COVID-19 Puts Cruise Ships on Cruise Control 

Posted on Thursday, March 18th, 2021 at 5:45 pm    

Eager to get out to sea and soak up some rays? It looks like you may be waiting a little bit longer to get back aboard a cruise ship. Due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, a new wave of cruise ships has just announced that they are pushing back their relaunch dates — again. Norwegian Cruise Line has become the first large-scale cruise line to announce that they are forgoing a June restart and plan to push their timeline to July. Other major cruise lines, such as Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruise Line, and MSC Cruises, have canceled their itineraries through May, but not into June.

Part of the reason for the continued delay may be that the cruise industry is still coming to terms with how to address Centers for Disease Control guidelines. In 2020, the CDC issued guidance called the “Framework for Conditional Sailing Order,” which was meant to serve as a roadmap for cruise ship operators and gave them instructions on how to keep passengers and crew members safe. Some cruise lines continue to grapple with how to put safety protocols in place and maintain them through the duration of a trip.

More Than One Hurdle for Cruise Lines

Another major hurdle the industry is still trying to overcome is the travel-restrictions that some governments have in place. While a few European ports have opened up with enhanced safety measures, others are remaining cautious. Canada has extended its ban on cruise ships until at least 2022. The ban applies to all ships carrying more than 100 people aboard. The country has even banned smaller adventure-seeking pleasure crafts from entering Arctic waters, hoping the move will protect indigenous people from those potentially carrying the virus.

Memories Haven’t Faded and Neither Have the Lawsuits

While this response may seem extreme, consider the stories from cruise ship survivors caught in the aftermath of the first wave of the virus last year. The pain, suffering, emotional distress and uncertainty is still raw for many of the survivors trapped and frightened at sea and stuck stranded at port.

Those aboard the Grand Princess, quarantined on board off the California coast, remember the trauma all too vividly. More than 100 people aboard the ship ended up infected with COVID-19, and eight died. The family of one man who passed away is now suing the operators of that cruise line for negligence and wrongful death. Their case is only one of a dozen lawsuits filed so far by the passengers and surviving relatives on board that Princess Cruise ship.

Reach Out to the Team at Louis A. Vucci P.A.

Everyone has been impacted in some way by the COVID-19 pandemic. While we all wish we could relax and get away for a while, cruise lines still have a responsibility to ensure that when they sail, they are doing it safely. Those impacted by the first wave of the virus one year ago are living with the consequences of the actions, or lack thereof, of the cruise line industry. As they await the final results of their pending lawsuits, we can only hope that the cruise line industry as a whole has taken the disasters of the past to heart and enhanced their safety protocols.

If you or a loved one has suffered due to a COVID-19-related experience aboard a cruise ship, contact Louis A. Vucci P.A. for information on how we may be able to help you. Our skilled legal team has experience handling a wide range of cruise line-related accident, injury, and illness claims. To find out how we may be able to help you collect the compensation you deserve from a negligent cruise line, contact our office at (786) 375-0344 today.


Sexual Assault on Cruise Ships- A Growing Concern

Posted on Thursday, March 4th, 2021 at 10:00 am    

Just before news of the Covid-19 pandemic began to hit the airwaves in early 2020, data released at the end of 2019 painted a disturbing picture of sexual assault in the cruise line industry. Covid-19 coverage then dominated cruise ship headlines for much of the remaining year. However, as the industry begins creating plans for the future, passengers may want to revisit this shocking 2019 data and consider how it may impact their travel plans.

In December of 2019, reports began to emerge that FBI data showed 35 reported sexual assaults aboard cruise ships between July and September of 2019. While the number may not sound significant at face value, take into account that those 35 sexual assaults represent a 35 percent increase from the previous quarter and a 67 percent increase year-over-year. These numbers also represent only those sexual assaults that ended up being reported to authorities. While other crimes are also committed at sea, sexual assaults make up the largest proportion of reported crimes. Forbes reports that of the 46 reported crimes during that July and September period, 35 were sexual assault complaints.

