Coast Guard Medevacs Passenger from NCL's Norwegian Gem

The Defense Video and Imagery Services reports that the U.S. Coast Guard rescued a 66 year old passenger from a Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) cruise ship last night approximately 220 miles in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of North Carolina.

The Coast Guard received a call from the Norwegian Gem shortly before midnight stating that a 66 year old female passenger was suffering from from diabetes complications.

A MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter flew from North Carolina. The helicopter hoisted the woman and flew her to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in Norfolk, Virginia.  

 

Caribbean Cruise Line Scam?

NBC 6 is airing a story about Caribbean Cruise Line alleging that the company routinely offers essentially "free" cruises via unsolicited phone calls or vouchers in the mail, and deceives the public by not disclosing hidden fees. 

It also claims  that businessmen behind the scenes at the travel company have been in trouble for deceiving customers before. 

We have covered stories about this outfit before - Caribbean Cruise Line Lies and Steals?

The story is a bit confusing because the Caribbean Cruise Line, although technically active with the Florida Department of State, essentially went out of business after the Bahamas Celebration ran aground on October 31st while departing from Freeport, ripping a hole in the hull. In December 2014 it was announced that the newly formed Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line would operate the MS Grand Celebration which would replace the old damaged ship. 

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Death on the Carnival Dream

CArnival DreamWe have been contacted by a half-dozen passengers from the Carnival Dream ship sailing out of New Orleans. They have inquired about the death last week of a 30 year-old man (passenger) sailing with his wife and other couples. 

He apparently fell from his cabin's balcony and landed on an exterior deck that runs above the lifeboats (deck 5 I believe). This occurred on Tuesday, January 20th.

The cruise ship called on Cozumel on Tuesday, Grand Cayman on Wednesday and Montego Bay on Thursday.

The FBI was supposed to board on Sunday when the ship returned to New Orleans. There have been no reports we know of foul play.

He is from Missouri. Carnival flew his wife home during the cruise. 

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Photo Credit: "Carnival Dream Bow" by Longbowe at en.wikipedia. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Sapphire Princess Passenger Overboard, Rescued

The Cruise Critic message board mentions that a passenger went overboard and was rescued from a Princess cruise ship. The person starting the thread speculated that the passenger jumped. The cruise line of course has not issued a statement. The incident reportedly occurred on the Sapphire Princess during the week of January 17, 2015.

It is always of interest to me to see how the cruising public responds to these type of incidents at sea. 

Most cruisers on this thread were quick to judge the person going overboard, harshly calling him an "idiot," "stupid," "twit," "fool," "far down the gene pool," and someone who could win the "Darwin Saphire PrincessAward."

Unfortunately, even when there is no indication that the person jumped, there is still a group mentality that brings out these type of personal attacks. I have seen these type of criticisms freely leveled against dead or missing passengers even when it turned out that the missing person was thrown overboard.

Some vacationers believe that the person going overboard should die. When I read these type of comments, I pause and think who is such a person and are they teaching their children such cruelty? One commented on this particular situation that "it is a shame that Darwin did not take precedence over rescuing. Just think - this idiot may have children and pass his genes on to his offspring." 

But there are some people, albeit a minority, on the message board who demonstrated compassion. One cruiser wrote "every person has value and it's not up to me to judge his or her value." Another said "since none of us know his mental/emotional state, why do some resort to cruelty and downright mean spirited comments?"

But character assassination seems to be usual attitude in the world of cruising. It's a step away from a Nazi-like mentality to say that the gene pool would be improved if overboard passengers would just sink to the bottom of the ocean and not inconvenience the passengers enjoying the cruise.

Such a mentality prohibits a meaningful discussion of how to prevent future tragedies. These type of people appear indifferent to the notion that cruise line corporations should invest in improvements to lifesaving technologies and techniques. For reasons not clear to me, many people seem to find enjoyment in mocking families who experience the horror of losing a loved one at sea. 

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Photo Credit: "Sapphire Princess at Hakata port" by Spaceaero2 - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

"Missing" Carnival Cruise Passengers Arrested in Jamaica

On January 14th I wrote an article about two passengers who arrived in Falmouth, Jamaica on January 12th, and did not return to the Carnival Victory when the cruise ship departed. Local newspapers in Jamaica said the two men "disappeared." 

Carnival's PR department subsequently contacted me and said essentially not to worry about it, saying "please note that these guests simply missed the ship but we have been in contact with them and are assisting in getting back home."

Carnival Passenger in FalmouthHowever, today the Jamaican Observer reports that the two men finally returned to the port yesterday (in good health) and apparently intended to depart on an outgoing cruise ship. The police then arrested them for violating the immigration laws of Jamaica. 

The police had discovered updated postings on their Facebook accounts, including the one to the right posted on Facebook after the men has been in Jamaica for ten days. One of the men posted a comment on his Facebook page "nice to see you" to an acquaintance in Montego Bay. 

The newspaper says that the two men had been staying in nearby Ocho Rios. 

Jamaica seems to be a favorite place for cruise passengers to "get lost" and later show up after what appear to be an extended vacation. 

  

"Top" Travel Agent has History of Ethical Violations as Lawyer

A travel agent in New Jersey who claims he's a "top seller" for Seabourn Cruise Line and an experienced "maritime lawyer" has been "aiming" for me in his last several blogs. 

Eric Goldring of the Goldring & Goldring law firm and the Goldring travel agency has been obsessed about me lately. He's recently written three articles claiming that I have filed "frivolous" lawsuits against cruise lines (he identifies none) and that I don't tell the public about the cases that I have allegedly "lost in court." (I have responded to these bogus charges here).  At the same time, Goldring writes that he has "such a good reputation with (his) clients and the cruise lines!" He concludes: "I am, to self-promote, a knowledgeable, Eric Goldring Travelhonest and fair travel agent."

Now, I have had a strong suspicion, given Mr. Goldring's bizarre and maniacal stories, that his description about himself is entirely questionable.

One of my colleagues and friends emailed me and said to check on Goldring's background because something was suspicious about this strange travel agent / lawyer.

So I spent a few minutes (literally a few minutes) and checked up on Mr. Goldring.

The first internet search said "this lawyer has been disciplined by a state licensing authority." The website explained that Goldring was actually sanctioned by two states. He was first "reprimanded" by the ethics department of the New Jersey Bar Association and later "admonished" by the ethics department of the Florida Bar.  

The next search result turned up a website called "No Ethics" operated by the Committee to Expose Dishonest and Incompetent Judges, Attorneys and Public Officials. It summarized a disciplinary complaint and order of sanctions against Mr. Goldring by the New Jersey Office of Attorney Ethics which found him guilty of ethical charges. According to the website, the investigation by the ethics committee concluded that Mr. Goldring: 

  1. Violated (a) court order to discontinue written ex parte communications;
  2. Falsely accused the trial judge of being biased;
  3. Engaged in highly disrespectful conduct toward a trial judge;
  4. Engaged in conduct meant to intimidate a court; and
  5. Engaged in contemptuous conduct toward one or more courts. 

This site states that this was not Mr. Goldring's first ethical violation. It refers to him as a "repeat offender" and states that he reportedly failed to inform a judge that he had been disqualified in a case because of a "serious conflict of interest." He reportedly was found guilty of deceiving the trial judge. The site reports that the New Jersey Supreme Court punished him with a second reprimand.

The third search revealed that the Florida Bar also filed an ethics complaint against Mr. Goldring arising out of his conduct in New Jersey and further found, as an aggravating factor, that he "refused to acknowledge wrongful conduct."  He was admonished and required to pay the administrative costs.

Okay, now I think I get it. My friend was right. This guy appears to be a loser, sanctioned by ethics referees in both Florida and New Jersey. Is there a reason why he seems to spend most of his time hawking cruise tickets than representing clients in court?  

