The cruise ship business is one that is constantly growing. Companies feel pressure to compete with each other and to innovate the cruise experience to make each voyage more exciting than the last. As a result, these companies often make problematic business decisions, which require excessive amounts of money and occasionally lead to them going to court. Additionally, climate change and rising sea levels are a growing concern within the cruise line business, and cruise companies are being forced to start thinking about the future of their businesses.
Between their large construction projects, constant innovation, criminal activity, and negligence on the part of operators or staff, cruise lines have been in the headlines a lot lately, and as passengers who can be hurt by the negligence of these major cruise operators, we should all be paying attention to the state of the industry and the dangers that cruises pose to consumers.
Recent Lawsuits Against the Cruise Lines
Recently, three people (one from the Bahamas and two from Alaska), told a court they wanted to be recognized as victims of Carnival Corporation’s environmental crimes. This came up during a trial between Carnival and federal prosecutors over the company’s illegal dumping of over 500,000 gallons of treated sewage into the ocean. The Carnival Corporation eventually pleaded guilty to these crimes and as a result paid $40 million in fines and was put on probation for five years.
During those probationary years, their court-appointed monitor found that they continued violating international environmental laws through the burning unfiltered heavy fuel oil and other illegal activities such as falsifying records, dumping plastic into the ocean, using a back channel to communicate with the Coast Guard, failing to give their environmental compliance officer the level of authority outlined in their probation, and improperly preparing their ships ahead of visits by the court-appointed monitor.
The Grand Princess, one of the ships owned by Carnival, even docked in Alaska in 2017 with a dead whale on the bow of the ship. As a result, they were put back on trial for violating their probation, during which the judge threatened to ban the company’s ships from docking at U.S. ports. The public wrote letters urging her to punish the cruise line for their repeated violations.
Another concerning trend in cruise line behavior is a sense of disdain for the safety of their passengers and a lack of regulations to protect their safety. For example, MSC cruises was sued by the mother of a 14-year old girl who was sexually assaulted by one of their crew members. The cruise line did not look at employment history or perform a background check before hiring the crew member. The girl was on the cruise with her grandparents and older sister because her younger brother had his finger amputated by a door and her parents disembarked to take him to the hospital. MSC was sued for “failing to provide reasonably safe conditions” aboard the ship, which led to the assault of a minor.
Carnival Cruise Lines had eight reports of sexual assaults between October 1st and December 31st of 2018, and Royal Caribbean had six. On the topic of passenger safety, Royal Caribbean also had issues with the Sky Pad, one of their onboard attractions that features a trampoline with bungee cords that allow a passenger to jump even higher than normal. They were forced to shut down the Sky Pad after one of the cords snapped and a passenger broke his pelvis.
Despite their repeated offenses in terms of the safety of their passengers and environmental regulations, the cruise industry continues to grow and companies continue to have enough money to think about the future of their businesses. 18 new cruise ships were set to launch this year, and the industry is expected to bring in a whopping $134 billion. Many believe that the growth in the industry is largely due to millennials and retirees, but the impact they are having on the overall popularity of cruise lines is enormous. Companies are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to update their vessels and attract these new audiences. The Sky Pad aboard the Royal Caribbean’s Mariner ship was one of the updated attractions that Royal Caribbean brought aboard during a $100 million remodel meant to attract millennials such as the 25-year-old who broke his pelvis.
With this rapid growth, there are growing concerns about the environmental impact of these expansions, especially if companies continue to behave as if they are above the law when it comes to environmental regulations. Additionally, companies are constantly looking for the next big thing in onboard entertainment and are making investments to develop the industry in places like China. One recent trend that companies are starting to have to pay attention to is climate change and rising sea levels.
Royal Caribbean is planning to spend $300 million to make their new PortMiami office look like an enormous ship, and one of the updates they are planning is to make sure their structures are at least 15 feet above sea level, as rising sea levels are a growing concern. Another reason Royal Caribbean is investing such a large sum of money to build their new office in Miami is to make the cruise line competitive when it comes to recruiting employees who are the best of the best. If they are going to compete with the rest of the growing industry to gain customers, they have to recruit the best staff.
