Cruise Law's Six Year Anniversary on Twitter

Cruise Law TwitterIt's been six years since I joined Twitter. Long ago, I wrote an article about how it came to be that I joined what at the time seemed like little more than a fad. Cruise Law Meets Twitter.

Twitter is now clearly a monster in the world of social media with a value in the billions of dollars. My partner mentioned that she is about to buy Twitter stock. There are rumors that Google may buy it.

I learned that if you are looking for breaking news, Twitter will beat the cable news every time. Regarding cruise news, I will often first hear about a ship fire or an overboard passenger on Twitter, often while the cruise ship is still at sea.

In June 2009, shortly after I joined Twitter, I learned how valuable Twitter is to reporting cruise ships news that the cruise lines try and keep secret. The engine room of Princess Cruises' Royal Princess caught fire during a Mediterranean cruise near Egypt. Princess initially didn't release any information to the public. But a passenger, a Pastor from South Carolina, Greg Surratt, tweeted on his Cruise Law TwitterTwitter account @GregSurratt about the fire from his iPhone on the cruise ship. 

Reverend Surratt tweeted that the fire had disabled the cruise ship and a tug had to tow the ship back to port. Frantic families in the U.S. had to rely on Pastor Surratt for information about their loved ones. He even tweeted photos of the fire and the passengers sprawling out on the deck in the dark (left).

When Princess finally posted its typical less-than-forthcoming corporate press statement, no one was paying attention to the cruise line. Everyone was listening to Pastor Surratt tweeting away on the cruise ship in the Mediterranean. 

I first learned of other cruise disasters (Costa Concordia, Carnival Triumph, etc.) on Twitter. 

I have over 12,000 Twitter followers. I tweeted over 15,000 times over the course of 6 years. That's an average of over 2,500 a year.

What was my first tweet?  I forgot. So I looked it up on an App which tells you. Mine was on March 12, 2009: Princess Crew Member Sexually Assaults Passenger

Are you on Twitter? You should be. Follow the #cruise hashtag. And don't forget to follow me at @CruiseLaw.    

 

Cruise Law News Celebrates Five Year Anniversary

Cruise Law News just celebrated our five year anniversary. 

It's difficult to remember a time when we did not have a blog to comment on the ins-and-outs of the cruise industry and the ports of call where the cruise ships unload their passengers. Since 2009, I've written over 2,100 articles and received over 8,000 comments from our readers.

In 2014, Cruise Law News has been mentioned in over one hundred newspapers, television programs, cable news program, and radio shows.  We have broken many stories that the cruise industry would have preferred that we not mention, such as MSC Cruises dumping garbage bag in the seas, Royal Cruise Law NewsCaribbean exploiting its crew members and Carnival cutting employment programs that existed for years while the cruise CEO's racked in the cash.

Our motto remains writing about "everything the cruise lines don't want you to know," and we believe that we have lived up to that goal. 

Our blog is ranked the fourth most popular law blog in the United States and the number one law blog authored by a law firm as opposed to a for-profit commercial website.  

A year ago at our fourth year anniversary, I wrote that "1,000,000 different people read over 3,500,000 pages of our blog in the last 12 months."  We have far exceeded those numbers in 2014. In just the first four days of this month alone, over 86,000 unique users have read over 239.000 pages of our website. We have a readership which substantially exceeds the paid circulation of the newspaper of the town where I was born.  

Our Facebook page has over 126,000 followers, mostly crew members as well as cruise passengers and travel agents who wish to remain anonymous. We receive many thousand of comments a month. We routinely receive real-time insights into problems on cruise ships from passengers and the crew.

You either love us or hate us.

I receive more than my fair share of hate e-mail. However, many people write to us and thank us for bringing attention to issues such as crew members working 12 hour a day for just $550 a month or sexual assaults of children on the "fun ships," the cruise industry's dirtiest secret. We warn passengers about crime in the tropical ports of call where the cruise lines collect millions of dollars of tax-free money.

We have followed our clients to testify before Congress to advocate in support of legislation to protect cruise passengers and write about the experiences as they occur.

There's always the other side of the cruise story. We try to be the first to tell it. 

Thanks for reading Cruise Law News!

Happy Thanksgiving From Miami

Today was a beautiful sunny 75 degree day in Miami.  Usually we spend Thanksgiving with my parents in Arkansas where the leaves have fallen and its colder. 

Last year was my Dad's last Thanksgiving.  It was strange not seeing him carve the turkey today.

This year we stayed in Miami.  Lots of family members and friends came over.  Kids splashing in the pool is a fun backdrop to turkey day.  We had a blast.

We have a lot to be thankful for, like my great aunt Anita, just 89 years old, and my in-laws Dr. O'Neill and Ms. O'Neill, who are approaching their mid-80's, and my Mom who is only 79, and is Thanksgiving from the Walker & O'Neill family - Cruise Lawgetting around pretty good now that she lives here in South Florida with us.  The words lively, active, brisk, and vigorous come to mind whenever I see them.  

We are thankful for our children who are healthy.  My oldest son finished his second homemade skateboard and took off this afternoon with me yelling at him to buckle his helmet.  My youngest son trounced me one-on-one in basketball.  When I demanded a re-match, he shut me out in front of the elders who seemed to be cheering for the youngest in the family.  I'm not even going to try and take my older son on.  When did they get taller, faster, and can shoot better than me?

I am thankful for my wife (and law partner).  I'm blessed to be with someone who's not only a heck of a lot smarter than me but who can cook for 23 without stressing out a bit.  Yes, that's her, standing where she should be - in the middle.

I am thankful for my co-counsel Jonathan Aronson and his wife Ilene who have been a constant support for our firm, and me personally, day in and day out.

I am thankful for my brother and sister and their families, who couldn't be with us this year, but are in my thoughts every day. 

We are thankful for our clients who live across the U.S. and all over the world.  We are blessed to have clients from the U.K., Germany, Russia, Croatia, Serbia, India, Honduras, Jamaica, St. Vincent, Trinidad, Bahamas, South Africa and Mexico.  (If I have forgotten someone's home country please email me and give me a hard time.)

Take a moment on this day of Thanksgiving and be thankful for your family and friends.  Count your blessings. 

Happy Thanksgiving my friends.  

Cruise Law News RoundUp - September 17, 2011

Cruise ship issues in Europe dominated the world of cruise news this week.

An explosion in the engine room of the Nordlys cruise ship, operated by Hurtigruten, resulted in a fire and the evacuation of the ship off of Norway.  Half of the 200 or so passengers were evacuated in lifeboats and the other half got off the cruise ship when the vessel was towed to port.  All passengers were safe but unfortunately two 2 crewmembers died and many were injured.      

Whenever a cruise ship explodes or catches on fire, there is always a cruise / travel columnist who feels compelled to publish an article insisting that such cruise calamities are rare.  This time it was Jane Pearl of Scandinavia - Cruise Ship FireArcher, a cruise fan and columnist who writes for the Telegraph Travel. Her puff piece article Hurtigruten Fire: How Safe is Your Cruise? claims that "incidents like this are few and far between."

The problem with this claim is that just last year an engine room fire caused the evacuation of over 600 passengers and crew in Norwegian waters.

That incident involved the German cruise ship Deutschland.  And just last November a cruise ferry, the Pearl of Scandinavia, erupted in fire off of Norway while filled with cars and passengers (photo left).

