Today we learned that a guest participating in the Atlantis Events cruise aboard the Sea oasis died Monday night as the Royal Caribbean cruise ship headed for Mexico. This afternoon, journalist Chris Wiggins tweeted the news of the death. He also reported on several “Code Alpha” (medical emergency) announcements broadcast on the ship.
There have been several “Code Alpha” medical emergencies on the @RoyalCaribbean Oasis of the Seas currently underway on the Atlantis Gay Cruise.
At least one of these shipwide alarms involved a person found in cardiac arrest in his cabin. This person is deceased.
— Chris Wiggins🏳️🌈🇩🇪🇺🇸 (@CWNewser) January 20, 2022
Medical emergencies (often drug overdoses) are not uncommon on Royal Caribbean cruises chartered by Atlantis Events. In fact, Atlantis Events cruises have been plagued by drug abuse, passengers going overboard and deaths on board ships. We covered some of these events in our article earlier this week:
Super Spreader of the Seas – Atlantis Events mocks COVID-19 protocols
In January 2020, a member of the Atlantis engineering team went overboard from the Oasis of the seas.
In February 2019, federal agents arrested two men who were trying to board the Allure of the Seas in PortMiami for possession of a large quantity of drugs which they intended to sell on the cruise ship which had been chartered to Atlantis Events. Local News 10 reported that after the men arrived in PortMiami, a drug-sniffing dog alerted his handler to their luggage containing MDMA (ecstasy), ketamine, Viagra, Adderall and GHB. . According to TMZ and other tabloid websites, passengers on the Royal Caribbean ship said “drugs on the party boat were aplenty.”
In January 2018, storm chasers’ star Joel Taylor died of a suspected overdose on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship, Harmony of the Seas, which had been chartered by Atlantis Events. Rosie Spinks, a talented reporter for Quartz at the time, reported on Mr. Taylor’s death in an article titled A Reality Star’s Death Exposed the Dangerous Party Culture on Gay Cruises.
In February 2012, an Atlantis Events participant went too far from the Allure of the Seas operated by Royal Caribbean. His body was never found and he is presumed dead. There was no clear evidence that the fall overboard was directly related to drug use on the ship.
Shortly before the Royal Caribbean/Atlantis 20th Anniversary cruise in February 2011, I asked if Royal Caribbean was prepared for medical emergencies during the world’s largest gay cruise? I asked why Royal Caribbean tolerates the widespread use of drugs on its ships during Atlantis Events cruises.
A week later, cruise passenger Barry Krumholz was arrested for selling large quantities of ecstasy pills, methamphetamine, ketamine and other drugs on board the Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas chartered by Atlantis Events. There were reportedly half a dozen drug overdoses during the cruise.
In 2010 there was another passenger death on the Royal Caribbean freedom of the seas which had been chartered to Atlantis Events. There have been many discussions regarding the use of drugs at events sponsored by Atlantis Events.
In 2009, a passenger died after taking drugs while cruising aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship that had been chartered for use by Atlantis Events. Spencer Yu, attorney for Warner Brothers and board member of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (“GLAAD”), died on Sailor of the seas. Medical care was described by revelers as delayed and haphazard,
In the past, Atlantis Cruises has drawn media attention for other fatalities that have occurred while sailing. In 2020, one passenger died falling off the ship, and drug overdoses and fatalities are not uncommon on these charters.
— Chris Wiggins🏳️🌈🇩🇪🇺🇸 (@CWNewser) January 20, 2022
In 2019, Atlantis Events changed its policy apparently based on the death of Joel Taylor on the Harmony of the seas. Atlantis has hired its own medical team. His holiday guide at the time said he will have medical staff on his cruise party. On page 14 of his website, under “Safety at Sea,” he said:
“Our new care team is here to help! At all of our parties and events, you’ll find a dedicated team of healthcare professionals here to help you with absolutely everything. They will be wearing bright blue T-shirts with our Care Team logo and all have experience at major festivals, sporting events and nightlife.
If you or anyone around you needs help or might need medical attention, don’t hesitate to ask them. They are there to help and will provide non-judgmental support no matter the situation. All questions are handled in the same ethical way as in a terrestrial hospital.
Above all, take care of yourself and others. If you see someone who has overindulged or is sick, please let our team help you first.
The current Royal Caribbean/Atlantis Events Cruise Vacation Guide – 30th Anniversary Caribbean Cruise brochure does not include language similar to the terms and conditions of its 2019 brochure regarding the use of medical personnel arranged by Atlantis Events . However, one commentator, Will Kohler, suggests that Atlantis still uses its own medical staff for partygoers who fall ill on the ship.
More informations: #AtlantisEvents hires its own medical team to be on hand, 24 hours a day, to attend to guests who fall or OD to keep things low-key. This team is not engaged by Royal Caribbean.
— Back2Stonewall.com — Will Kohler (@BACK2STONEWALL) January 20, 2022
Whether the medical personnel were hired by Atlantis or Royal Caribbean, cruise ships are not the place to have a medical emergency, whether you are gay, lesbian, transgender or straight. Cruise ships are notorious for the questionable experience and training of onboard doctors and staff and the limited nature of cruise ship medical facilities.
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Image credit: respective users on Twitter; top photo – Brooke Lynn Hytes on Twitter.
Update of January 20, 2022: A passenger on the ship explained that Atlantis does use an independent contractor to provide medical services to those in need of medical care on the ship: