Joel Taylor’s Death Aboard an Atlantis Cruise Has Reportedly Triggered an FBI Investigation (Updated)
Yesterday we reported on the sad passing of Storm Chasers star Joel Taylor onboard the Atlantis gay cruise that is currently touring the Caribbean. He was found dead of a suspected overdose following a night of partying that saw him pass out on the dance floor. But now TMZ is reporting that Taylor’s death has triggered an FBI investigation.
According to TMZ, “After Taylor died, the boat docked in Puerto Rico and passengers tell us there was a lot of commotion involving drugs on board the Royal Caribbean ship, Harmony of the Seas. … We’re told the FBI is investigating the circumstances of Taylor’s death, how the drugs got on board and who supplied them.”
This is not the first time drug arrests have taken place on an Atlantis gay cruise. In 2011, Steven Barry Krumholz, 51, was arrested while the Allure of the Seas ship was docked in St. Thomas. He reportedly had “140 ecstasy pills, nearly three grams of methamphetamine, a small quantity of ketamine and about $51,000 in cash” in his cabin.
Moreover, there has been rampant speculation on social media (though it should be noted still uncorroborated) that Taylor isn’t the only death onboard the current Atlantis gay cruise.
The cruise, called the “Atlantis Harmony Caribbean” cruise, is one of several organized by Atlantis Events, the leading producer of all-gay cruises and resort vacations. This particular cruise takes place on the Royal Caribbean ship named Harmony of the Seas — reportedly the largest in the world — and has planned stops on the islands of St. Maarten; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and the Royal Caribbean-owned private island of Labadee.
Since news of Taylor’s death broke, several people have taken to social media raising allegations that more gay men than Taylor have died on the cruise. One commented that he believed three people died in addition to Taylor.
Another man, from San Francisco, posted on Facebook that he’d heard there were “FOUR deaths on the Harmony. Wtf have we become people? So depressingly sad.” A commenter on his post replied, “Makes me wonder if someone on board was dealing from a tainted batch of something.”
Yet another posted on Facebook, “3 deaths on Atlantis gay cruise ! y’all need to cut it out !!!!! Party responsibly.” That poster tells us exclusively that the source for his claim was a group of friends on board the ship.
We reached out to Atlantis and Royal Caribbean for comment on these allegations of multiple deaths on board the current Atlantis gay cruise. Owen Torres, the Global Corporate Communications Manager for Royal Caribbean tells us, “There are no other deaths that occurred on the Atlantis Charter.”
As no other deaths have been confirmed aboard the Atlantis gay cruise, it’s possible the many social media posts claiming there have been are based on incorrect information. We will continue to investigate.
UPDATE, 9:01 AM PST: The Sword is now reporting that porn star Dirk Caber, another passenger of the Atlantis gay cruise, was hospitalized in Puerto Rico.
Caber and his partner, Jesse Jackman, left the ship when Caber was reportedly found unconscious. The Sword is reporting he was diagnosed with pneumonia and moved from the ship to the hospital.
UPDATE, 4:32 PM PST: Rich Campbell, President & CEO of Atlantis Events, has responded to our original inquiry and confirmed:
There have been no additional medical incidents of any significance, including deaths, onboard this charter. For further information about guest medical incidents please contact Royal Caribbean Corporate communications. As the charterer of the ship, we have no access to specific case information.
We were saddened to learn of the death of Mr. Taylor this week as he was a loyal guest and member of our community. His loss will be felt by the many who had the pleasure of knowing him.