International outlets have also picked up on the cruise ship and sexual assault trend. Some reports claim that large quantities of alcohol combined with little to no independent police presence onboard ships are a recipe for sexual violence. Girls and young women vulnerable to sexual abuse may find themselves put in a frightening situation in an environment where they may not know who to turn to for help. This is especially true in cases where the sexual assault was perpetrated by a member of the crew or a security member.

Investigation Complications

To add insult to injury for many victims of sexual assault aboard cruise lines, investigating these crimes can be challenging. Jurisdiction can enter muddy waters depending on where the crime was committed. Authorities may need to engage in international negotiations with other countries and law enforcement in foreign ports. This complex process can become extremely frustrating and taxing for victims still trying to cope with the trauma of a sexual assault.

Fighting Back

For several years media outlets have been talking about the problem of sexual assault aboard cruise ships. The public may not have been fully aware of the scope of the problem because of the way crimes aboard cruise ships were originally reported and categorized. Since these reporting standards were changed in 2016, it is easier to recognize that sexual assaults on cruise lines are becoming a growing and widespread problem. Just as sexual assault numbers peaked in 2019, the cruise industry was hit with the Covid-19 pandemic, and priorities shifted to infectious disease control. Plans for tackling or addressing sexual assaults are left to media statements declaring “passenger safety is a top priority.”

The Legal Team at Louis A. Vucci P.A. Can Help

A cruise ship excursion should be a dream vacation, not a nightmare at sea. If you or a loved one has been sexually assaulted aboard a cruise ship, you don’t have to remain a silent victim. The legal team at Louis A. Vucci P.A. can offer you compassionate support and a legal outlet to seek justice.

Contact our experienced legal team today for a free and confidential case evaluation. We will treat your situation with sensitivity and show you the compassion and dignity that you deserve. Call (786) 375-0344 to schedule your consultation today.


Cruise Ship Collides with Crane 

Posted on Thursday, February 25th, 2021 at 1:02 am    

Although the cruise line industry has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, there are still ships sailing the high seas, especially in other parts of the world. For adventurous travelers, the chance to see new parts of the world and explore other countries is alluring right now. With so few vessels at sea at the moment, you’d think that significant accidents would be at a minimum. However, already this year, a cruise ship crashed into the port of Savona while it was trying to execute a docking maneuver. The ship collided with a cargo crane, causing damage to the crane and one of the vessel’s lifeboats. A section of the port side of the vessel also detached from the ship and crashed into the ocean.

An investigation into the cause of the accident is still currently underway but weather conditions at the time were clear. No injuries have been reported from the incident, but accidents such as these in calm and clear weather should make passengers pause and re-evaluate the safety of these mammoth pleasure ships. Between 2005 and 2016, there were 448 major cruise ship disasters. Between 2005 and 2013, 66 of 131 passenger ships were reported to have run aground. Cruise ship accidents are not as uncommon as people think.

While weather conditions and mechanical failures are sometimes to blame, in many cases, accidents come down to negligence and captain error. This was the case in 2012 when the Costa Concordia ran aground just off the Italian coast. That accident killed 32 people. The captain was eventually found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to 16 years in prison for taking the cruise liner too close to the shore, then abandoning the ship while passengers and crew members were still on board.

Do Injured Passengers Have Rights?

Yes. Passengers injured in cruise ship accidents where negligence is involved may be able to recover compensation for their injuries and mental anguish. Unfortunately, many passengers are not aware that they have rights and just feel lucky if the cruise line provides them with a voucher for a new trip. If you’ve been injured, you deserve more than just a coupon.

Talking with an attorney that has specific experience handling cruise line accident cases is the best way to assess what your claim is worth. Holding giant cruise line companies accountable for their negligence is not easy. It takes dedication and the right resources. At Louis A. Vucci P.A., we are dedicated to helping our clients achieve a positive outcome while sending a message to the cruise line industry that negligence at sea is never acceptable.