Ms. Archer somehow overlooked these two recent cruise ship fires in Norwegian waters.  Cruise ship fires are not as uncommon as cruise columnists may want you to think.  Take a moment and read Ten Years of Cruise Ship Fires - Has the Cruise Industry Learned Anything?

The other big development in Europe involved the parents of missing Disney Cruises youth counselor Rebecca Coriam meeting with the U.K. Shipping Minister to discuss enacting legislation to permit the U.K. to become involved in the investigation when British citizens disappear on foreign flagged cruise ship around the world.  Mike and Ann Coriam of Chester England are understandably upset with the lack of information from the cruise line and the single policeman from the Bahamas who is charged with investigating the disappearance.    

While the Coriam family was working to make cruising safer for the U.K. public, another cruise passenger disappeared from the Fred Olsen Balmoral cruise ship. Last year, the Balmoral was dubbed the "Cursed Cruise Ship of the High Seas" following a series of norovirus bouts which sickened hundred of passengers and crew.  We reported on the unexplained disappearance of another passenger  from the Balmoral last year.  The Balmoral also narrowly averted disaster when it was attacked by pirates last year.  

On a lighter personal note, the season finally started for my younger son's JV football team.  Gulliver was trounced by rival Belen Jesuit, but my son got to play running back, split end and corner back.  He ran across the field and got a big hit on Belen's running back at the one yard line to save the touchdown.  Watch the play to the end!

  

Photo credits:

Pearl of Scandinavia - AFP

Video -  richardsalinas29 youtube   

Happy Thanksgiving from Cruise Law News

This Thanksgiving, my family is back in my hometown of El Dorado Arkansas visiting my parents and our cousins.  Thanksgiving at the family homestead in Arkansas is the perfect place to be this time of year.

My family has a lot to be thankful for this year.  My Dad, age 81, made it to another Thanksgiving despite a series of heart attacks dating back to 1981 when I was in law school.   My Dad is a tough nut  with a heart of gold which unfortunately is failing him.  I am thankful that my family can spend time with Dad and Mom, soulmates for the past 56 years.  

I am thankful for my beautiful wife and healthy kids, my younger brother and his family who traveled from Texas and my older sister and her family who made the journey from Utah and California.  Mom and dad - El Dorado ArkansasI am thankful for my cousins here in Arkansas and my family's friends and church members who have supported my parents during this year. 

I am thankful for my clients, passengers and crew members alike, who have entrusted us with their cases and causes. 

I am thankful for my friend Jonathan Aronson and his wife Ilene who have helped us defeat the cruise line felons and are helping our law firm grow and prosper this year.  

I am thankful for the people who are readers of Cruise Law News and who have supported me.  Thanks a million for your positive (and negative) comments on this blog, on Twitter and Facebook.  I appreciate your encouragement.   

Take a moment on this day of Thanksgiving and be thankful for your family and friends.  Count your blessings as you sit around the table eating turkey and watching the ball games this afternoon. 

Happy Thanksgiving my friends. 

Today

Today, legal marketing expert Paula Black featured me on her blog Law Marketing Results: A Big Congratulations - talking about Cruise Law News (CLN)'s one year anniversary.

Today, my blog CLN is ranked as the no. 1 blog regarding maritime law and no. 1 blog regarding personal injury law pursuant to the AVVO / Alexa ranking system.  Alexa ranks us as the 36th most popular law blog overall.  The ranking system is far from perfect and there are far better blogs than mine which are ranled below CLN, but it is fun to see the ranking of blogs. 

Today, we were retained by two Royal Caribbean crew members and a Carnival passenger in cruise line injury cases.  It is clear that the cruise lines are indifferent to caring about people injured on their cruise ships.  It is the reason we are in business of practicing maritime law.

Today, the settlement in the George Smith disappearance case was finally disclosed to the public, over 5 years following his tragic death.  You have not heard the last of this sad case.

Cruise Law News Celebrates Its Six Month Anniversary

Six months ago, I launched Cruise Law News. My goal was to be the go-to source for breaking "cruise law" news with articles filled with with my own unabashed opinion regarding the cruise industry. 

The first month I had 964 people stumble upon the blog.  I was ecstatic!  Thirty people a day actually looked at my blog and took the time to read a few pages!

Since then, I have written feverishly - averaging over a blog a day - for six months.  My subscriptions have exploded and the number of people reading the blog has increased exponentially. 

Cruise Law - Cruise Law News - Jim Walker BlogOver 51,000 readers visited Cruise Law News last month alone.  We have been contacted by reporters from the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Canada, and the Caribbean islands - as well as local and national newspapers and television networks in the U.S. 

One of the most rewarding things about the blog is that cruise passengers are now contacting us before they cruise - to inquire about the safety and security of their family on cruises, which cruise lines are safe and which cruise ships to avoid - rather than after they have been victimized.  Our blog is helping get the word out there about the issue of cruise crimes which most Americans know nothing about.  

I would like to think that the success of this blog is due to my hard work, getting up at 5:00 a.m. every morning to write, as well as my keen insight and biting commentary.  But, no.  That would not be true at all.  Its the cruise industry's incredible shenanigans which drive readers to Cruise Law News.

Just today, I commented on the unexpected and completely unjust end of an seven year ordeal involving the date-rape-drug-induced death of cruise passenger Dianne Brimble on a P & O cruise ship - juxtaposed against the revelation that Carnival teamed up with a corrupt brokerage firm which hired strippers for a swinger's cruise.

It's impossible to make this stuff up. 

So thanks to the cruise industry, with all of its shameless tax-avoiding executives, high paid lobbyists and deceptive PR firms, and its consistently ambiguous moral compass - for making my little blog a huge success.      

Stay tuned, the fun has just begun.  

 

 

Special thanks and credit:

Kevin O'Keefe and the pros at Lexblog - who created the blog and pointed me in the right direction.

Laurie Dishman - who fights the cruise industry every day with dignity, integrity, and relentless ferocity.  

Ken Carver - who started the fight for justice, led the way, and has never given up.

Death Of A Blackberry - A Good Excuse For A Quiet Weekend

It finally happened.  After 8 years, my Blackberry finally died.  Not a natural death mind you, but due to my negligence in leaving it on a lawn chair Friday evening after I enjoyed a glass of wine with my spouse. 

Our sprinkler timer kicked on Saturday morning and, after a 20 minute water cycle, my friend was soaked to the circuits.  

Blackberry Death - Goodbye Old FriendMy Blackberry has been my primary method of communication since 2002. I receive over 100 e-mails a day so I figure it handled 300,000 emails over the years - plus more than my fair share of google alerts, text messages and even an occasional telephone call or two.

But it didn't have a camera.  No video or GPS either.  Compared to the sleek iPhones everyone whips out these days, it was kinda like a four-door Ford sedan.  Boring but reliable.

It has been eerily quiet this weekend.  No calls, no checking the crackberry every 5 minutes, no frantic texting to clients who have become accustomed to communicating on the weekends.  

So long old friend.  Should I bring you back?  Or is it time for an upgrade?  I think that I'll be a traitor and give an iPhone OS 4 a try. 

Or maybe I'll just enjoy the silence for another day. 

CruiseLaw Meets LexBlog

Last week I met Kevin O'Keefe.  Kevin is the genius behind LexBlog which designs and creates law blogs and supports legal bloggers like myself.  If you like the design and functionality of this blog, thank Kevin.  His Tobacco Road - Beer for Bloggersteam designed it.  

