A favourite Captain within Royal Caribbean has sadly passed way from a heart attack

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Captain James MacDonald, a revered and beloved figure in the Royal Caribbean family. On 30th April 2024, Captain MacDonald had to disembark from Harmony of the Seas to seek urgent medical attention in Cozumel, Mexico. The ship made an unscheduled stop, and passengers were informed of his departure via the ship’s public address system. Tragically, on Thursday, news of his passing was finally confirmed.

Royal Caribbean Mourns the Loss of Captain James MacDonald
Credit: Royal Caribbean Mourns the Loss of Captain James MacDonald / Royal Caribbean

An internal email from Royal Caribbean disclosed that Captain MacDonald passed away while receiving care in a hospital in Miami. The email praised him as “a valued team member for 34 years, Captain James was an exceptional leader known for his dedication, expertise, and unwavering commitment to our company. His contributions have left a lasting impact on our team and the company as a whole.”

Captain MacDonald’s influence extended far and wide. He played a crucial role in the development of thousands of crew members, including many captains. His leadership was instrumental in Royal Caribbean’s success in Texas cruising, where he is deeply missed by both crew and guests.

To honour his memory, all Royal Caribbean ships will fly their flags at half-mast on Friday 17th May. Radiance of the Seas made a special announcement and blew the ship’s whistle as a mark of respect.

Captain James MacDonald joined Royal Caribbean in 1990 and was the first captain of Radiance of the Seas, Jewel of the Seas, and Brilliance of the Seas. Most recently, he served as the Master of Harmony of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas, ships based in Texas.

The entire Royal Caribbean community mourns the loss of a remarkable leader and a cherished friend. Captain James MacDonald’s legacy will forever be etched in the memories of passengers and crew who had the privilege of sailing under his command.

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