For approximately 10 months (January – October 1991), I was a crewmember on Norwegian Cruise Lines’ (NCL) “Radisson Diamond”, my third contract on a cruise ship. Soon after boarding the ship, a Filipino crewmember, Rhoul, offered his assistance to my boyfriend and me, informing us to come to him if we needed anything. At first, I thought nothing was wrong with his offer and viewed him as being very hospitable.
One day, my boyfriend got off early from work and went to the passengers’ lounge for a drink, in celebration of his birthday. He took a seat near the sound-booth, where the same employee (Rhoul) was training another crewmember. It appeared that his training techniques were a little harsh for the new trainee, so my boyfriend interjected by saying, “Maybe you could lay-off on him a bit. It takes time to learn how to run things.” My boyfriend did not realize that he had just offended a Filipino gangster.
Later, the Filipino claimed that (for my boyfriend’s birthday) he planned to murder him by throwing him off the ship during the crossing to Portugal…..10 days at sea. A security friend overheard the conversation and told my boyfriend that the problem needed to be resolved. My boyfriend was cornered by approximately 10 Filipinos, while the security officer tried to resolve the matter.
When I learned of the problem, I approached Rhoul, and told him that I would do anything if he would not harm my boyfriend. I explained that my boyfriend had been drinking and that he was just being him, innocently trying to help. Rhoul told me if I was “bullshitting” him, I would pay.
We contacted our manager, who suggested that we carry a knife and secure our cabin with booby traps, since these crewmembers cleaned the cabins and had access to the keys. We spent 7 days in fear.
While partying at the crew bar one night, Rhoul and two of his buddies attacked my Finnish friend, Roger. They roughed him up very badly and broke his ribs. Roger was a mechanic on the ship. His beating was an example for other crewmembers, a way of demonstrating Rhoul’s power and capabilities, and an attempt to scare us, as well.
My boyfriend was called to the bridge to submit a written statement. I told him not to sign anything. To avoid being spotted by Rhoul, he made his way to the bridge through the duct holes. He told his story to the Captain, who laughed and said, “It would of been a long swim!”
We spent the next 2 to 4 days in fear. My friend was attacked and injured as a result of our situation with Rhoul. With the ship being Finnish-flagged, and since my friend was also Finnish, the rest of the crew was angry with both of us. No one wanted anything to do with us, because they were afraid of a rampage.
We finally made it to Portugal… Alive! On the morning of embarkation, Rhoul and one of his buddies were handcuffed and taken away. To this day, following their arrest, I am unaware of what happened.
When we left the Radisson Diamond, we were not well-liked and our manager was abusive.
We later transferred to another ship. While on the new ship, I overheard a conversation at the bar. I learned that Rhoul had worked on another ship, where he was also a problem.
I always fear that if I ever travel on a ship again, I may meet up with him. If that happens, I know for sure that I will be dead. No one would be able to protect me.
Rhoul claimed that he had killed people on other ships and even bragged about it! People were scared of him and I don’t blame them. He received everything he demanded on the ship….and used this to frame people and force them to obey him.
IMPORTANT: Rhoul worked on ‘Radisson Diamond’ during 1992-1994, as a sound technician. If any crew members are working with him today, I strongly suggest that you consider transferring to another ship, before you become one of his targets.