Kevin's company also runs LexMonitor, the best round-up of legal blogs around, as well as LexTweet which tracks lawyers who use Twitter.  Kevin also has an award winning blog "Real Lawyers Have Blogs" which is something every ahead-of-the-curve-lawyer should read.

Kevin was in Miami speaking at a convention and announced an-after-hours "beer for bloggers" get together at Tobacco Road via his blog and Twitter page.  For those of you not familiar with Miami, Tobacco Road is the oldest bar in Miami, with liquor license no. 001, and a relaxing place to hang out.

It was a nice time. Some of the lawyers drove for a couple of hours to Miami to make it. 

Legal marketing expert Paula Black, virtual law firm DirectLaw entrepreneur Richard Granat, international business lawyer Santiago Cuerto, estate planning lawyer David Shulman, business lawyer and Gulf War hero Juan Antúnez, and criminal defense lawyer and super-blogger Brian Tannenbaum all showed up. 

Kevin is an inspiring story. He was a real life lawyer and trial attorney in rural Wisconsin and then created Prairie Law (which he sold to Lexis).  He hit his stride by moving to Seattle to create his LexBlog success.  His company supports something like 3,000 law firms, from blogging law students to solo lawyers to the Am Law 200 big law firms.  LexBlog is an impressive network and helps small law firms like mine be the proverbial big fish in the small pond.  

I remember last year when I was searching for a company to host my blog.  I emailed and then spoke to the people at LexBlog.  I thought that I was interviewing them to see if they were going to meet my blog requirements.  Half-way through the 30 minute conversation, I realized that Cruise Law Meets LexBlog - Jim Walker - Kevin O'Keefethey were interviewing me to see if I met their criteria. 

There are a lot of top notch blogs and lawyers on the LexBlog platform - like Bill Marler's Blog which has expanded to include the NoroBlog and the Food Poison Journal which have touched upon cruise ship norovirus outbreaks. 

My first blog on Lexblog was on September 10th last year. Things started slowly.  Maybe only 20 or 30 people a day stumbled on to my blog, probably by accident.  But I'm now 171 days and 173 blogs down the road (who's counting?)  Last week alone, over 14,000 different people viewed over 25,000 pages on this little blog.  Not bad.  

More importantly, the blog has been cited in national law journals, local newspapers in Florida, and news sources in Europe and the Caribbean.  

Thanks LexBlog.   And next time I'll buy the beer at Tobacco Road.    

 

To see what other lawyers are saying about Kevin and LexBlog, consider reading "God Bless Mrs. O'Keefe" (pretty funny) by a South Carolina trial lawyer, David Swanner.

 

 

Credits:

Tobacco Road   Kevin O'Keefe

Vote for Jim Walker @CruiseLaw for Shorty Awards in #Law

Friend & Foes - I am asking for your vote! 
 
I was nominated for a "Shorty Award" in the #law peoples' choice category. 
 
The official site of the Shorty Awards states that it honors "the best people and organizations on Cruise Law - James "Jim" Walker - Maritime Lawyer Twitter.  These unique awards are for the Twitter community, by the Twitter community."
 
Online voting is public and supposedly democratic, "culminating in an awards ceremony that recognizes the winners in 26 official categories as well as those in brand new crowd sourced ones."
 
I was nominated a bit late.  But, let's face it, i deserve it.  I'm just joking, or am I? 
 
To vote - click on the link here and vote for me for goodness sakes!  You have to give a reason for voting for me:
 
"I vote for @CruiseLaw for a Shorty Award in #law because . . . 
 
So say something nice, like "because he looks like George Clooney" (not true), or "because he is a nice guy" (partially true), or "because his Mom & Dad are really nice people" (totally true).   It does not matter, just say anything clever.  I want to win this damn thing!  Don't screw this up - I am counting on you! 
 
I did the obligatory interview for the award which is below (I hope I sound clever):    
 
What's your best tweet?
 
Royal Caribbean sails to its trademarked fantasy island of Labadee® as Haiti suffers . . .
 
What are six things you could never do without?
 
Coffee, beer, & the 4 hours between the 2   .  .  .
 
How do you use Twitter in your professional life?
 
If it involves a cruise, you will hear it from me first.
 
What's your favorite Twitter app?
 
Tweetdeck.
 
Twitter or Facebook?
 
A machine gun or a pea shooter?  I choose Twitter.
 
What was the funniest trend you've seen?
 
Once it's a trend it's no longer funny.
 
What feature should Twitter add?
 
Video skype.
 
Who do you wish had a Twitter feed but doesn't?
 
My Dad, the master story-teller, 80 years young.
 
What are some words or phrases you refuse to shorten for brevity?
 
Corporate malfeasance, flag-of-convenience.
 
Is there someone you want to follow you who doesn't already? If so, who?
 
Rachel Maddow.
 
Have you ever unfollowed someone? Who and why?
 
Yes, a few of those Do NOT Pay for White Teeth people snuck into my tent.
 
Why should we vote for you?
 
I had big ears, buck teeth, and stuttered in grade school - now I just stutter.
 
Terms you wish would start trending on Twitter right now?
 
Saints Win Superbowl.
 
What's the most interesting connection you've made through Twitter?
 
Cruise passenger tweeting on the deck of a burning cruise ship.
 
Hashtag you created that you wish everyone used?
 
#cruiselaw.
 
How do you make your tweets unique?
 
Cruise law, cruise law, cruise law, no one does it as timely, consistently, or insightfully (my, I am modest).
 
What inspires you to tweet?
 
Herman Melville said something in Moby Dick about the mutual joint-stock world we live in . . .
 
Ever get called out for tweeting too much?
 
Not so far, I assume people just leave the party if they don't like my rants.
 
Shorty Awards140 characters of advice for a new user?
 
Don't type in caps it is a sign of insanity.
 
How long can you go without a tweet?
 
1/2 circulation of the earth.
 
What question are we not asking here that we should?
 
Who should win the Shorty award other than you?
 
Who do you admire most for his or her use of Twitter?
 
@CruiseVictims - check it out.
 
Why'd you start tweeting?
 
I wondered what everyone was doing with their blackberries on TV during Obama's State of the Union speech.
 
Has Twitter changed your life? If yes, how?
 
Twitter intensified love/hate: my mother-in-law thinks I lost my mind, my kids think I'm brilliant.
 
What do you wish people would do more of on Twitter?
 
Use Twitter as vehicle for donations to non - profits.
 
How will the world change in 2010?
 
What makes you think the world will change?
 
What are some big Twitter faux pas?
 
Saying anything twice, selling anything, saying anything twice.
 
What will the world be like 10 years from now?
 
A ball of confusion, just like the world is today hey hey .  .  .
 

OK.  Thanks for reading.  Vote for me and I will appoint you to my cabinet, or maybe to be the Ambassador to the cruise ship League of Nations, or I'll send you a special gift, or  . . . 

Hey, I remember my friends . . .   

 

Shorty Awards

LexBlog Interviews Jim Walker of Cruise Law News

Today, LexMonitor published an interview of me by Lisa Kennelly.  For those of you-not-in-the-know, LexMonitor is run by super-law-blog-expert Kevin O'Keefe of LexBlog which offers the best services in the universe for frustrated lawyers who feel the need to blog after working a-100-hour-week. The interviewer, Lisa Kennelly - a Harvard graduate! - asked me some questions about my new blog. 

if I come back in another life, it will be a Harvard Graduate living in Seattle, a kick-ass city by any definition. 

