April 24, 2003
Two hand-written notes threatening vague "acts of terrorism" found in the same ladies' restroom aboard Royal Caribbean's Legend of the Seas appear to be a hoax, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The 2,400-passenger cruise ship, on its way to Hilo, Hawaii, was diverted yesterday to Honolulu so that FBI agents could board. According to news reports, agents onboard required passengers to report yesterday afternoon to dining rooms where they were individually questioned while other FBI officials used bomb-detecting dogs to sniff out any threatening scents. Royal Caribbean has issued a statement that offers a bit more detail on the notes that it says were found by crew members: "In response to the notes, Royal Caribbean immediately contacted FBI, and the U.S. Coast Guard. The FBI is the official authority for evaluating such situations. So far, FBI officials have provided no information indicating that the threats are credible. Royal Caribbean has found nothing to indicate that the threats are credible, as well." "Despite the lack of credibility of the notes, Royal Caribbean felt it must proceed with the utmost caution to ensure the safety of our guests and crew members. Tuesday night, crew members conducted a security sweep of all public and restricted areas of the ship. Nothing unusual was found. Wednesday morning the security sweep continued with checks of all guest and crew staterooms. Again, nothing unusual was found." More from the statement: "Based on the cooperative investigation with U.S. federal authorities, Legend of the Seas proceeded directly to Honolulu yesterday, rather than Hilo, its scheduled port of call. The ship arrived in Honolulu at approximately 2 p.m. Arriving in Honolulu allowed authorities to board the ship and continue their investigation. Officers from various agencies conducted their own security sweeps until approximately 11 p.m. yesterday, and allowed the ship to depart at approximately midnight." Legend of the Seas, which left Ensenada on April 18 for the 11-day Hawaiian itinerary, is back on track today, and is back on its planned itinerary.