Reuters reports that Royal Caribbean's CEO Richard Fain recently sold 94,850 shares at average price of $62.38 for a total value of $5,916,743.00; and exercised options for 51,143 shares at $7.27 per share for a total value of $3,190,300.00.
CEO Fain holds over a million shares of his cruise line's stock. Reuters says he holds 1,380,000 (million) shares for a value of over $86,000,000. Tech Insider says that owns 1,153,689 company shares for a total value of around $72,000,000. This excludes the shares owned by various trusts for the benefit of of the Fain family.
Earlier this week, we reported that Royal Caribbean Chief Operating Officer (COO) Adam Goldstein unloaded sold 42,152 shares of RCL stock at an average price of $61.68 for $2,599,935.36. COO Goldstein still owns 370,724 shares valued at $22,866,256.
Notwithstanding the vast wealth of these cruise CEO's, Royal Caribbean has made substantial cut-backs in the salaries of its staff and crew members, increased work, and reduced benefits.
Media reports say that Royal Caribbean Cruises Chief Operating Officer (COO) Adam Goldstein sold 42,152 shares of his cruise company’s stock yesterday.
The shares were sold at an average price of $61.68 for $2,599,935.36.
COO Goldstein still owns 370,724 shares of Royal Caribbean stock, valued at $22,866,256.
Royal Caribbean announced its earnings results on Thursday. The cruise line reported revenue of $1.98 billion for the quarter. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 5.2%.
We last reported on Mr. Goldstein in February when he sold 44,256 shares of Royal Caribbean stock at an average price of $52.96, for a total transaction of $2,343,797.76.
What do the hard working crew members and the loyal shore-side cruise employees think of all of the money Mr. Goldstein is raking in?
The cruise line pays a minimal salary to Royal Caribbean waiters and cabin attendants of only $50 a month; the cruise passengers pay tips to the waiters and stewards but the cruise line is scooping up much of the tips to pay other crew member's salaries. Employees like utility cleaners earn a pittance of around $550 a month (with no tips) working around 11-12 hours a day, every day of the month during contracts that are 6-8 months long.
News sources in Canada are reporting that Royal Caribbean barred a woman from cruising with her family after she admitted that she was pregnant but didn't have a note from her doctor stating that she was fit to travel.
Global Toronto states that Michelle Ligori, her husband and their two sons were booked aboard Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas out of Fort Lauderdale.
According to the television station, the following exchange took place between Ms. Ligori and a cruise line representative.
"The girl at the counter said, ‘Any chance you're pregnant?'" Ligori said. "And I was taken off guard and said, ‘Yes, I found out a few days before we left,' and she said, ‘Do you have a note?' She told us you cannot get on without a note."
The station further states that Ligori was positive on a home pregnancy test but she had not seen her family doctor yet. She and her husband did not want to say anything to family members or their two young sons because the pregnancy was at the very early stages. She was in compliance with the cruise line's pregnancy restriction which prohibit cruising after 24 weeks of pregnancy.
"We were treated like parasites," Ligori said of Royal Caribbean.
Ms. Ligori scrambled to obtain a doctor's note but the cruise ship sailed. The couple spent $1,200 for additional hotels, taxi fares and a flight for her family to catch the cruise in the Bahamas two days later.
Royal Caribbean initially refused to compensate her until the media began covering the story. When the case went public, the cruise line contacted the family to offer an apology and refund them for the missed days and their expenses.
It's been a while since I awarded my "Worst Cruise Line in the World" award. Quite frankly, I became tired of giving it to Carnival and Royal Caribbean every month. But a reader of Cruise Law News just sent me a story of little Nicolas Colucci, age 5, who underwent emergency surgery after doctors found a "a large cancerous tumor growing inside his liver." He is now undergoing chemotherapy.
The Lil' Mama website explains that the Colucci family bought a family cruise on Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) that was scheduled for June 1, 2014. The family asked NCL to reschedule their cruise to another date. NCL refused. NCL wouldn't bend their corporate policies regarding medical emergencies - not even for a child battling cancer. You can read about the dreadful story here.
This is not the first time that NCL has acted in such a heartless manner.
A couple of years ago, I wrote about a man from Key Largo who purchased a NCL cruise on the Norwegian Sky leaving from Miami. But his brother died, and the funeral was in Georgia on the day the cruise ship sailed. So he notified NCL, asking for a credit on a future cruise. NCL said no. He asked for his cruise to be donated to charity (Make-A-Wish). NCL said no.