P.S. LexBlog is the best. 

Here is the article unedited:   

Jim Walker - Cruise Law News - Maritime LawyerJim Walker has always been ahead of the curve.

The Miami cruise law attorney has had a web presence since 1996, when he created his very first web site. A former defense attorney, he switched sides in 1999 and became an advocate for cruise ship passengers, years before the majority of Miami lawyers started marketing themselves as "cruise line lawyers."

And his blog, Cruise Law News? It only came into being after he had been hooked on Twitter - @CruiseLaw for several months and realized he needed a forum to write in more than 140 characters.

Each component of his online presence serves a different but equally valuable purpose.

"Most of my competitors are where I was ten years ago," Jim says, "creating ego sites that say they are fantastic without providing any useful information to the consumer and without even attempting to establish a dialog with the public. The Internet now requires an interactive exchange. So I am trying to use my blog to provide the most current and relevant information in my specialized field of law."

We caught up with Jim for this LexBlog Q&A to learn more about his online persona and how he uses his blog to beat the mainstream media to breaking news. 

Lisa Kennelly: Why did you decide to start a blog?

Cruise Law - Jim Walker - Maritime LawyerJim Walker: I became a blogger after becoming addicted to Twitter earlier this year.

In February, I watched President Obama’s State of the Union speech. The gallery was filled with people twittering away on their Blackberries and iPhones, sending out their own spin on the President’s speech. CNN covered the story and added their own perspective via Twitter. A few days later I registered @CruiseLaw. In March, I started “tweeting.”

I became hooked. A dozen times a day, I tweeted my perspective about crimes on cruise ships, bad shipboard medical care, mysterious disappearances of passengers, and even attacks against cruise ships by pirates! Stuff so unbelievable that I couldn’t make it up. To my surprise, a large number of people in the cruise industry began following me – mostly cruise line manager types, travel agents, and PR people who disagree with anything negative I mentioned about cruising. In the process, a dialogue developed with people on the other-side-of-the-fence so to speak. I enjoyed it.

I also found a lot of kindred spirits who share my concerns about the negative environmental impact of cruising – things like cruise ship wastewater discharges, and air emissions of cruise ships which burn bunker fuels. The carbon footprint of the cruise industry is incredible. A lot of “green travelers” like to read my tweets and I like to follow them too.

As you know, “tweeting” is just micro-blogging. My addiction grew beyond the 140 character limit of Twitter. I ran across Kevin’s blog and began following Kevin as well as LexBlog and LexMonitor on Twitter. And this led me to blogging. The LexBlog format fit my plans perfectly.

Cruise Law Meets Twitter I wrote a blog post about the experience - Cruise Law Meets Twitter

Lisa Kennelly: What has been most rewarding about blogging?

Jim Walker: I blog about breaking “cruise news.” I was the only one in the U.S. who reported on the armed robbery of 11 cruise passengers in the Bahamas in October. I explained the legal liability of cruise lines who sell shore excursions but don’t warn their guests about high crime rate in ports of call. Last month, an additional 18 cruise passengers were robbed at gunpoint in the Bahamas after the cruise lines failed to warn the passengers about the first attack. I found a YouTube video of one of the passengers who had just been robbed, and posted the video and photographs on my blog. I broke two stories before any newspaper knew what happened! Soon “Cruise Law News” was being cited in major newspapers as the source of news.

Experiences like this are exciting and rewarding. We warn the public of dangers that the cruise lines like to keep secret. I embed my perspective into the news I write about. I am not a journalist. I am an advocate. And I enjoy reporting on news events with my own unique perspective.

Lisa Kennelly: What has been most challenging?

Jim Walker: There is not enough time to blog, practice law and have a real life. I have a full trial practice with 100 injured clients at any time. I have a family, two growing boys and a spouse (who is also my law partner) plus four dogs. I started my blog a little over three months ago and I have Jim Walker - Maritime Lawyer - Cruise Law written 100 articles. My articles are too long, too. I can’t help it – I come from a family of story tellers. I feel sometimes like I am making a closing argument and I can’t stop myself. I struggle getting to the point.

Lisa Kennelly: What has the response been to your blog from clients, other attorneys, or anyone else?

Jim Walker: It has been fantastic so far. My blog has 10 times the traffic of my website, CruiseLaw.com, which I started over ten years ago. My biggest disappointment is that few people post comments. I like people to voice their own views, particularly if they disagree with me.

Lisa Kennelly: You and your firm have had a web presence at CruiseLaw.com for an impressive 10 years now. How has the way you use the Internet changed since then.

Jim Walker: I actually created my first web site, called Walker-Law.com, in 1996. I was a defense lawyer. My site was very egocentric. I used my own name in the domain and advertised that I was great at defending cruise lines. But I found that passengers across the U.S. began e-mailing me asking me to sue one of the cruise lines here in Miami because they had been injured or raped. They found my site through the old search engines and didn’t care who I was or even that I defended cruise lines! In 1999, I switched sides and created CruiseLaw.com myself using a Windows FrontPage program. It is amateurish but effective. 100% of the cases we handle are against cruise lines and six of our clients have testified before Congress on cruise safety issues. I have not updated the CruiseLaw site for ten years (but have a much-needed new design coming out the first of next year).

Now every lawyer in Miami calls themselves a cruise line lawyer. Attorneys I have never heard of are are paying for click-throughs on Google. Most of my competitors are where I was ten years ago. Creating ego sites that say they are fantastic without providing any useful information to the consumer and without even attempting to establish a dialogue with the public. The Internet now Cruise Ship - Fire - Cruise Lawrequires an interactive exchange. So I am trying to use my blog to provide the most current and relevant information in my specialized field of law.

Lisa Kennelly: How do you use your website, your blog, and your Twitter account, both together or individually, to market yourself and your firm?

Jim Walker: My website is like an online resume. Not much real information is on it. Just a description of who we are and what we do. The real marketing now comes from my blog. I still mini-blog on Twitter. I link to the other people who are shaping the daily debate on cruise issues. When I finish my blog, I post a link on Twitter. There are usually a hundred people who will quickly read it to see what I am rambling about. I take a lot of photos of our clients and cruise ships that I sue and post them on my Flickr page.

Whenever another cruise passenger goes overboard, people know where to find me.

About Jim Walker

"Everything the cruise lines don't want you to know" is the motto of this award winning maritime law blog authored by Miami lawyer Jim Walker.  

The New York Times describes Jim as "a maritime lawyer in Miami who has attended more than half a dozen Congressional hearings about cruise ship crime and passenger safety." Jim has been involved in maritime litigation since 1983.  Based in Miami, Florida, Jim represents passengers and crew members injured or assaulted on cruise ships around the world. He is interviewed frequently when there are fires and mishaps at seas.  He is asked to appear regularly on television programs and share his views of disasters at sea. 

Cruise Law - Jim Walker - Miami Florida

In 2017, Jim has continued as one of the "go to" maritime lawyers when things go wrong on the high seas. So far this year, he has appeared in Aquatic International Royal Caribbean Advertises for Lifeguards; Vocativ Online Cruise Magazine Offers ‘America’ To Banned Travelers.