Now I don't think that revealing his disciplinary records is going to slow someone as reckless as Goldring down. The cheerleaders at Travel Weekly must love someone like him promoting the cruise industry even if he spreads a falsehood or two. I'm also sure that he's foolish enough to write another insane article, at least until another state bar association reprimands him again for unethical conduct. Maybe then he can concentrate on being a full time CLIA travel agent.

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Photo Credit: Travel Weekly - Goldring attending Travel Weekly function.

Coast Guard Medevacs 8-Month-Old Baby from Carnival Triumph

 A newspaper in Alabama reports that a United States Coast Guard helicopter medevaced an 8-month-old baby girl from a Carnival cruise ship early yesterday morning. 

Reporter Debbie Lord reported that the Carnival Triumph contacted the Coast Guard in Houston Sunday evening to request a medical evacuation when a baby began suffering from seizures and trouble breathing.

A Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter flew around 230 miles out in the Gulf of Mexico and back to transport the the baby, her mother and a nurse to a hospital in Houston, landing after 2:00 A.M. 

Video credit: Defense Video and Imagery Distribution Systems.

 

HAL's Veendam Rescues Pilot in Pacific Ocean

A Holland America Line cruise ship came to the rescue, reports KCRA, after a pilot in a small, single-engine airplane on a 2,400 mile trip to Maui, Hawaii ran out of gas fuel over the Pacific Ocean and was forced to ditch his plane. 

The news station says that the plane ran out of fuel about 250 miles northeast of Maui yesterday afternoon.

The U.S. Coast Guard launched an Hercules 130 aircraft and a MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Oahu, and alerted the HAL Veendam to the scene.

The Veendam is expected to reach Lahaina, Maui today. 

The Star Advertiser reported that the rescue took place amidst 9- to 12-foot seas and 25 to 28 mph winds.

I can't wait to see the rescue on the passengers' YouTube videos.

Video Credit: Defense Video and Imagery Distribution System. 

 

20 Kilos: Drug Bust on the Horizon

The El Universal newspaper in Caracas reports that three people carrying 20 kilos of cocaine were arrested trying to smuggle the drugs aboard the Horizon cruise ship while in port in Margarita Island in Venezuela. 

The Horizon is currently in operation by French cruise line CDF Croisières de France. The articles, however, erroneously state that the Horizon is still operated as part of the Pullmantur Cruise Line.

Another newspaper says that the ship was heading to the Dominican Republic with 1,600 passengers and 600 crew, when the authorities found 108 bundles of wrapped cocaine. 

Cruise Drug BustCruise passengers Andreina López Ramírez (26), Mercedes Salazar Benzaquén (22) and Arnaldo Salazar Rosas (34) reportedly intending to smuggle the drugs but a drug dog sniffed the cocaine out at the port terminal. 

The authorities were dispatched to the homes of the suspects where they "found lots of marijuana."

Last April crew members aboard a Pullmantur cruise ship, the M/S Empress, owned by Royal Caribbean, were arrested in a Brazilian port for smuggling 100 pounds of cocaine.

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Photo credit and hat tip: Crew Center: 20 Kilos Cocaine Found on Cruise Ship,

Boudicca Cruise Ship Catches Fire Off Coast of North Africa

A U.K. based cruise ship with 784 passengers aboard was left listing off the coast of Morocco, North Africa following an engine room fire.

Newspapers in London are reporting that the Boudicca cruise ship caught fire due to an outbreak in the engine room and left the ship in total darkness. 

The Boudicca is owned by the UK-based, Norwegian-owned company Fred Olsen Cruise Lines.

The BBC said that the fire broke out at four in the morning today and "the ship was without engine power for Boudiccaabout five hours." The BBC quoted texts from passengers on board back to their families: "'no engines, fire in the engine room, there's smoke, we're in life jackets and the captain says everything is under control'." 

The ship was able to restart two main engines as well as auxiliary engines. The ship is currently limping to the next port at a speed of 8-9 knots.

The Boudicca originally sailed from Southampton on January 20th  for an 18-night cruise of Cape Verde and the Canary Islands. 

The ship is off the coast of Casablanca, Morocco. It left Cadiz, Spain, on Saturday, and was due to arrive in Lanzarote on Monday. 