Now comes the sick part. NCL then re-sold the cabin to someone else. Yep. NCL got a double profit due to the death of a guest's brother. Really sick.
NCL is active on Twitter @CruiseNorwegian, so I tweeted a reference to the article.
NCL's "Executive Vice President of Global Sales and Passenger Services," Andy Stuart, is also active on Twitter @nclandy. So I tweeted him "Double cruise profit for death? Say it aint so Andy!"
NCL should have permitted a child with cancer and parents go on a once-in-a-lifetime cruise. Or make a small donation in memory of their customer's brother. But to double sell the cabin under these circumstances? It's cruel, greedy and outrageous.
Last year, I wrote again about NCL. A grandmother who drives disabled kids to school booked a cruise aboard the Norwegian Jewel for her family and grandkids at the cost of over $4,000. Then Superstorm Sandy struck, submerging her home under four feet of water. The storm ravaged her home, leaving her with nothing. She asked NCL to reschedule or refund her cruise. NCL said no way.
She appealed to NCL CEO Kevin Sheehan but the cruise line and its CEO wouldn't make an exception. Absolutely no refund or rescheduling. Heartless.
Yesterday, I attended a hearing before Senator Jay Rockefeller entitled "Improving Consumer Protections for Cruise Passengers." Cruise passengers testified regarding all types of harsh conduct by cruise lines who hide behind the unreadable fine print in their one-sided, passenger tickets. At one point during the hearing, Senator Rockefeller exclaimed that he was "fed up" with the cruise lines and their "callousness."
NCL is all smiles when it sells a family a "cruise of a lifetime." But when death, disaster or a medical emergency strikes, it shows its true colors.
NCL may have a great marketing image, but it can be your worse enemy in a time of true need.
July 26 2014 Update: According to a FOX NEWS station today, a "CEO of a popular cruise line reached out to the Colucci family to offer them a free cruise. The CEO asked that his cruise line not be named because he said he was genuinely touched by their story and didn't want any publicity for his gesture."
So who was the CEO? Which cruise line did the right thing?
At the hearing today before Senator John (Jay) Rockefeller regarding the “Cruise Passenger Protection Act (S.1340): Improving Consumer Protections for Cruise Passengers," three women told the committee their horrific experiences on cruise ships.
All of their accounts involve the common theme of a lack of basic consumer protections. Laurie Dishman was a victim of rape, Amanda Butler's mother experienced medical neglect leading to her death, and Kimberly Ware travel led aboard the carnival Triumph that suffered a complete power loss.
Chairman Rockefeller has explained the purpose of the hearing as follows: “This hearing – along with the other hearings and inquiries I have made into the cruise industry since I have been Chairman of this Committee – are about one thing, accountability. When it comes to the cruise industry, we have been doing our job, while the industry has not. We have held hearings, we have analyzed the data, and we have talked to many different people with experience in this industry. This oversight has led us very clearly to the conclusion that we have to act and pass legislation to better protect consumers. No other passengers should have to suffer when there are basic steps that can and should be taken to protect their safety and health.”
Laurie Dishman (testimony here) was a victim of a violent rape aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship (photo right with her father, Bill Dishman).
Although she was strangled (with ligature marks left around her neck) and the rapist impacted her tampon while assaulting her, the FBI quickly ended its limited investigation the same day that the cruise ship returned to port. The cruise line acted outrageously after the rape, sending officers into the cabin who sat on the bed where the rape occurred and the ship doctor handed her garbage bags and instructed her to return to the crime scene and collect evidence.
Amanda Butler's (testimony here) mother was a victim of medical neglect aboard the Carnival Conquest. It took Carnival 15 minutes to send a nurse to the scene but she arrived without a defibrillator. The medical center was closed and it took additional time to open the infirmary. The Butler family flew Ms. Butler to a trauma center via a private jet but she died two weeks later. You can read an interview with Amanda here.
Ms. Butler explained at the hearing that Carnival sued her family for the $1,200 in medical expenses charged for the negligent medical care.
Kim Ware (testimony here) was a passenger aboard the ill-fated Carnival Triumph. Although a long time cruiser, she had no idea of the onerous terms, limitations, and disclaimers buried in the cruise ticket when the engine room ignited and the cruise ship lost power and drifted in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico.