In 2016, he has appeared in the Sun Sentinel Video of Carnival worker's grizzly death sparks Internet uproar; Examiner's Carnival Ecstasy death: VIDEO taken of bloody, gruesome scene sparks uproar; Wall Street Journal Federal Authorities Investigate Chipotle Outbreak; Maritime Executive Crewmembers of NCL Cruise Ship Arrested for Smuggling; Yahoo Travel Is Your Cruise Ship Prepared for a Terrorist Attack?; Yahoo Travel Is the Caribbean More Dangerous Than You Realize?; Travel Agent Central Anthem of the Seas Encounters Rough Weather in Atlantic; USA TODAY Meteorologists: Royal Caribbean blew it on sailing into storm; CBS Channel 2 New York Cruise Ship (Anthem of the Seas) Returns to Port and Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship Expected To Return To New Jersey On Wednesday Night; Weather Channel Back in Port, Royal Caribbean Anthem of the Seas Crew Recounts All That Went Wrong; Captain Blames Forecast; ABC Good Morning America Nightmare at Sea" Comes to an End; (video) CNN Should Anthem of the Seas have set sail in light of storm warnings?; gCaptain Anthem of the Seas — Is She Seaworthy?; Clarkcase Cruise Ships Not Prepared for Terrorism (article) and (video). ANNCPRESS Experts: Royal Caribbean blew it on storm – WCNC; Above the Law Legal Bloggers Ought Feel A Lift With ‘Spotlight’ Winning Oscar; Daily Mail Coast Guard searches for man, 46, who fell overboard from a Royal Caribbean cruise ship in Florida; The Inquisitr Man Falls Off Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship Near Florida, Coast Guard Launches Search Operation; Metro Coastguard search for man after he falls 100ft from Royal Caribbean cruise ship; AOL Travel Coast Guard searches for man who fell overboard from cruise ship; Travel Agent Central Celebrity Cancels Bali Port Call Over Terrorism Potential; Caribbean 360 Crime remains critical in the Bahamas, says US State Department; Smithsonian Cruise Ship Set to Sail the Perilous Northwest Passage; DaiyEcho Inspections reveal cockroaches and potentially hazardous cheese on Southampton-based Oceana and Oriana; Daily Mail Live cockroaches, dirty grout and 'potentially hazardous' cheese found on luxury cruise liners which inspectors rule are a health hazard to passengers; Capital Hill Cubans Must Read: Carnival Discriminates Against Cuban-Americans;Telegraph Cuban Americans banned from first cruise to Cuba in decades; Miami Herald Carnival’s wrong call; Maritime Executive Tightening the Security Envelope; New York Daily News Two cruise passengers from U.S. missing in Jamaica, may have traveled to Montego Bay. Daily Mail Police appeal for help as US couple on luxury Caribbean boat cruise vanish after disembarking at Jamaican port. Inquisitr Two American Cruise Ship Passengers From California Go Missing in Jamaica; New Zealand's Stuff Travel Passengers forced to abandon cruise after 'freak wave' floods cabins; New Times Ten-Year-Old Drowned on Norwegian Ship Because Cruise Line Won't Employ Lifeguards, Family Claims; Orlando Sentinel Nearly 100 sickened on Disney Wonder cruise ship; gCaptain Cruise Ship Passenger Safety In Focus After Woman Falls Overboard from Carnival Liberty; The Independent Journal Mom on Cruise Ship falls Overboard. Here's the Sad Reason Friends Didn't Call for Help Earlier; The Epoch Times Missing Cruise Ship Passenger’s Friends Didn’t Notice Her Missing for 10 Hours; Miami Herald Boy, 8, Crticial after Nearly Drowning in Cruise Swimming Pool; Opposing Views Bahamas Travel Advisory Is Just Tit For Tat; Engle International Cruises: New Targets for Terrorism?; New York Times 7 Safety Tips for Your Cruise Vacation; Aquatics International Cruise Ship Drownings Continue - Children Continue to Die in Pools on Cruise Ships with No Lifeguards; Travel Agent Central Chinese Cruise Passenger Goes Overboard, Rescued 38 Hours Later; Inquirer (Philippines) Seafarer ‘Protection Act’ shields ship owners, not seafarers; Fortuna, non Deo Nearer, my God, to Thee; CHEK News (Canada) Pools drain, dishes fly in cruise ship incident near Victoria; St. Lucia News Saint Lucia remains a safe tourist destination: Tourism Minister; Huffington Post Canada Carnival Legend Cruise Ship Tilts Several Degrees Before Docking In Victoria. gCaptain Two Crew Killed as Viking River Cruise Ship Wheelhouse Hits Low Bridge in Germany [Incident Photos]; Travel Agent Central Guest Reported Fire Extinguished on Emerald Princess; Miami News Times Kids Drown in Cruise Ship Pools With No Lifeguards on Duty; Miami New Times Family Sues Carnival After 6-Year-Old Boy Drowns in Cruise Ship Pool; Reader's Digest 28 Secrets Cruise Lines Won’t Tell You; Miami Herald Carnival Corp ship caught in pollution scheme. Now they’re paying $40 million for it; News.com (Australia) The one issue you should consider before going on a cruise; Havana Times Cuba Opens Up Its Ports to Polluting Cruise Ships; Tourism Concern 5 Tips Cruise Lines Don’t Give You!; Feedspot Top 50 Cruise Blogs And Websites on the Web; Miami New Times Miami-Based Royal Caribbean to Add Lifeguards on Cruises; TravelPulse Is Royal Caribbean International Adding Lifeguards to Its Ships?

Jim was interviewed by NBC about Carnival Corporation at the port of Miami: 

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

In 2015, Jim appeared in Near-drowning on Royal Caribbean cruise raises conceTns about lack of lifeguards; AOL Travel U.K. 4-month-old baby kicked off Disney cruise ship; Inquisitr Royal Caribbean Passenger Falls Overboard Unnoticed - Man Saved By Passing Disney Cruise Line Ship; This is Cozumel Cozumel Cruiser’s Miraculous Sea Rescue; ABC KVUE Disney Crew rescues Royal Caribbean passenger; Daily Mail Disney cruise stages dramatic rescue of passenger who fell overboard from passing Royal Caribbean liner after holidaymakers spot him in water; CNN Man falls from one cruise ship, is rescued by another five hours late; Florida Today Disney crew rescues Royal Caribbean passenger; MercoPress Dramatic rescue of a passenger vessel who fell overboard triggers safety debate; Thrillist Dude Falls Overboard on Cruise, Gets Rescued by Disney Cruise Ship; Wall Street Journal Crisis of the Week: Royal Caribbean Goes Overboard; The Pulp Carnival Cruise Passenger Says She Was Raped by Crew Member While Her Kids Watched; x20 Org Maritime Thermal Imaging Cameras for Automated Man Overboard Rescue – Is Your Cruise Ship Safe?; Travel Weekly Factors in the industry’s improved safety record; ABC-5 Cleveland Couple issues warning about cruise ship security after engagement ring stolen; Cruise.co.uk "Disclosure of crimes committed on cruise ships should be a worldwide requirement;" Wikipedia M.S. Empress; The Independent (U.K.) Costa Concordia trial: Was captain Francesco Schettino really the only one at fault for the disaster?; The Gatestone Institute ISIS Sets Sights on the Mediterranean; Travel Pulse Cruise Ship Passenger Drowns at Bahamian Disney Island; Yahoo Travel / Fox News What Happens When Someone Falls Overboard on a Cruise?; Washington Times The Return of the Barbary Pirates; WDBJ 7 (CBS) Virginia Tech identifies student who went overboard a cruise ship and (video); KHOU Houston Body found after passenger falls from Carnival Triumph; TravelMole Was a terror attack on cruise passengers inevitable?; ABC-13 Carnival Triumph Arrives in Galveston Following Tragedy; NASDAQ Investor Place Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCL); Daily Mail Body found in the Gulf of Mexico after 54-year-old passenger is seen falling overboard on cruise surveillance footage; Yahoo Travel How the Cruise Industry is Coping with ISIS Attacks on Passengers in Tunisia; Yahoo Travel Is Cruising Safe? A Chilling Look at an Industry Under Siege; Caribbean 360 US issues second warning in two months on escalating Bahamas crime; Wikipedia Bardo National Museum attack; Consumer Traveler Is Cruising Safe?; WTSP Apparent murder-suicide aboard Tampa cruise ship (video); Examiner Ohio couple found dead on cruise ship, possible murder-suicide; New Europe Costa Concordia was carrying Mafia’s cocaine shipment; Elliott Terrorists target cruise ships — here’s what you need to know now; Ocala Post Carnival Cruise Line denied refund; later “had a change of heart;” Caribbean 360 US issues second warning in two months on escalating Bahamas crime; Maritime Executive Drug Bust: Cruise Ship Galley Worker Arrested; Loyola Consumer Law Review CRIMES AND MEDICAL CARE ON BOARD CRUISE SHIPS: DO THE STATISTICS FIT THE CRIMES?; World Cruise Industry Review Welcome to the safe side – examining the cruise industry’s safety record; Yahoo Travel Man Overboard! Disney Cruise Rescues Royal Caribbean Passenger from Ocean; Biscayne Times Check Those Score Cards - Not All Cruise Lines Operate the Same; LexPress (Mauritius) Accusé de crime sexuel aux Etats-Unis: un Mauricien plaide coupable; eGlobal Travel Media Arrests as drug lords switch to cruise ship trafficking; Orlando Sentinel Micky Arison: Florida's Richest Person; Travel Mole Child drowns in cruise ship pool' Yahoo Travel After Another Child Drowns, Critics Ask: Why Don’t More Cruise Lines Have Lifeguards?; Examiner Prominent maritime attorney speaks out about children drowning on cruise ship.