Injured in a Cruise Ship Accident? Contact Louis A. Vucci P.A. Today

If you’ve been injured in a cruise line accident, contact the law firm of Louis A. Vucci P.A. today to discuss your situation. We have a solid reputation for helping victims recover compensation for their injuries. The case evaluation is free and confidential. Call today at (786) 375-0344 to get started.

 


Norwegian Cruise Ship Collides With Pier Wall in Civitavecchia

Posted on Thursday, February 11th, 2021 at 11:15 pm    

In mid-December of 2020, the Norwegian Escape cruise ship reportedly sustained significant damage after colliding with a pier wall in the major Italian cruise port of Civitavecchia, which is a central hub for cruises bound for nearby Rome. As a result of the collision, the ship was damaged on its starboard side.

While this cruise ship accident left a nasty-looking gash that seems quite deep, reports indicate that the damage was confined to areas above the ship’s waterline, so the vessel remains seaworthy. More importantly, no injuries were reported as a result of the incident.

Early reports suggested that the Escape hit a pier wall in Civitavecchia as it was arriving and making its way toward the dock. However, further evaluation showed this was likely not the case. At this time, authorities are not certain what caused the damage but note that the causes of many similar accidents are weather-related.

The Escape’s accident is far from the only pier collision to occur within recent memory. Another notable example from August of 2018 involved the Carnival Horizon sustaining damage after striking Pier 90 at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal. The collision also caused significant damage to the pier, but thankfully, no injuries were reported in this instance either.

What to Do If You Were Involved in a Cruise Ship Accident

Unfortunately, not every cruise ship passenger is lucky enough to avoid physical or psychological injury after a cruise ship accident. While no one ever expects to be harmed during a cruise vacation, cruise ship accident injuries can and do occur as a result of cruise lines’ negligence. Common causes of cruise ship accident injuries include:

  • Inadequate or negligent security
  • Failure to adhere to appropriate safety policies and procedures
  • Failure to maintain cruise ships in acceptably safe conditions

No matter the circumstances surrounding your cruise ship accident, if you were injured on a cruise ship as a result of the cruise line’s negligence, you have the right to pursue compensation for your injuries and other accident-related losses. To protect your rights, your health, and your ability to recover compensation for the accident, Louis A. Vucci P.A. recommends taking the following simple steps:

  • Report your injury – If you were injured as a result of the cruise ship accident, report your injuries to the ship’s crew immediately. If your injuries require medical attention, visit the ship’s medical center for evaluation, too.
  • Take photographs – Don’t rely on the crew of the ship to document your accident. Take pictures of your visible injuries as soon as possible, so you have photographic evidence in case you decide to file a claim later on.
  • Talk to witnesses – If any loved ones or other eyewitnesses were present at the time you were injured, ask them to provide statements regarding the incident. Make sure to request witnesses’ contact details, too, in case you need to follow up in the future.
  • Request copies of your medical reports and other documents – If possible, talk to the ship’s crew or medical center staff and request any medical records, reports, or other personal documents that were generated for your voyage. This kind of documentation often contains important evidence that could support your injury claim.
  • Talk to a cruise ship accident attorney – A skilled cruise ship lawyer can help you document your injuries, gather evidence to support your case, and negotiate assertively for the compensation you’re due.

Contact Louis A. Vucci P.A. Today

Contact a personal injury law firm that specializes in cruise ship accidents to discuss your case in a free, confidential consultation. The cruise ship accident attorneys of Louis A. Vucci P.A. are exclusively dedicated to injury claims involving cruise ship injuries and assaults, and we are standing by to take immediate action in your case.


Cruise Captain Responsible for Venice Ship Crash in 2019, Report Says

Posted on Thursday, February 4th, 2021 at 11:04 pm    

A recent report indicates that a 2019 incident in which a cruise ship struck the banks near the port of Venice was caused by the captain’s incompetence.

On June 2, 2019, the MSC Opera was maneuvering through the canals of Venice when it struck the banks of the channel. The crash damaged the banks and rammed into a smaller river cruiser, injuring four elderly tourists.