There is evidence that things have gotten worse for crime and medical malpractice victims on cruise ships over the years. Ms. Dishman's testimony revealed that:
There is substantial under-reporting of crimes on cruise ships. For example, in 2011, there were 563 alleged crimes reported by the cruise lines but only 105 publicly disclosed.
Few cruise ship crimes are investigated and prosecuted. In 2012, the FBI opened only 18 cases and there were only 4 convictions.
The cruise lines do not disclose when a crime involves a minor. There are sexual predators (both passengers and crew members) on cruise ships. Passengers deserve to know if children have been sexually abused in child daycare centers and in their cabins on prior cruises.
The medical care on cruise ships is often substandard. Cruise lines try to isolate themselves when they main or kill passengers through incompetent doctors and bad medical care. Most cruise lines claim that ship doctors are “independent contractors” for whom they are not liable. Few consumers understand this, until it is too late.
The cruise ship passenger tickets, drafted by cruise line defense lawyers, are one-sided, unfair and entirely anti-consumer and pro-cruise line.
To address these concerns, Chairman Rockefeller introduced the Cruise Passenger Protection Act. The proposed law will improve consumer protections by establishing the Department of Transportation (DOT) as the lead federal agency for cruise ship passenger protections. The bill will require the DOT to set standards for providing consumers with a clear language describing the passenger's rights in the cruise ticket. The bill will also establish a consumer website, provide the DOT the authority to investigate complaints, and create an advisory committee for passenger consumer protection.
The bill will further help consumers by requiring accurate crime data to be published by cruise lines on an internet database. The cruise line will have to reveal whether the victims is a minor. The legislation will strengthen requirements for surveillance cameras public areas and establish requirements for the retention of surveillance videos. The bill will establish a victim advocate to assist the victim, and help the victim understand her rights.
It's about time that Congress passed a bill like this.
One of the dangers which cruise passengers face is incompetent medical care provided by non-U.S. doctors and nurses. And when these go wrong in the high seas, most cruise passengers don't realize that the cruise lines are not legally responsible for the malpractice of the cruise ship medical team.
Tomorrow at the Senate hearing on cruise safety there will testimony that it took 15 minutes before cruise ship medical employees arrived after Armada Butler's 51 year old mother collapsed during a cruise aboard the Carnival Conquest. In a NBC Channel 6 interview, Amanda said it took even longer to get inside the closed medical facility on the ship where the defibrillator was located.
The family flew Ms. Butler from the Cayman Islands (where she was medically disembarked) to the Ryder Trauma Center in Miami via private jet, but she died two weeks later
Local cruise celebrity Stewart Chiron defended the industry, telling NBC 6 "It looks like in some cases, persons are upset about certain responses . . . but you see the same types in complaints on shore."
But unlike shore-side cases where doctors commit malpractice, the cruise lines are largely immune from legal liability arising out of the malpractice of the cruise ship doctors. Without legal and financial consequences, cruise lines like Carnival have little incentive to voluntarily invest in better medical facilities or more experienced and trained doctors and nurses.
Tomorrow Amanda Butler will discuss the circumstances surrounding her mother's death at the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation hearing titled “The Cruise Passenger Protection Act (S.1340): Improving Consumer Protections for Cruise Passengers.”
The hearing will take place tomorrow, Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at 2:45 p.m. at the 253 Russell Senate Office Building in Washington D.C.
This afternoon, Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, announced the witness list for its Full Committee hearing this Wednesday, July 23, 2014, at 2:45 p.m. titled “The Cruise Passenger Protection Act (S.1340): Improving Consumer Protections for Cruise Passengers.”
Date: Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Hearing Start Time: 2:45 p.m.
Location: 253 Russell Senate Office Building
Earlier this month, we talked about the efforts of the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) to slow down or block the Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) "mega cruise development" on Harvest Caye in Southern Belize.
Today I ran across a "letter to the editor" from the Chairman of the Placencia Chapter of the Belize Tourism Industry Association.
Characterizing the NCL executives who pitched the project as "con men" and those Belizeans who are hastily moving the project ahead without public participation in the environmental impact analysis as "lackeys," the tourism president asked some compelling questions about the Harvest Caye project.
NCL will carve up the mangroves and tear out the reefs to build their fantasy resort and wedge their massive ships in.