More media appearances by Cruise Law News in 2015 includes Daily Mail Cruise ship from Boston carrying 3,500 on board runs aground near Bermuda; Seattle PI Attorney: Holland America failed woman raped, beaten on cruise; Inquisitr Disney Cruise Line: Officer Found Dead Aboard The Disney Dream In The Bahamas; Yahoo Travel Should Alaska Ban Floatplanes After Accident Kills Cruise Passengers?; Security Management Safety at Sea; Tourism Concern Floating Abominations: Exposing the Cruise Ship Industry; Ship Technology Market and Customer Insight Sound the alarm: should man overboard detection tech be fitted on cruise ships? Inquisitr Cruise Ship Catches Fire: Royal Caribbean Passengers Safe After Incident In Jamaica; Space Coast Daily VIDEO: Port Canaveral-Based Freedom of the Seas Catches Fire In Jamaican Port; Twitter Cruise Industry Supports Mass Murder of Whales in Faroe Island; Loop (Jamaica) Falmouth cruise ship blaze was no ‘small fire’ – US Maritime Lawyer; Marketplace Oceanliners cruise to better results; gCaptain Best Cruise Ship Captain Ever Addresses Passengers About Fire – VIDEO; Travel Pulse Viking Star Stranded with Engine Problem; Defi (Estonia) Reisijad: oleme juba mitmendat päeva Tallinna sadamas uhiuuel kruiisilaeval "lõksus;" Bergens Tidende (Norway) Motortrøbbel for Viking Star - Bergensbåten måtte avbryte cruise halvveis; Travel Agent Central Viking Star Has Propulsion Issue; Cruise Line Cancels Current Cruise; ABA Journal - Seven Cruise Ship Disasters: Royal Caribbean Brillia.nce of the Seas; ABA Journal - Seven Cruise Ship Disasters: Star Princess; Telegraph Alcohol ban for crew of Queen Mary 2 after Chilean chef jumps overboard; Sea Shepherd's Paul Watson STOP THE VOYAGES TO HELL - Whale Friendly Tourists are not Welcome in the Danish Faroe Islands; Caribbean 360 Rising tide of Bahamas crime triggers new UK and Canada travel advisories; CBS Boca Raton Woman Stranded After Carnival Cips for Years,ruise Fire; Elliott Another cruise passenger goes overboard, but are we doing enough?; Yahoo News Man Overboard! Disney Cruise Rescues Royal Caribbean Passenger from Ocean; Go Port Canaveral Our Favorite Cruise Blogs; Real Lawyers Have Blogs Some lawyers blog for SEO, others blog to make a difference; Travel Pulse 'Miracle Baby' Delivered Aboard Royal Caribbean International Cruise; Caribbean 360 US latest to slap travel advisory on The Bahamas amid rise in robberies; Travel Agent Central Star Princess Hit With Norovirus: Ship Cleaned and Back in Service; Yahoo Travel The Caribbean's Most Dangerous Cruise Stops Will Surprise You; Caribbean 360 Cruise concern about crime in Caribbean destinations; Crime Watch Daily Cruise Ship Crime Difficult to Prosecute, Convic; Yahoo Travel Another Passenger Overboard! Why Do People Keep Falling Off Cruises?; Inquisitr Fake Doctor Arrested After Treating Hundreds of Customers on Cruise Ships for Years; Cracked People Just Disappear: 5 Reasons Cruise Ships Are Nightmares; eGlobal Travek Media ‘Trust me, I’m a doctor’ – bogus cruise medic arrested; Caribbean 360 Cruise ship passengers killed in excursion accident in Tortola; Barbados Today Two Die in Tortola Excursion; Ship 2 Shore (Italy) MSC Cruises convicted in Brazil for exploitation; Tribune 242 Jet Ski Operator’s Arrest Draws International Concern; Law Fuel 7 Surefire Social Media Steps for Finding New Clients in 2016; Caribbean 360 Investigation launched as video shows cruise ship damaging Cayman Islands reef; Inside Counsel Holland America’s recent $21 million lawsuit amount ‘rather unusual,’ cruise expert says.

Jim Walker - Maritime Lawyer

Jim appeared in the documentary "Why Ships Sink" for Nova, discussing the Costa Concordia.

