Police say Salvatore Anello, Chloe Wiegand’s maternal grandfather, dropped the little girl through an open window while it was docked in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
A judge ordered his arrest on Monday and he is expected to appear in court on November 20.
A lawyer for the family said Chloe had asked her grandfather to lift her up so she could bang on the glass in a children’s play area.
He blamed the cruise ship company for leaving the window open when it ‘should have been closed securely’.
Miami-based attorney Michael Winkleman said the story was ‘not as it had originally been portrayed in the media’.
He said in a statement: “The grandfather didn’t drop the child – the child fell due to an open glass pane that should have been closed securely.
“Chloe wanted to bang on the glass like she always did at her older brother’s hockey games. Her grandfather thought there was glass just like everywhere else, but there was not, and she was gone in an instant.”
Royal Caribbean called it a tragic incident and said it was helping the family.