The Daily Mail covers the story in an article "Terrified British holidaymakers plunged into darkness after stricken cruise ship began to list off coast of Morocco following fire in engine room." The cruise line down-played the danger to the passengers and crew members, saying "there is a power outage to some cabins and public areas in the centre of the ship, but most services are operating normally, and guests are enjoying the usual activities on board, both inside and out on deck."

The Boudicca was constructed in 1973. It is over 40 years old.

 

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Photo credit: Wikipedia / PjotrMahh1 Creative Commons 3.0

Soaked Serenade of the Seas Suffers Major Power Loss to Cabins

Cruise passengers are saying that the Royal Caribbean Serenade of the Seas, in New Orleans, suffered a major power loss today.

A passenger says that the cruise ship was partially flooded during a heavy rain storm. The Coast Guard says a broken water pipe caused the problem. This reportedly caused a large part of the cruise ship to experience electrical problems.

Royal Caribbean sent this message to the passengers scheduled to board the ship today:

Serenade of the Seas"Hello, this is Royal Caribbean International. We would like to provide you an update regarding your sailing today onboard Serenade of the Seas out of New Orleans. The U.S. Coast Guard is currently onboard inspecting the ship. We are waiting for authorization from the Coast Guard to begin boarding. Because the cruise terminal in New Orleans is very limited in space, we ask that guest explore the local area until we can begin boarding. We will contact you again once we have received permission to begin the boarding process. We appreciate your patience and understanding, and we look forward to welcoming you onboard."

A few hours later, it sent this message:

"Hello, this is Royal Caribbean International with an update your sailing today onboard Serenade of the Seas. The U.S. Coast Guard has given us permission to begin the boarding process. Please return to the terminal so that we may check you in for your cruise. Our entire onboard team look forward to welcoming you onboard, and will do their very best to make your sailing as enjoyable as possible."

Serenade of the SeasOne passenger who was apparently on the Serenade when it returned to port in New Orleans said that power was lost to around 175 cabins.  

Apparently, according to this passenger, 400 passengers will not been to cruise because their cabins have no power. 

Nonetheless, the Coast Guard cleared the Serenade to be boarded. The ship is staying in New Orleans until it is cleared to sail.  

Royal Caribbean has not commented on the condition of the vessel or whether some of the passengers will remain in New Orleans. 

Update: Media reports say 417 cabins affecting some some 800 passengers have been affected.

 

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The Cruise Industry's Internet Travel Trolls

Every year or so, a travel agent with a blog will take it upon himself to level personal insults against us in a half-baked effort to defend the cruise industry. 

One year ago, Richard Turen, a CLIA-certified travel agent, criticized me in an ill-conceived article which appeared in Travel Weekly. Mr. Turen's blog, the ironically entitled Travel Truth, is 100% promotional-hype designed just to sell cruises. Mr. Turen is one of several travel writers, drunk on the CLIA Kool-Aid, who will never mention unpleasant issues like crimes on ships against women and children, exploitation of crew members, and fires & other maritime casualties involving the cruise Eric Goldring Goldring Travelindustry. My response to his article, which you can read here, was one of my most popular articles last year.  

Yesterday, another CLIA travel agent and a Travel Weekly Silver Award Winner named Eric Goldring (photo right) of Goldring Travel in New Jersey, took a cheap shot against our firm on his blog Goldring Travel's This is My Yacht - Cruise & Travel. He accused our firm of "Trying to Defend Their Bringing Frivolous Cases Against Cruise Lines." He posted his article on Twitter and Facebook. He states that he's "taking aim" at me. 

Mr. Goldring responded to a recent article where I said that we are going to start mentioning the actual cases we file against cruise lines this year on Cruise Law News rather than just mentioning hot topics affecting the cruise lines in general. The Florida Bar's ethical rules permit lawyers to discuss their cases as long as they don't make statements that are likely to influence the jury to decide the case based on extrajudicial comments. The local federal rules expressly envision attorneys quoting portions of their lawsuits to the public or even attaching their lawsuits to their blogs or websites. 