Another example of companies trying to compete is that MSC recently purchased their own private island, Ocean Cay, which all of their cruises out of PortMiami will stop at. The company is working to build a larger terminal along PortMiami that won’t be completed until 2022, though in MSC’s case executives declined to say whether or not they were concerned about rising sea levels. Two other cruise lines, Norweigan Cruise line, and Virgin Voyages, are currently constructing new terminals in the same area.
Hurt in An Accident? Call Us For Help
As the cruise line industry expands and companies continue to make mistakes, it becomes more and more important for us to hold them liable when they do something illegal or endanger the lives of their passengers. The cruise ship attorneys of Louis A. Vucci, P.A. are ready to sit down with you and discuss your accident when you call us at (786) 375-0344 or when you reach out to us online. Our consultations are always 100% free and confidential, so there is no risk to reach out to us.
The government of the Bahamas will launch an investigation of Carnival Cruise Line for discharging nearly 500,000 gallons of treated sewage into Bahamian waters following the release of a report from a Florida federal judge.
The 205-page report identified 13 incidents where Carnival illegally dumped treated sewage into the waters of the Bahamas during the cruise line’s first year of probation. The sewage dumps, which occurred over two weeks in June 2017, violate Bahamian rules as well as international rules. According to international laws, ships may dump treated sewage three miles from land. However, in the Bahamas and some other countries, ships must dump 12 miles off land. Some of Carnival’s discharges occurred while its ships were inside the 12-mile zone.
The report, which was released by U.S. District Judge Patricia Seitz, identified over 800 total incidents on Carnival ships globally. Of the hundreds of incidents, 19 were for unlawfully burning heavy fuel oil (HFO) in protected waters, and over 150 incidents were due to items, such as chairs, accidentally going overboard. Missing records, incorrect logs, and faulty or broken machinery were among the other incidents noted.
Renward Wells, Minister of Transport and Local Government, said that the Bahamian government will undergo a thorough review into the report, according to a news article from the Nassau Guardian. Wells called the report “disturbing.”
Carnival Corp. reported the treated sewage dumps to authorities in the Bahamas and said the discharges were unintentional and the result of human error.
The Miami-based cruise company’s probation was due to a guilty plea in 2016 to seven felony charges from unlawful oil dumping and the ensuing cover-up on five of its ships, a conspiracy which lasted eight years. In 2017, Carnival’s first year on probation, the company didn’t commit any of the crimes it was convicted of the previous year.
None of the Carnival cruise ships that dumped treated sewage in the waters of the Bahamas are registered with the Bahamas. However, many Carnival ships are registered there, granting the island nation authority over Carnival’s activities.
Carnival Cruise Line Accident Attorneys
At Louis A. Vucci, P.A., we are disappointed to hear of the news of Carnival dumping treated sewage, putting the health of others at risk. Unfortunately, Carnival has a long history of negligence and harming cruise passengers in the process. If you were injured while aboard a Carnival cruise, you may have options for recovering financial compensation.
The cruise accident attorneys at Louis A. Vucci, P.A. are committed to helping cruise passengers who have been injured or harmed on Carnival ships. When an injury affects your life, we recommend you seek the help of a skilled and experienced attorney. At Louis A. Vucci, P.A., we strive to provide the best legal representation possible for our clients. We don’t charge you unless we win your personal injury case, and your initial consultation is free and confidential. Contact us today by calling (786) 375-0344. You may also fill out our online contact form or chat live with a representative on our site.
Louis A. Vucci, the lead attorney of Louis A. Vucci, P.A., was recently asked to provide input for an article titled “Cruising for a Bruising: Passenger Personal Injury Suits Flow, But Crew Member Litigation is Drying Up” on law.com’s Daily Business Review.
The article discusses a new law, the Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal (FAIR) Act. Currently, most cruise lines require their crew members to go through an arbitration process if they have a claim against the line. This can lead to an unfair power balance, as arbitration is usually focused on protecting the business’s interests rather than the injured employee’s. This law aims to change that.
To read the article, click here.
