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Cruise Ship Death: FBI Investigating Woman's Demise Aboard Royal Caribbean

Image: Cruise Ship Death: FBI Investigating Woman's Demise Aboard Royal Caribbean Royal Caribbean cruise ship, Enchantment of the Seas, scene of a Virginia woman's death.

Tuesday, 26 Mar 2013 03:25 PM

By Alexandra Ward

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The FBI is investigating the suspicious death of a 62-year-old Virginia woman found in her cabin on Sunday aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship, the day before it returned to port in Baltimore.

Officials said the unidentified woman's husband found her body in their stateroom aboard the Enchantment of the Seas. The seven-day cruise traveled from Baltimore to Port Canaveral, Fla., and onto Nassau in the Bahamas, then Cococay before turning around.

FBI agents met the ship as it docked in Baltimore to investigate the death scene, and officials said there were "suspicious undertones" surrounding the woman's death.

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"Generally, a suspicious death is in order when there is an unexpected death or not easily explained circumstances, like no obvious signs of trauma," security expert Rob Weinhold told CBS Baltimore. "At the end of the day, the crime scene needs to be preserved so that physical evidence as well as witness testimony can be used to determine exactly what happened."

FBI Baltimore field office spokesman Rich Wolf said an autopsy is being conducted to determine the cause and manner of death. He declined to say whether the woman suffered any trauma.

"We extend our most sincere and heartfelt condolences to the family and friends," said Royal Caribbean in a statement.

Cruise liners have faced a slew of bad publicity recently, in light of the Carnival Triumph disaster last month.

The Carnival Triumph sat adrift in the Gulf of Mexico for several days in February after an engine fire left it essentially dead in the water. The 4,200 passengers were stranded without many basic necessities, as the fire took out the ship's sanitary systems.

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Carnival promised a full refund to all guests in addition to transportation expenses. Also, in an attempt to compensate for the inconvenience, Carnival, which has already reimbursed all shipboard purchases made during the voyage, except for gift shop and casino charges, will be awarding each of the passengers a future cruise credit equal to the amount paid for the Triumph voyage.

Later, in March, Carnival had to fly passengers home from the Caribbean island of St. Maarten after a generator malfunction interrupted elevator and restroom service on board the Carnival Dream.

Related stories:

Royal Caribbean Says U.S. Strength to Offset Europe Woes in 2013

Crippled Cruise Ship Slowly Makes Its Way to Land

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