In 2014, Jim appeared in the Nassau Guardian "U.S. Attorney Raises A.larm Over Crime;" Caribbean360 "Bahamas "One Gunshot Away' From Being Dropped by Cruise Lines;" ABC News' "How Prepared Are Cruise Ships If You Go Overboard?; Nine News World "Woman Suing Cruise Company for Drunken Fall;" ABC 20/20 Program "Man Overboard Cases" (video); Il Mattino "Ubriaca vola in mare dalla nave da crociera. Le drammatiche immagini delle telecamere di controllo;" CNN "Cruise Ship Nightmares;" Wikipedia "Carnival Cruise Lines;" CTV News (Canadian Child Drowns In Cruise Ship Poolelevision) "Explorer of the Seas Norovirus;" CTV's Kevin Newman Live; Antigua Observer "Cruise Lawyer Says German Ship Has No Case;" U.K.'s Daily Mail "Coast Guard Searches for Celebrity Cruise Line Chef Who Fell Overboard in the Caribbean;" Nassau Guardian "Challenging the Status of Crime in the Caribbean;" Dominican Today "Social Media and Managing Reputation;"  Huff Post Crime "Child Drowns In Cruise Ship Pool;" Baltimore Post-Examiner "Bahamas Fight Violent Crime in Midst of Hotel Boom;" Agenda (a Financial Times Service) "Critics Rip Carnival Exec’s Golden Parachute;" Washington Post "Norovirus Outbreaks Make Both Cruise Lines and Passengers Leery;" WKMG TV-6 (CBS Orlando) "Top Cruise Spots Also Top List for Crime;" CNN New Day, "Crew Member Accused of Attacking Cruise Passenger, Tying to Push Her Overboard," Sun Sentinel, "Assaults on Cruise Ships Happen, But Not Often;" Liberty Voice "Holland America Line Room Service Included Rape Assault," ABC NEWS Channel 7 Chicago "Woman Alleges Cruise Ship Sex Assault by Angry Crew Member;" FOX 45 "Cruise Attendant accused of Sexual Assault;" Market Watch "Do Cruise Lines Have a Crime Problem?;" Seattle Times "A sick way to cruise - Who’s to blame and what’s the compensation when norovirus strikes a cruise ship?;" KSAT "UTSA Student Sexually Assaulted During Cruise Vacation;" Nassau Guardian "Christie and Davis' Troubling Statements on Crime;" "Fire Cruise: Crime, Drugs and Fires on Cruise Ships" by Ken Rossignol ("the Cruise Law News website was invaluable in assembling material for this book);" ABC Local News 5 Cleveland "Concern Grows Over Cruise Ship Crime Reporting; Local Law Enforcement Agencies Lack Jurisdiction;" Chicago Tribune "Taking the Kids -- and keeping them safe around the water;" New Times "Videos Show MSC Cruise Line Employees Tossing Bags of Trash Overboard;" eGlobal Travel Media "MSC Cruises Magnifica Accused of Dumping Garbage in the Ocean Off Brazil;" Huffington Post "Cruise Ship Workers Appear To Throw Bags Of Garbage Right Into The Ocean (VIDEO);" U.K.'s Daily Mail  "Caught on camera: The moment cruise ship crew member hurled garbage bags straight into the ocean off Brazilian coast in violation of international law;" AOL Travel "Cruise ship worker filmed 'throwing rubbish bags into ocean' (video);" FOX News "What's the deal with no lifeguards on cruise ships?;" Le Martin (Switzerland, French speaking newspaper) "Des ordures jetées à la mer! — Vidéo à l’appui, un avocat affirme que la compagnie italo-suisse MSC Croisières jette des poubelles dans l’océan" Reizen (Dutch newspaper) "Betrapt: bemanning cruise kiepert vuilnis zomaar in zee;" Travel Pulse "Royal Caribbean Faces PR Backlash After Issues On Three Separate Cruises;" Philly.com "Rough sailing when virus comes aboard;" Travel Pulse "Following Death Of Crew Member, Norwegian Cancels Calls to Roatán;" CNN "33 Dead in Ferry Sinking, Captain Faces Charges;" Big John & Amy Show 560 AM (Chicago) Korean Ferry Disaster; St Lucia OnLine "St. Lucia ranked in top 10 most dangerous cruise destinations in the world;" St. Maarten Island Time "Port of St. Maarten Not Listed in Cruise Law News Top 10 Most Dangerous Cruise Destinations in the World - Destination must remain safe, secure and hospitable;" Barbados Nation News "US Blogger Takes a Swipe at Barbados;" Nassau Guardian: U.S. Based Attorney Lists Bahamas As "Most Dangerous" Cruise Port;" OB2 "Legal expert ranks worst crime-torn cruise destinations;" U.K.'s Daily Mail "Riding the crime wave: Lawyers reveal the world's most dangerous cruise ports of call;" Travel Mole "Report identifies most dangerous cruise destinations;" Nassau Guardian: Most Dangerous Cruise Destination Claim Not Accurate;" Nassau Guardian "Bahamas Spot On Crime List causes Skepticism, Concern;" Business of Tourism "Crime Levels Continue to Be Major Problem for Destination Bahamas;" Times Picayune "Coast Guard searching for man who jumped from cruise ship;" NB12 News (Video) "Bahamas Named Most Dangerous Cruise Destination;" WINN FM "Questions raised about fatal boat accident;" Il Fatto Alimentare "Passeggeri della Crown Princess vittime di un’infezione gastrointestinale causata dal Norovirus;" CNN "Brutal Cruise Ship Assault;" Cruising Done Right "Crime On the Rise? Find Out Yourself!; USA Prepares "Trash of the Wealthy Dumped in the Ocean;" LexBlog "Cruise lawyer Jim Walker captures media attention, forces response from government officials;" Nassau Guardian "Canadian Man Warns of Crime in the Bahamas;" Professional Mariner "Cruise industry debates whether mega ships are safe enough;" LexBlog "Blogging with Passion Turns Cruise Lawyer Jim Walker into Industry Watchdog;" Above the Law "On Blogging: Throw Your Heart Over The Bar, Let Your Writing Follow;" USA TODAY "The Top 20 Best Cruise Bloggers;" Cayman Compass "Tourism chiefs vigilant over crime threat;" Canna Law Blog "Pot Is Illegal And Don’t You Forget It: Royal Gazette "Island’s tough line on cruise ship passengers with drugs is criticized;" Royal Gazette "The Best of Times, the Worst of Times;" Maritime Executive "Man Overboard from Carnival Spirit;" Naples Daily News "Cruise ship crimes: What you should know (Video);" Opposing Views Family Not Allowed To Re-Book Norwegian Cruise Lines Reservation After Son Diagnosed With Cancer; TravelPulse Norwegian Faces PR Backlash For Refusing Cancer Family Refund; CNN Cruise Ship Horror Stories (Includes our client Laurie Dishman); Miami Herald / AP Carnival plans to build cruise port in Haiti; CBS Money Watch Haiti looks to welcome back tourists; Washington Post Some cruise lines take a hard stance on refunds, even when a relative dies; Maritime Executive Another Death in Cruise Ship Swimming Pool; Montreal Gazette Transgender cruise raises concern; Independent (Macedonia) Denisa Fell Off the Ship, the Captain Reported Her Missing; Macedonian Newspaper Security Cameras on the Ship Where Young Denisa Markoska Disappeared Not Working?; CruiseNewser April Fool’s Day: Carnival to incorporate in the US; PRNewser Another Cruise Industry #PRFail?; CruisingMates MSC allegedly dumps rubbish at sea; Wes Neuman Proper Behavior in a Hearing; Miami Herald: DOT Launches New Site for Cruise Passengers; Tradewinds Princess Crewman Killed; gCaptain Crewmember Killed, Another Injured in Cruise Ship Rescue Boat Accident; Sun Sentinel Celebration Passengers Describe Chaotic Scene; New York Times U.S. Embassy Warns of Crime in Bahamas; UPI U.S. Warns of Sex Assaults on Bahamas Tourists; WPRO Radio (Rhode Island) Watch Out for Crime in the Bahamas - WPRO Interviews Jim Walker; Tribune Water Sports Operators Hold Talks With Ministry Over Safety Of Tourists; SHM (Australia) Cruise Liner Loses Passenger at Sea; News Talk 2UE 954 (Australia) How many people fall off cruises each year? How? James Walker, lawyer & cruise safety advocate joins us; LexBlog Legal newsrooms may be shrinking, but coverage is increasing via blogs; Otago Daily News 'Pukefest' as norovirus bug hits cruise ship; The Independent (Ireland) Hundreds of luxury cruise passengers confined to cabins to avoid norovirus 'pukefest;' eGlobal Travel Media ‘Pukefest’ and ‘heave ho’ describe cruise ship outbreak; Tribune (Nassau, Bahamas) Bahamas Named Among Worst Cruise Ports; ABC 15 New Cruise Ship Law; LexBlog The blogging lawyer as a citizen journalist; U.K. Daily Mail New Regulations Force Cruise Companies to Publish Online Crime List Documenting Statistics for Thefts, Rapes and Murders Committed on Ships; Tribune US Crime Alerts Reported In NY Times; Gyi Tsakalakis Web Marketing Power of Web Presence; Above the Law 12 Awesome Law Blogs Of 2014; LexBlog Blog of the Year; Caribbean Council Social Media and the Caribbean; CruiseRadio 9 Cruise Websites for a Virtual Escape.  