Once projects like this are plotted and hatched here in Miami, the wishes of the local people are irrelevant. Its only a matter of time before the bulldozers rip out the mangroves and the indigenous flora and fauna are replaced by the fill of crushed reefs.
The China Post reports that a female passenger disappeared from a cruise ship, during a cruise to Japan, which returned to Taiwan yesterday.
The woman, whose last name is Hsieh, age 53, was aboard the Costa Victoria. She was supposed to leave the ship in Keelung Harbor, but did not. The Coast Guard said that her belongings were left in her cabin.
The Coast Guard said "it could be a case of suicide or an accident, but they are not ruling out any possibilities for her disappearance."
The newspaper says that Ms. Hsieh was part of a tour group that left Keelung for Japan on July 12th. The ship returned on July 17th without the passenger.
According to cruise expert Professor Ross Klein, this is the 235th person to have gone overboard from a cruise ship since 2000.
July 19 2014 Update: Why didn't the cabin attendant observe that the passenger was missing from the cabin? Many crew members have commented on our Facebook page that it's not the cabin attendant's job to "babysit" the passengers. But without an automatic man overboard system (none of the Carnival brands have implemented such technology), and if it isn't the cabin attendant's job to at least make his or her observations known that a passenger is missing to their supervisor, whose responsibility at the cruise line is it?
Senator John D. Rockefeller has scheduled another hearing to address legislation designed to protect cruise passengers. The hearing is scheduled for next week.
The hearing is scheduled for July 23, 2014 at 2:30 PM before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation in 253 Russell Senate Office Building in Washington D.C. (Some media sources erroneously report the hearing is scheduled for July 22nd).
The hearing is titled “The Cruise Passenger Protection Act: Improving Consumer Protections for Cruise Passengers.”
Senator Rockefeller has presided over hearings about the cruise lines in 2012 and 2013 following the Costa Concordia disaster and the Carnival Triumph fiasco. We attended both hearings. You can read our coverage of the hearings in our prior articles:
Senator Rockefeller introduced the Cruise Passenger Protection Act on July 23, 2013, in order to involve the Department of Transportation into overseeing the cruise industry and to provide greater protection to cruise consumers. The Senator announced that he intended to “close gaps in cruise industry consumer awareness and crime reporting."
At the last hearing, the cruise lines promised to voluntarily disclose crimes which occur on cruise ships, in response to Senator Rockefeller's request for transparency by the cruise industry. The cruise lines announced this last minute measure to stave off legislation. Unfortunately, Royal Caribbean and other cruise lines has refused to disclose all crimes against its crew members and guests over the course of the last year.
Carnival has been particularly sneaky. It lumps crimes on all of its cruise ships (Carnival, Cunard, Holland America Line, etc.) into one category. By doing so, it is impossible for consumers to learn how many crimes occur on which ships or even which brands. This is an effort to trick the public from not realizing that by far most crimes occur on Carnival ships.
The cruise lines have failed to re-write their passenger contracts to provide consumers with certain consumer protections that they promised to Senator Rockefeller that they would provide to the public. There is a big difference between what the cruise lines are telling the Senators at these hearings and what their defense lawyers are trying to enforce in a court of law.
Senator Rockefeller has rightfully pointed out that the cruise lines pay no federal U.S. taxes but rely heavily on the federal agencies to conduct their business.
I have received inquiries from passengers about a man overboard from Royal Caribbean's Splendour of the Seas last month. The incident seems to involve a passenger who jumped into the water early one morning. He was promptly rescued. Most people are asking why hasn't there been any news account of the incident?
One passenger provided the following account, and asked "is RCCL keeping this under wraps? The Captain and crew should be congratulated."
"He was a 20ish American male passenger on ship with his parents and a brother. He apparently tried to start a fire in the early morning and security was called. He was extremely inebriated. When security arrived he ran and jumped overboard. This happened around 4:30 a.m. on the 13th of June. Around 4:45 or so Oscar, Oscar, Oscar was called out by security who saw him jump, and the Captain turned the ship immediately.
I was awoken at 5:00 a.m. from the loud sound of the stateroom as the ship was sharply turning. The walls of our room "groaned" loudly. As I got up and walked to my veranda, I realized we were listing badly toward the sea. As I got outside, I smelled smoke. Then we spotted someone (we were on the 8th deck) below us throwing out a flare. There were 3 flares in the water by now - thus the smell of smoke. We then heard "help" hollered out 6 times just off our side of the ship.