As part of their ongoing mission to renovate and improve their fleet, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings announced on January 8th that they will be adding two new ships to their line in 2022 and 2025. These completely new ships are in addition to the $100 million renovations to their four Regatta-class ships, announced last year.
The two new ships will each hold 1,200 passengers. They will be added to Norwegian’s premium line, Oceania, and become part of Oceania’s Allure class. The ships will be built by Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri, at a price of $650 million each.
The ongoing renovations, which should be completed by 2020, are also to the Oceania line. Miami design firm Studio DADO is a part of these renovations. In addition to Oceania, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings also owns Norwegian Cruise Line, a contemporary line, and Regent, a luxury line.
A routine inspection by two inspectors from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention uncovered unsanitary conditions aboard the Carnival Cruise Line’s ship, the Triumph. The CDC gave the 2754-passenger ship a rare failing grade for more than two dozen violations. Most cruise ships owned and operated by the major cruise lines routinely pass health inspections, scoring 86 points or more out of 100.
Inspectors found flies in food prep areas and at beverage stations, food items like milk, eggs, and cheese stored at temperatures above the 41-degrees-or-less guidelines, soiled water fountains, and general disrepair in food areas. These issues all led to an inspection score of 78 out of 100 for the cruise ship.
The cruise line, based in Doral, Florida, issued a statement saying that it has corrected the issues noted in the report and has requested an immediate re-inspection. People may remember that the Carnival Triumph was in the news in 2013, when it suffered engine failure at sea, stranding guests on board and leading to unsanitary conditions. That fateful event led to extensive media coverage and negative publicity for the ship and the cruise line.
The Triumph now sails from New Orleans, and while the cruise line claims the issues have been addressed, we are still monitoring the situation. It is the responsibility of cruise lines to protect guests from harm and keep conditions as sanitary as possible for those aboard. If they fail to do so and you become ill as a result, you may be eligible to pursue legal action.
For more on this story, read more at The Miami Herald. We will keep you updated on any new developments.
Have you ever wanted to visit the Galapagos Islands? How about doing so in luxury and style? Well, if that trip has been on your list of things to do, Celebrity Cruises may have an option that you would enjoy. The Miami based cruise company announced that it is building a specialty ship named the Celebrity Flora that will sail to the famous archipelago located off the coast of Ecuador. This custom-built ship specifically for this particular voyage is a small-ship design which will hold only 100 passengers. Unlike the larger ships with interior rooms, balcony rooms, and suites, this ship features an all-suite design, with large floor-to-ceiling glass windows on entire decks of the boat, designed for viewing and connection with the beautiful surroundings.
The new trend in cruise ships of this size, known as “expedition vessels” includes high-end amenities without all of the crowds on larger cruise ships. The Celebrity Flora will have two dining rooms, outdoor casual spaces, cabanas on deck that can be used to lounge under the stars, and three educational areas where passengers can learn more about the flora and fauna of the famed Galapagos islands.
Adventure and expedition cruises are becoming more popular, according to cruise industry insiders. It is likely that people are starting to gravitate to these smaller tours, with more personalized attention and fewer crowds. The educational and exploratory nature of cruises like this one likely appeal to those who are not looking for just a good time, but want to learn something along the way.
To learn more about the new cruise from Celebrity Cruises, read the entire story at the Miami Herald.
In 2020, Virgin Voyages will launch new ships that will be for travelers ages 18 and up.
The company made the decision to launch the no kids allowed line after seeking input from travelers. The president and CEO of Virgin Voyages, Tom McAlpin, said that this customer input highlighted that people wanted to “set sail in an environment that felt more elevated.”
The three ships will have room for 2,860 passengers. Some analysts say that it may be challenging to make such sizable ships successful without revenue from families.
The new ships aim to be more environmentally friendly. They incorporate technology that transforms heat generated by the engines into electricity. They will also include a new waste management system that could dramatically decrease the amount of waste the ship discharges into the ocean, instead turning it to energy.
Virgin Voyages is taking suggestions for what to name the new ships.