Prior assurances from officials suggested that cruise ships posed no danger to the people or buildings of Venice because the vessels never entered the channels under their own power and were pulled by tugs. However, that appears to have not been the case with the MSC Opera. A report filed by three Italian naval experts with the local public prosecutor indicates that the blame for the crash lies with the Opera’s captain and crew, and that the accident was caused in part because the ship entered the channel while using its own propellers.

The report from the naval experts says the Opera had entered one of the channels in Venice under its own power when the ship’s steering system failed. The report indicates that the captain was notified that the ship’s steering had failed, but the captain failed to notify the channel pilots who had come onboard shortly beforehand.

Furthermore, the captain failed to press a button that would have instantly stopped the ship’s engines, causing it to drift uncontrollably while being pulled by the tugs. Because the ship’s engines were still operating, the tugs could not adequately steer the ship, and one of the lines connecting the cruise ship to the tugs snapped. Once the tugs lost control of the ship, it drifted toward the banks of the canal, where it rammed a river cruiser before colliding with the shore.

Cruise ships passing through the venerable canals of Venice have been a growing concern for local residents and those who wish to protect the city’s historical architecture. Cruise ships bring tourists and lots of money to the local economy, but the Opera crash illustrates the potential dangers these large vessels bring to both people and property alike.

The requirement to have cruise ships pulled through the canals by tugs was meant to reassure locals in Venice that these vessels would not do any harm to their community. If cruise lines and their crews do not follow these guidelines, as in the case of the Opera, then future crashes could do catastrophic damage.

Call Louis A. Vucci P.A. Today If You’ve Been Involved in a Cruise Ship Accident

The case of the MSC Opera shows what can happen when cruise lines don’t take safety precautions seriously. Though the injuries were relatively minor in this instance, these kinds of accidents can cause serious harm to both passengers and crew members, and even get them killed in some cases.

If you’ve been involved in a cruise ship accident, the team at Louis A. Vucci P.A. has the experience and knowledge to get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Call us today at (786) 375-0344 or visit our contact page for your free initial consultation.


Costa Cruises Flagship Damages Pier in Italy After Crashing During Technical Stop

Posted on Friday, January 29th, 2021 at 10:42 pm    

An Italian cruise ship reportedly damaged both itself and shoreside equipment on a nearby pier in Savona, Italy, on January 22, 2021, according to news reports.

The ship in question is the Costa Smeralda, the flagship of the Italian cruise line Costa Cruises. According to reports, the accident occurred when the ship was attempting to dock in Savona. Photos and video of the scene show the Costa Smeralda approaching the dock at a quick pace before one of the ship’s lifeboats was caught on a shoreside crane. Once the lifeboat was caught, it was heavily damaged and ripped from the ship.

As the damaged lifeboat was ripped from its position, its movement damaged another lifeboat on the Costa Smeralda before landing in the water. The Smeralda’s maneuver also damaged the port terminal’s silo system and several shore cranes, which were pushed off of their rails.

Initial reports indicate that the cause of the accident is unclear. Police, port authority personnel, and other law enforcement agencies were reportedly at the scene and beginning to investigate the crash. Though the damage to the ship is relatively minor, lifeboats are considered essential safety equipment on cruise ships, so it’s unlikely that the Costa Smeralda will sail again anytime soon.

There were no passengers on board the Costa Smeralda at the time of the crash, and no injuries were reported. The Costa Smeralda, which was delivered in 2019, is the flagship of Costa Cruises. Costa is a subsidiary of Carnival Cruises, the international cruise behemoth with headquarters in Doral, FL. At the time of its completion, the Costa Smeralda was the fifth-largest cruise ship in the world, measuring 1,105 feet (337 meters) long and weighing 185,010 tons.

Costa Cruises Delays Restart of Operations

In a remarkable coincidence, the accident occurred on the same day Costa Cruises had decided to postpone the restart of operations until March 13, 2021. The company said it had delayed restarting cruises because current health restrictions imposed by the Italian government would prevent guests from being able to fully enjoy the experience at different ports. Costa has said that it is reaching out to guests and travel agents who are impacted by the postponement.