Then a life boat came about around the front and went directly to him. We were very close to this but could not actually see them lift him out. It was black out. However, they announced "we have him, he's alive, will be going to Medical." We heard a very few folks clapping from above us.
We heard he went to Medical and stayed there until we disembarked on Saturday the 14th in Venice. As we came into port, the pier was on our side of the ship. We saw Policia drive up and 3 uniform men got out and boarded our ship.
This was RCCL Splendour of the Seas "7-Night Greek Isles & Turkey" cruise from June 7-14, 2014."
Were you a passenger or crew member aboard the cruise ship when this incident occurred? Do you have any information, photograph or video to share? Please leave a comment below and let us hear from you,
In less than three days after Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández declared that guns are prohibited in Roatan and the Bay Islands, a young man was gunned down early on Sunday morning.
Teledifusora Insular reports that Henry Alexander Almendarez Orellana was shot by two men in the early morning hours of July 13th.
The crime reportedly took place where the young man lived in Barrio La Punta of Coxen Hole.
The online source says that police are trying to figure out the identity and whereabouts of the perpetrators of this killing. The murder occurs just when the Government of Juan Orlando Hernández has declared a general disarmament of Roatan to safeguard this main tourist destination.
Cruise Critic reports that a unspecified propulsion problem is slowing the Celebrity Silhouette down, causing it to shorten time spent in certain port of calls.
Celebrity does not specify the nature of the problem or indicate when the problem will be fixed.
A Celebrity Cruises spokeswoman provides this gobbledygook explanation: the "slight restriction" on the ship's top speed "is due to a portion of the propulsion system operating at less than optimal efficiency."
The La Prensa newspaper in Honduras reports that President Juan Orlando Hernández approved legislation last night at a cabinet session to declare that guns are prohibited in Roatan and the Bay Islands.
The newspaper says that the initiative is part of a program to free tourist areas of violence in the country to encourage tourism.
The president declared the Bay Islands as a zone free of weapons with the objective of substantially improving security and promoting the island as paradise.
Emilio Silvestri, head of the Institute of Tourism, said that it is urgent to remove firearms from the tourist sites.
Seems like it a desperate policy to me.
Honduras has the highest murder rate in the world, with some of its police and national soldiers corrupt. The islands are supposedly safer than the mainland although a crew member was shot and killed this year and cruise passenger and tourists were robbed at gunpoint.
What the saying? When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.
Carnival's handling of the most recent disappearance of a person overboard, a chef from India, has been a mess.
The Carnival Spiritis in violation of the 2010 Cruise Vessel Safety and Security Act. Like all other Carnival cruise ships, the Carnival Spirit has no automatic CCTV man overboard system onboard. The technology exists for overboard passengers and crew members to be immediately detected so that search and rescue efforts can be promptly initiated. There's no excuse at this late date for lack of such standard equipment.
Even when the ship personnel finally realized that the crew member had gone overboard, the master of the ship waited an unreasonably long period of time to search for the overboard crew member.
The Australian newspaper reports that a passenger sent a "desperate email" to the government asking for help, saying that "everyone I have spoken to is frightened, concerned, anxious about where we're going and very confused."
The passenger complained "there are no planes, no helicopters, no nothing – just our cruise boat going at five kilometres an hour."
Not surprisingly the New Caledonia Search and Rescue Authority declared the chances of finding the missing crew member were ''literally nil.''
It's not the first time people have gone overboard from the Carnival Spirit. Paul Rossington and his girlfriend Kristen Schroder fell off the ship last year.
Carnival Australia's CEO Ann Sherry was rather cavalier about that incident. She said, without qualification, “you can’t fall off the ship.”
Even if that's true, that's little consolation for the crew member's family. That leaves two alternatives - being a victim of a crime (it wouldn't be the first time that someone was pitched overboard), or committing suicide (which is the cruise line's favorite excuse). But because the ship does't even have CCTV of the incident (much less man overboard technology), the case is doomed to be another mystery.
Maritime & admiralty lawyer & attorney James M. Walker of Walker & O'Neill Law Firm, offering services related to injuries, sexual assaults, fires, negligence, rapes & disappearances on cruise ships, pirate & terrorist attacks, missing passengers, shore excursions, wrongful death and the Jones Act, serving cruise passengers, crew members, cabin attendants, utility workers, waiters, bar tenders, ship doctors and cleaners on cruise ships worldwide.
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