were “shaky” after news of the death and chose to disembark entirely when they reached Miami.

He said passengers were given a “100 percent future cruise credit” as compensation from Virgin Voyages.

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