The Costa Smeralda was scheduled for several cruises on or after March 13, when Costa Cruises had planned to resume operations, but it’s unclear how this accident will impact those plans.

Injured in a Cruise Ship Accident? Call Louis A. Vucci P.A. Today

Though nobody appears to have been injured in this accident involving the Costa Smeralda, passengers and crew alike could have been hurt had things gone differently. Cruise lines have a responsibility to protect both their passengers and their crew members. When these companies fail in that responsibility, they need to be held accountable for their actions.

If you’ve been injured in a cruise ship accident, get an experienced cruise injury lawyer to help you with your case. Get a free consultation from Louis A. Vucci P.A. today by calling (786) 375-0344 or visiting our contact page.


Positive Changes That Could Come to the Cruise Line Industry 

Posted on Wednesday, November 25th, 2020 at 3:00 pm    

If there is one thing that the emergence of COVID-19 has done for the cruise line industry, it is the exposure of the chinks in many companies’ health and sanitation policies. COVID-19 is a highly infectious and transferable disease. Its emergence has exposed just how easy it is to transfer germs among passengers at sea, resulting in serious illness and compromising the health and safety of both passengers and crew members.

Closing in on almost a year after the disease first appeared, the cruise industry has yet to set sail again in full force. Has the pandemic taught companies anything? As devastating as COVID-19 has been to the industry, the cruise line industry may make traveling safer for passengers and employees in the future.

The Future of the Cruise Industry

COVID-19 has forced the Cruise Lines International Association to reexamine and rethink some of its most basic guidelines. Already, members are brainstorming about how they can help cruise line companies adjust and make future embarkations safer for everyone.

One of the positive changes that may last long after the COVID-19 epidemic has slowed down is a more complete and enhanced approach to ship sanitation. Some news outlets have already reported that enhanced hygiene will be at the center of many business models. This includes more stringent cleaning regimes for guestrooms and more thorough sanitation of kitchen and bathroom facilities.

The dining experience may undergo significant changes, as well, in the wake of COVID-19. Buffet style lines where people are constantly hoovering over food, even with sneeze guards in place, standing close to one another in line and touching bins of plates and utensils may become a thing of the past. While buffets have always been a popular option, they are rife with conditions that may expose a large number of people to a pathogen in a short amount of time. Limiting guests or serving meals to seated guests may be preferred.

One of the most important changes that could take the cruise line industry in a more positive direction is upgrading current shipboard medical facilities. March already feels like forever ago, but the image of people sick and stranded on cruise ships is still burned in many people’s memories. Learning from past mistakes, cruise lines may be looking to bulk up their medical facilities and enhance the supplies and staff they have onboard their ships. This would put them in a position to better handle not just disease outbreaks, but other types of serious medical issues that could arise while out at sea.

In the short-term, passengers who board a cruise line in 2021 may see routine COVID-19 testing before and after boarding ships, mask requirements, and increased sanitation protocols. In the long-term, cruise lines may make changes that put passenger safety and security at the forefront of the cruise experience.

Contact Louis A. Vucci P.A.

The legal team at Louis A. Vucci P.A. has extensive experience handling a wide range of cruise ship cases, from ship-related COVID-19 cases to medical negligence claims for people injured onboard a ship. Future safety changes are a positive step in the right direction, but if you or a loved one have suffered from a cruise ship illness or injury, you may be entitled to compensation. To talk to one of our attorneys about your potential claim, contact us at (786) 375-0344 today. The consultation is free.


Holiday Cruise Plans Go Bust

Posted on Wednesday, November 18th, 2020 at 2:04 pm    

If you were hoping to take a nice and relaxing cruise to celebrate the holidays, get ready to change your plans, yet again. Many popular cruise lines are once again stalling plans to set sail, this time canceling cruises through at least December 31st of 2020.

This new wave of cancellations comes only days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidelines for cruise ships in the wake of an increase in COVID-19 cases in the United States and Europe. At, first the news seemed positive for cruise lines, with the CDC announcing that it was listing its “no-sail” ban in United States waters. However, as the order was lifted, it was replaced with new and enhanced guidelines that require cruise lines to ensure that the health and safety of passengers and cruise line employees come first.

