The refreshing tagline for Princess Cruises is “come back new.” The purpose of a cruise vacation is to relax, unwind, and recharge. Everything you need is available, everything you want is in front of you, there’s nothing but you, your family, and the sea.
Paradise turned into horror when cruise ship security personnel were dispatched to cabin D726, registered to guests Kenneth Manzanares and his wife Kristy. “Blood was spread throughout the room on multiple surfaces,” read the affidavit. Manzanares was covered in blood, on his hands and clothes.
“She would not stop laughing at me,” he reportedly told a witness.
Kristy was dead on the floor, covered in blood.
The Emerald Princess, a Grand-class cruise ship that entered service in 2007, was carrying 3,400 passengers and 1,100 crew members. It departed Seattle on Sunday the 23rd for a seven-day round-trip cruise.
The murder forced the crew to divert to Juneau, arriving six and a half hours ahead of schedule. Manzanares was taken into custody by security and arrested after the ship docked in Juneau. As F.B.I. investigators searched him for evidence, Manzanares uttered, “My life is over.”
The F.B.I. is required to step in if a wrongful death occurs in either international or domestic waters.
One passenger, Charles Rowlen, said of the incident, “It was evening for us. I had turned in and my wife was taking a shower and I heard terrible screaming, I mean you knew it wasn’t normal. And it sounded like two or three ladies or girls, definitely women screaming.
“My wife’s a registered nurse, she thought he was going to jump over the rail, and at one point he put his hand on the rail and set his rear on it, but she started yelling get back in and the ship announced, ‘get a security team to that area.’”
Manzanares has been charged with the murder of his wife. He made his first court appearance via video conference from Juneau to a federal court in Anchorage.
The Emerald Princess later departed for Skagway, in southeast Alaska, and will continue its regularly scheduled voyage. For the rest, paradise continues.
Kristy, however, will not come back new. She won’t come back at all.