The reason I decided to do this is that many cruisers, including travelers in the "Cruise Critic" type of community, like to think that lawsuits against cruise lines are filed by "stupid" people who don't accept personal responsibility for their own reckless behavior and the lawsuits are usually frivolous in nature and will end up making cruising more expensive. The cases we handle should dispel that notion. 

Mr. Goldring, however, insists that our firm's cases are "frivolous." He says that we don't disclose claims "which they lost in court (and there are many of those)." 

Now I should mention that travel-agent-Goldring is also an attorney who calls himself a "maritime lawyer." So he is not just a travel agent trying to use legal terms which he doesn't understand. He's a lawyer who should know the meaning of legal terms. Rule 3.1 of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct states that lawyers can’t file a lawsuit “unless there is a basis in law and fact for doing so that is not frivolous.” Black’s Law Dictionary, in turn, defines “frivolous” as “lacking a legal basis or legal merit; not serious; not reasonably purposeful.” 

Filing a frivolous lawsuit has dire consequences. The federal and state rules include severe disciplinary and monetary sanctions against lawyers who engage in frivolous filings and baseless argument. It is also a violation of the ethical rules in Florida to make false and misleading allegations against another lawyer.

As a lawyer licensed to practice in Florida as well as New Jersey, Mr. Goldring is bound by these ethical rules. With this in mind, I challenge Mr. Goldring to find a single case where a judge, jury, or ethics committee of a bar association has ever found that we filed a frivolous case or made a frivolous argument. He will find none. He will not even find a single maritime case out of the many hundreds upon hundreds that we filed where a cruise line has even claimed that we filed a frivolous case or engaged in frivolous conduct.

I also challenge Mr. Goldring to tell the public about the cases which we allegedly "lost in court." He states that "there are many of those."  He will find none.    

Mr. Goldring fancies himself as a defender of the cruise industry. His website contains diatribes against others who criticize the cruise lines. He attacked the well respected consumer advocate and National Geographic ombudsman Christoper Elliott in an article entitled "Christopher Elliott Engages in Yellow Journalism on MSNBC; A Misleading Attack on the Cruise Industry." 

But his articles reveal him to be a buffoon. Goldring's poorly written article contains many factual inaccuracies, embarrassing legal errors, grammatical mistakes, incomplete sentences, and misspelled words. He evens refers to my partner, Lisa O'Neill, as "McNeil." Let me point out a few other of Goldring's confused rants:  

Goldring claims that our firm "even (has) an app which encourages you to make claims through their firm, regardless of the facts (sic) that you probably will not recover anything. . . " This is patently false. Another law firm, not associated whatsoever with us, created an iPhone and Android app for passengers to take with them on cruises. (I agree that it's tacky, but it's not our idea). 

Goldring says passengers shouldn't consider seeking compensation because "in many instances if you are 50% or more at fault you receive nothing." Goldring is absolutely wrong about this too. New Jersey, where he has his law firm, is one of twenty-two (22) states which follow the archaic "51% Bar Rule," under which an injured party cannot recover if he is 51% (not 50% as Goldring says) or more at fault. But maritime cases are not governed by New Jersey law. The General Maritime Law applies to maritime cases. Maritime law applies the "Pure Comparative Fault Rule" which allows an injured party to recover even if he is 99% at fault (although the recovery is reduced by the party’s degree of fault). A competent lawyer learns this in law school.

Goldring claims that crew members have to prove that the cruise ship caused them to develop cancer before they can make a claim against the cruise line for the disease.  Again, Goldring is wrong. Under the ancient maritime doctrine of "maintenance and cure," adopted into U.S. maritime law in the early nineteenth century and the Jones Act of 1920, crew members are absolutely entitled to receive the payment of living expenses, unearned wages, and medical treatment for all medical illnesses, including cancer, which manifest during their work on the ship. The crew member does not have to even prove that the cruise line is at fault. Unfortunately, it has been my experience that cruise lines often abandon the crew member in a distant country to die in order to avoid paying for the medical care. Punitive damages may also be assessed against recalcitrant cruise lines which callously refuse to provide maintenance and cure to ill crew members, a holding reinforced by the U.S. Supreme Court in Atlantic Sounding Co., Inc., v. Edgar L. Townsend, 129 S.Ct. 2561 (2009), which is one of the most important maritime cases in 25 years. Any attorney calling himself a "maritime lawyer" should know this. 