Parent companies Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruise Line, Disney, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, and Regent Seven Seas Cruises have all suspended their plans to return to the sea through December 31st.

What Are These New CDC Guidelines and How Could They Impact Passengers?

At the core of the new CDC safety guidelines are enhanced measures that aim to make cruise lines safer for both employees and passengers, instead of floating petri dishes of disease. Ships sailing from U.S. ports will be required to establish onboard COVID-19 testing capabilities. These testing capabilities will mean that rapid testing of all passengers and crew members can be accomplished the day a ship sets sail and the day it returns to port to screen for infections.

It also means that symptomatic passengers, future passengers, and crew members may be tested with a quick turnaround for results to help contain any potential outbreaks. These testing measures will be coordinated with the CDC. The order also sets standards that govern proper hand hygiene and social distancing.

Passengers or crew members who test positive for COVID-19 before boarding will not be allowed on the ship. If a passenger or crew member tests positive while they are onboard the ship and out to sea, then the individual will be placed in isolation until they can be transferred to a dedicated facility onshore. Remaining passengers and all crew members who are deemed nonessential will be required to quarantine. The new CDC guidelines also mandate that cruise lines have all the essential medical equipment on board, as well as trained personal that can treat severely ill patients.

What Are Cruise Lines Doing in the Meantime?

During this new round of delays, many cruise lines have expressed that they will be busy making necessary changes to accommodate the CDC’s new guidelines. The first round of departures for most cruise lines will be without paying customers. These departures are meant to be simulations that will test their response to COVID-19 related issues and to make sure that they have accomplished the goals that the CDC has laid down.

Contact Louis A. Vucci P.A.

COVID-19 has impacted several customer services and travel industries. It is understandable that many industries want to get back to what they do best, make money. Should profit come before public safety? At Louis A. Vucci P.A., we don’t think so. Both passengers and cruise line employees should feel safe and confident with their work and travel plans. When cruise lines forgo safety for profit, you may be entitled to compensation for any resulting injuries.

If you or a loved one has suffered harm linked to COVID-19 exposure on a cruise ship, contact the legal team at Louis A. Vucci P.A. for help. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal options, call (786) 375-0344 today.


While Some Cruise Lines Delay Start Dates, Others Bump Them Up

Posted on Wednesday, October 14th, 2020 at 5:58 pm    

In recent months around the world, cruise lines have had to adjust to the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic. In some cases, this has meant halting operations entirely. For instance, in the United States, a No Sail Order has banned cruise ships from U.S. ports until November 1. Even before the CDC announced this particular date, the cruise industry had initiated its own ban on U.S. activity until November.

However, some cruise lines around the world have been eager to welcome guests back onto their ships. On August 16, the MSC Grandiosa left the port of Genoa, Italy, and became the first ship to set sail in months. Since then, other ships have followed in its footsteps.

As more and more cruise ships take to the water, many cruise-goers will wonder: which cruises are – and are not – in operation, and why? And how are cruise lines keeping their guests safe?

Which Cruise Lines Are Delaying Start Dates?

Recently, Carnival Cruise Line has announced new trip cancellations that will extend into the spring of 2021. The canceled trips include all cruises leaving from Miami aboard the Carnival Magic until March 13; all cruises from Tampa aboard the Carnival Paradise until March 19; and all cruises from New Orleans aboard the Carnival Valor until April 29.

Carnival’s recent cancellations appear to be a COVID safety measure. Christina Duffy, the president of Carnival Cruise Line, stated in a press release: “We are committed to providing our guests and travel agent partners with certainty where we can, although we regret disappointing our guests.”

Which Cruise Lines Are In (or Soon To Be In) Operation?

Unlike Carnival’s U.S.-based cruises, other ships have restarted operations this fall or announced plans to do so soon. Since the MSC Grandiosa set sail in August, multiple cruise lines have resumed trips departing from Europe.

