When claims of inappropriate and non-consensual behavior between passengers aboard a Disney cruise ship earlier this year began to surface, Disney quickly went to work contacting passengers who may have been victimized, as the FBI opened its own investigation into the allegations.
Disney Cruise Line offers a wide range of onboard activities for families, as well as adults-only experiences and kids-only events, aboard all five ships in its fleet–the Disney Magic, the Disney Wonder, the Disney Dream, the Disney Fantasy, and the cruise line’s newest ship, the Disney Wish. While sailing, parents are invited to experience the magic of a date night at sea without the kids by registering their children at the Oceaneer Club. Disney Cruise Line’s Oceaneer Clubs were designed specifically for the youngest passengers onboard and offer kids ages 3 to 12 a variety of fun, supervised, Disney-inspired experiences while parents take in some of the ship’s live entertainment, have dinner at a restaurant onboard, or simply lounge on the Promenade Deck and enjoy the beauty of the stars in the night sky.
Disney’s Oceaneer Clubs are located on each of the five members of the Disney Cruise Line fleet. Each club offers something unique from its sistership counterparts. The Oceaneer Club onboard the Disney Wish, for example, offers kids the Marvel Super Hero Academy, Star Wars: Cargo Bay, Fairytale Hall, the Walt Disney Imagineering Lab, and Mickey & Minnie’s Captain’s Deck.
Disney takes the safety of its Guests very seriously and implements safety measures of various kinds for the protection of passengers onboard, whether they are adults or children. At Disney Cruise Line’s Oceaneer Clubs, parents are required to create a “secret word” that is kept on file by the Youth Activities Crew on the ship. The secret word is used as an identifier for adults who are authorized as the responsible parties for children who participate in the onboard club activities, ensuring that a child can only leave the club with the appropriate adults. In the event an adult attempts to pick up a child from the club without the secret word, more enhanced security measures must be taken before the child can be surrendered.
But such precautions have no bearing on situations that take place once a child is inside the Oceaneer Club. In the case of the March 2023 cruise from New Orleans, claims of inappropriate behavior at the club involve a 12-year-old male passenger and his alleged actions toward other children while under the supervision of the Youth Activities Crew on the ship. But concerned parents, as well as those directly affected by the young boy’s alleged actions, want to know how these behaviors could have taken place without Cast Members knowing and intervening.
Disney’s first-built cruise ship, the Disney Magic, departed New Orleans, Louisiana, on March 9, 2023, and returned to the port on March 13, 2023. During the sailing, several parents approached Cast Members to share their concerns about possible inappropriate interactions between a young male passenger and other passengers at the Oceaneer Club. According to the Brais Law Firm, a Florida-based maritime legal firm specializing in accidents, injuries, deaths, and crimes aboard cruise ships, parents claimed that the young male passenger was “inappropriate” in his exchanges with others in the club and that he may have engaged in physical contact with younger children on board the Disney Magic.
The Brais Firm stated that the incidences of inappropriate behavior allegedly carried out by the young boy reportedly took place inside a restroom in the Oceaneer Club, as well as near the Twist & Spout Slide on Deck 10 of the ship. According to the firm, the FBI is involved in the investigation, and Disney began to contact passengers following the review of closed-circuit television recordings on the ship.
The FBI’s New Orleans unit is leading the investigation and encourages those with information related to the claims, as well as concerned parents who feel their children may have also been victims, to contact the New Orleans office at (504) 816-3000.