Goldring uses legal terms he doesn't understand. He ends his embarrassing article saying "there is a simple concept in the law that applies in a number of negligence cases: Res ipsa loquitor (sic). (The thing speaks for itself)."

Putting aside that he misspelled "res ipsa loquitur," he misused the term to suggest that many passengers engage in such reckless conduct that it is obvious that they are to blame for the accident and their injuries. But the term deals with the presumed negligence of the defendant. In litigation involving the Carnival Triumph "poop cruise," a federal district judge recently applied "res ipsa loquitur" after reviewing the evidence of the cruise ship fire and resulting conditions suffered by the passengers. He concluded that these events ordinarily do not occur in the absence of negligence of the company operating the ship. The passengers were therefore relieved of the burden of proving that the cruise line was negligent. Lesson to be learned by Mr. Goldring, don't use words you can't spell, don't understand and probably can't pronounce. 

At the end of the day, it ultimately does not matter whether Mr. Goldring, or any travel agent or cruise fan, agrees with me. I like a difference of opinion about issues involving the cruise industry. I look for dialogue and discussion. I don't want a cult-of-personality audience. My goal is to raise awareness of issues that affect cruise passengers and crew member safety, security and well-being. Around 150,000 people, including many travel agents, around the world follow me on Twitter and Facebook. Over 1,700,000 people read over 6,100,000 pages of Cruise Law News last year. I encourage readers to leave comments. Well over 50% of the readers and people on Twitter & Facebook disagree with me. I have learned from listening to my readers and my opinions have changed. Debate is important, irrespective of a reader's ultimate conclusion about the issue. Debate expands the circle of knowledge and brings changes which improve the world of cruising. Over the past decade I have seen hundreds of cruise passengers attend and testify at eight Congressional hearings in Washington D.C. where laws have been passed, over the cruise lines' opposition, to make cruising safer.

The cruise lines, many travel agents and publications like Travel Weekly do not like critical information about shipboard crime and vessel safety to be freely exchanged via social media on blogs like ours and others. The cruise industry wants loyal CLIA members who will parrot the industry's message, write about fantasy vacations on the high seas, and make the industry money. It wants critics and free-thinkers to be intimidated. Tactics of people like Mr. Goldring making false and misleading statements to sell cruise tickets in order to line their pockets underscore the industry's dishonesty and greed. 

 

Note: Mr. Goldring writes this about himself on his travel blog:

" . . . I am not only a luxury travel agent, but attorney specializing in yacht and ship law . . . I have litigated maritime cases from Norway to Australia . . .  That is why I have such a good reputation with my clients and the cruise lines! I am, to self-promote, a knowledgeable, honest and fair travel agent."

Comment: Florida ethical rules prohibit a lawyer to state that he "specializes" in ship law unless he is board certified in maritime law by the Florida Bar's board of certification. Mr. Goldring is not board certified. 

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January 27 2015 Update"Top" Travel Agent has History of Ethical Violations as Lawyer.

Photo Credit: Eric Goldring / Goldring Travel Facebook

What's Worse? Royal Caribbean's Safety or Public Relations Department?

The bizarre story of the overboard Royal Caribbean passenger being rescued by the Disney Magic near Cozumel is still trending. 

Everyone who's cruised or is thinking of cruising has by now read at least one story about the 22 year-old passenger who fell off of the Oasis of the Seas and then was magically rescued by a Disney ship almost 5 hours later. 

The story was first published by a newspaper in Mexico and then translated and published here on Cruise Law News on January 9th. Dozens of publications and news networks have since covered the Royal Caribbean Man Overboardstory. 