Most major cruise lines are aware of a traveler’s need for wellness and activity during their vacation and offer a variety of accommodations like rock-climbing, on-board sports, and spas to cater to their health conscious customers. A new startup cruise ship, Blue World Voyages, is taking this trend a step farther by committing to providing a cruise experience completely centered around wellness and fitness. According to a new article from the Miami Herald, this new cruise ship would boast of a retractable pool that goes directly into the ocean, virtual reality baseball and golf, and farm-to-table food that comes from the very places the ship visits.
The startup cruise line is still in the process of obtaining necessary funds from investors and has already raised $15 million in investments and expects around $10 million more from crowdfunding efforts. Despite these efforts, certain cruise experts are skeptical of the ship’s success, noting that most major cruise lines already cater to the wellness wanderer and that the proposed fitness ship would be too niche to compete with these already well established ships. Whether the startup makes it off the ground or not is yet to be seen, but fitness lovers should keep an eye out to see if this innovative ship makes it on the market.
Although cruise ships are meant to offer fun and relaxation, sometimes even these nautical vacations can prove dangerous. Theft, assault, and accidents that result in injury are unfortunately common occurrences on cruise ships, and many victims do not get the help they need following such incidents. Louis A. Vucci, P.A. believes that every victim should receive justice and compensation for the crimes committed against them. If you have any questions or would like to set up an appointment with a qualified Miami cruise ship injury attorney, please contact us at (786) 375-0344 today.
Cruise ships are known for their luxury accommodations, adventures, and exhilarating activities. From rock climbing and basketball courts to water slides and on-board surfing, cruise lines continue to compete and improve their amenities, adding more interesting and blood-pumping experiences every year. Norwegian Cruise Lines and Scuderia Ferrari have partnered together to introduce the newest experience vacation cruises have to offer, a two-floor racetrack that can accommodate up to ten electric go-karts at a time. This new addition changes the cruise-ship game and demonstrates the increasingly competitive quality of cruises, a definite plus for adventurers on vacation cruises.
This amenity is not the only new one the Norwegian Joy has to offer. The ship also contains such fantastic new technologies as hovercraft bumper cars, outdoor laser tag, revolutionary water slides, and much more. This expansive ship will set sail this June from Shanghai to Tianjin. Upgrading to more high-end rooms can yield passengers even more benefits on this luxurious cruise, like free usage of the monumental racetrack. Norwegian Joy is a revolution for cruise lines, and new and more extravagant cruise ships will undoubtedly crop up to compete with this novel pioneer.
Cruises are meant to be altogether fun, relaxing, memorable experiences for individuals and families of all ages. Unfortunately, some activities meant to be fun can result in serious injuries, in addition to other dangers on board. If you or a loved one has been injured or hurt from your stay on a cruise line, you may be entitled to compensation to make up for the physical, emotional, and financial losses you have endured. At Louis A. Vucci, P.A., our qualified cruise ship injury legal team has years of experience with these cases and will fight for the full compensation you deserve. Please contact us at (786) 375-0344 today.
When people spend money on a cruise and take time off from their hectic lives, they reasonably expect to have a fun and relaxing time. They may lounge by the pool, attend a magic show, or go on late night food runs to a ship’s 24-hour buffet. Easy, light, and fun should all characterize a passenger’s experience on a cruise, but unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.
For example, in February 2016, a couple aboard a Carnival cruise ship was violently beaten and attacked in their own room by another passenger. Louis A. Vucci, P.A. in Miami is representing the couple as they are now accusing Carnival Cruise Line of inadequate security and negligence. They add ship employees gave the attacker too much alcohol. Their harrowing experience demonstrates the hidden danger of cruise lines and the prevalence of attacks on-board.
If you go on a cruise, please have fun, but also be cautious and vigilant of potential dangers around you. Although such attacks should not occur and it is the responsibility of the cruise line to keep its passengers healthy and safe, these attacks still do unfortunately occur, as proven with the case above. If you or a loved one has been wrongfully injured or attacked on a cruise line, you may be entitled to compensation for your trauma because the cruise line failed in their responsibility of keeping you safe. If you have any questions or would like to set up an appointment with a qualified cruise attorney, please contact Louis A. Vucci, P.A. at (786) 375-0344 today.