In mid-September, AIDA Cruises announced that it would bump up its restart date for Mediterranean cruises to October 17. AIDA, which is a German subsidiary of Carnival Corporation, had previously announced that it would delay trips until November 1.

AIDA’s announcement follows a similar decision from another Carnival Corp. cruise line in Europe. Costa Cruises, an Italian Carnival line, officially resumed operations when two of its ships set sail on September 6.

How Are Cruise Lines Keeping Passengers Safe?

Cruise ships have responded to the pandemic by implementing new safety measures for guests and crew. For example, AIDA has developed a “health and safety” program for all vessels, which includes:

  • A mask requirement in indoor common spaces
  • Social distancing requirements
  • Continuous cleaning and disinfection measures
  • Hand sanitizer stations

Unfortunately, safety measures such as these cannot fully eliminate the risk of COVID spread. As the CDC has recently noted, foreign cruise lines have continued to see COVID outbreaks aboard their ships this summer and fall.

Contact Louis A. Vucci P.A.

If you or your loved one has fallen ill during or since a cruise, get in touch with Louis A. Vucci P.A. today. We know that cruise lines have a responsibility to keep their guests safe – and if your illness is a result of cruise ship negligence, one of our skilled attorneys will fight to win the compensation you deserve. Call (786) 375-0344 to schedule your free, confidential consultation now.


Cruise Ships Barred from U.S. Ports Until November

Posted on Wednesday, October 14th, 2020 at 5:39 pm    

On September 30, the CDC announced that it would extend the No Sail Order for cruise ships through the end of October. In other words, cruise ships will not be allowed to operate in U.S. waters or dock in U.S. ports through at least October 31. This move is intended to minimize the risk of COVID-19 outbreaks among would-be cruise guests.

In of itself, the No Sail Order is old news – it has been in place since mid-March of this year. However, if the order actually expires at the end of this month, there may be serious implications for U.S. cruise-goers. So, what is the reasoning behind the No Sail Order, and how long will it last?

The Reasoning Behind the No Sail Order

When the No Sail Order first took effect in March, cruise ships had been making national headlines for having rampant COVID-19 outbreaks. The Princess Diamond was one of the most infamous examples of this phenomenon. By the end of that voyage, more than 700 of the ship’s 3,711 passengers and crew members tested positive for coronavirus.

The No Sail Order is a response to the risk of high infection rates and possible deaths on cruise ships. As the CDC noted in its recent announcement, at least 41 deaths have resulted from cruise-related COVID-19 cases in U.S. waters since March 1. Since the pandemic continues to affect U.S. communities, the order has been extended multiple times to reflect the ongoing danger.

Furthermore, as the CDC points out, cruise ships operating in other parts of the world have not proven that they can successfully mitigate COVID-19 risk. Some of these ships have experienced outbreaks in recent months, despite operating at lower-than-usual capacity. As the announcement states:

“Recent outbreaks on cruise ships overseas provide current evidence that cruise ship travel continues to transmit and amplify the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 – even when ships sail at reduced passenger capacities – and would likely spread the infection into U.S. communities if passenger operations were to resume prematurely in the United States.”

How Long Will the No Sail Order Last?

For the moment, the No Sail Order is set to last until November 1. Of course, the order has been extended multiple times in past months, and it could be extended at the last minute again. (The most recent extension was made official just two hours before the order was due to expire at the end of September.)

However, there is reason to anticipate that the order will actually expire at the end of October. According to reporting from Axios, CDC Director Robert Redfield pushed to extend the No Sail Order until February 15, but was overruled by the current administration. The October 31 date is the result of the administration’s decision, and also matches up with the cruise industry’s own ban on U.S. activity until November.

Contact Louis A. Vucci P.A.

If you have suffered harm related to COVID-19 exposure on a cruise ship, do not delay in contacting a lawyer at Louis A. Vucci P.A.. The experienced cruise ship negligence lawyers at Louis A. Vucci P.A. can help you understand the paths you may be able to take to recovery. To schedule a free consultation, call (786) 375-0344 or fill out our contact form now.