Today the Wall Street Journal's Risk & Compliance Report published an article entitled Crisis of the Week: Royal Caribbean Goes Overboard by Ben DiPierto.

As DiPietro points out, it's bad enough that the cruise line lost another person overboard without even knowing it (a result I say of not investing in automatic man overboard technology required by the Cruise Vessel Safety & Security Act) but the Royal Caribbean passenger was rescued by competing cruise line Disney (which has installed the latest in MOB technology). We have reported on dozens of passengers and crew members who have disappeared on Royal Caribbean ships before, including the Oasis of the Seas, but Royal Caribbean seems more interested in filling its new so-called "smart" ships with gadgets to "wow" the passengers (like the simulated balconies, bumper cars, FlowRiders, rock walls and the North Star capsule) rather than investing in lifesaving personnel and technology.  

The man-overboard story represents the continuation of recent bad news for Royal Caribbean.The cruise line is still reeling from the recent horror story of a near drowning of a 4 year-old child in a life-guard-less pool on Oasis of the Seas on January 3rd. Disney not only has MOB lifesaving technology, but it is one of the few cruise lines with fully staffed lifeguards. Given it's refusal to staff its ships with lifeguards or implement MOB technology, Royal Caribbean is definitely 2 big steps behind Disney in safety. 

Plus, Royal Caribbean just weathered a highly publicized  sexual assault of a woman in her cabin by a mini-bar attendant with unsupervised access to a master key on the Quantum of the Seas on December 29th.  Women being assaulted by cabin attendants entering cabins via master keys has been a problem on Royal Caribbean ship for decades. 

Royal Caribbean appears clueless in handling the MOB public relations fall-out. The crisis management experts cited in DiPietro's article criticize the cruise line for lacking empathy and transparency in its response to this story which has rocketed across Facebook, Twitter, cable new and television. One expert in the Wall Street Journal article says “the company is lacking serious crisis management communications."

There is no doubt about that. But if the cruise line would install MOB devices, hire lifeguards and restrict cabin key-cards, Royal Caribbean wouldn't need to hire new PR people. 

 

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Photo Credit: DailyMail 

Cruise Ship Lawsuits: What the Cruise Lines Don't Want You to Know

I've written thousands of articles here on Cruise Law News about all type of issues - cruise ship air pollution, cruise waste discharge, mistreatment of crew employees and the cruise industry's exploitation of the Caribbean ports of call all the while cruise executives pocket obscene amounts of money.

But one of the issues that I rarely write about are the actual cases which we handle against the cruise lines. 

Starting today, I'm going to start posting a brief description of the cases which we file, whether it's a Cruise Ship Lawsuitlawsuit on behalf of a passenger injured on a cruise ship, or an arbitration claim filed when a cruise line refuses to provide basic medical care and treatment to a sick crew member. 

Many people like to think that cases filed against cruise lines are frivolous, or silly, or filed just for the purpose of trying to get a free cruise and will result in higher cruise fares. Hardly.

Some of the cases which we file reveal the cruise industry at its absolute worst. The cases include issues like the cruise line's mistreatment of female crew members who were sexually assaulted on so-called luxury cruise lines. Other cases involve the cruise lines' refusal to provide and/or delay in providing life-saving medical treatment to crew members diagnosed with cancer. 

We will explain the applicable law so you can understand how legal issues are different under maritime law on the high seas. We'll provide you with information that the cruise lines would prefer that you do not know.

Coast Guard Medevacs Passenger from Norwegian Breakaway

Newspapers in New Jersey are reporting that the U.S. Coast Guard medevaced a passenger from a Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) ship on January 15th, approximately 75 miles east of Atlantic City.

The NCL ship doctor on the Norwegian Breakaway contacted the Coast Guard shortly before 8 P.M. to report that a 67 year old woman was in need of immediate medical assistance. A Coast Guard helicopter from Atlantic City arrived at the Norwegian Breakaway at around 9:30 P.M., hoisted the woman aboard, and transferred her back to in Atlantic City for further medical assistance.

The helicopter crew stated that their primary concern was keeping the passenger warm because of freezing temperatures. 

 

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