In 2013, Jim appeared in the following television shows, newspapers and radio programs: CNN Opinion's "What Cruise Lines Don't Want You to Know", AP's "No Central Agency Oversees, Inspects Cruise Ships," WGN Radio (Chicago), Miami Herald, Newsday's "Carnival Triumph: First Lawsuit Filed in Cruise Ship Fiasco," Wall Street Journal Law Blog's "Why Suing Carnival Could be a Waste," Reuters, American Bar Journal's "Cruise Ship Fires Occur with ‘Alarming Frequency,’ Maritime Lawyer Says;" Forbes' "Ship Isn't The Only Thing That Stinks At Carnival: Low Tax Rate Stirs Ire," WWL Radio (New Orleans) "Cruise Ship Safety," CNN Travel's "Lawsuit Filed Over 'Floating Hell' Cruise" (Video), U.K's Daily Mail, ABC News' 20/20 "Troubled Waters" (Video), CNBC's Squawk on the Street's "Carnival & Legal Obligations" (Video), CTV's "Will Compensation Keep Cruise Ship Lawsuits at Bay?, Business Insider's "Passengers On Stranded Cruise Ship Are Camping On Deck And Waiting In Line For Food," Times of Malta's "International Lawyer Praises Malta on Cruise Liner Tragedy," Bloomberg's "Carnival Ship Fire Strands 3,100 Guests Off Mexican Coast,"  Sun Sentinel's "Carnival Cruise Nightmare: Why Evacuation is not an Option," America Public Media's "Worst Cruise Ever: Can I Sue?;" Yahoo Finance's "Cruise Ship Fire Highlights Past Incidents."

The GO-TO CRUISE LAW ATTORNEY - FEATURED IN HUNDREDS OF TELEVISION, CABLE NEWS, RADIO, DOCUMENTARY, MAGAZINE & NEWSPAPER ARTICLES AND PROGRAMS ABOUT CRUISE SHIP ACCIDENTS, INJURIES, SEXUAL ASSAULTS AND CONTROVERSIES 

Rush Limbaugh's "Media Targets Evil Carnival Cruise Company," Insurance Journal, Travel Blackboard, Local 10 News (Miami), Business Insider's "Good Luck Finding Out If The Cruise Ship You're Traveling On Is Safe," South Florida Business Journal"s "New Twists in Boozing and Ocean Cruising," ABC's 20/20 "Troubled Waters" (Video), U.K. Daily Mail, Times of Malta's International Lawyer Praises Malta on Cruise Liner Tragedy," Business Journalism's "Cruise Ship Saga: Business Story Angles and Resources," ABC News' "Death of Cruise Ship Singer Jackie Kastrinelis Remains a Mystery," KRPC TV (Houston) "Local 2 Investigates Carnival Cruise Fires" (Video), U.K. Daily Mail's "First Passenger Sues Cruise Line Over 'Horrifying' Conditions on Stricken Carnival Vessel," WOR 710 Radio (New York), Thomson Reuters' Triumph Passengers Bring Class Action Against Carnival," Seattle Times' Cruise Lawsuits Are In, But Carnival Has Advantage," Travel Weekly's "Triumph Suits Add to CCL's Woes," Newsweek's "Carnival Cruise from Hell," Daily Business Review: "Justice Watch: Triumph Passengers Face a Sea of Issues," Travel agent Central's "Update on Carnival Triumph - Lawsuits Filed, One First-Timer Weighs In," CBS Peter Greenberg "Why It’s Hard for Passengers to Sue Post-Carnival Triumph," Local 10 (Miami) "3 Carnival Cruise Line fires since Nov. 2010" (video), Travel agent Central's Can Victims of Costa Concordia Sue in the U.S.?, Daily Business Review's and National Law Journal's "Federal Judge Sends Concordia Lawsuits back to Miami-Dade," CruiseMates' "Cruise Ship System Failures," Quaratz's "One of the Secrets to Carnival Cruise’s Unsinkable Business Model: Free Coast Guard Rescues," Philadelphia Inquiry's "Pregnant?You May not be Able to Cruise," South Florida Business Journal's "Carnival Shares Drop with Reputation Under Assault," CBS Baltimore's "FBI Investigating Suspicious Death On Cruise Ship That Set Sail From Baltimore," International Business Times' "Cruise Ship Death: FBI Probes Suspicious Death Aboard Royal Caribbean Baltimore Cruise; "MSN News' "Cruise Ship Death Spotlights Murky Waters of Fatalities at Sea;" Cruising Done Right's "Maritime Lawyer Raises Questions," NBC Rock Center with Brian Williams' "Carnival CEO Comes Under Congressional Heat" - Watch NBC Video here; South Florida Business Review's April Fool's Day: Carnival Will incorporate in the United States, NBC's "Would Your Cruise Have Fewer Problems if Americans Ran It?;" E-Travel Blackboard's US law firm spends $3 million to charter cruise ship;" NBC's "Family Seeks More Answers in Disappearance of Man From Cruise Ship;" Huffington's Post's "Paul Rossington, Missing Carnival Cruise Passenger, May Have Been Trying To Rescue Girlfriend Kristen Schroder;" Seattle Times' Taking a Hard Look at Cruise-Ship Problems:" CNN's "FBI to Review Honeymooner's 2005 Cruise Ship Death;" Boston Herald's "Murder, Crime Warnings in Nassau;" The Economic Times' "How Normal are Cruise Ship Mishaps Like Fires and Power Failures?; eTravel Blackboard (Australia)'s "Cruise Lawyer Says Bridge Being Unaware of Man Overboard Situations Should Not Happen;" The Slant's "Carnival is Taking on Water But Don't Abandon Ship;" KGW News Station (Oregon) Salem Cruise Passenger Missing and Presumed Drowned;" U.K. Mirror's What can cruise passengers expect from their own Bill of Rights?; Sun Sentinel's CLIA, "Cruise Operators Adopt Passenger Bill of Rights," Travel Weekly's "Cruise Lines Adopt First ‘Bill of Rights’ for Clients at Sea;" eTravel Blackboard's US Cruise Lawyer: "Cruise Ship Fires: When is Enough, Enough?;"  K-Talk Utah Radio (NBC) Malcolm Alvin's Malcolm Out Loud Show; eTravel Blackboard's "US Judge Changes Mind About Legal Jurisdiction;" Anderson Cooper AC 360 Keeping Them Honest - "Who's Keeping Cruise Passengers Safe?;" HuffPost Music Canada's "Sean Richard Bell, Manitoba Cruise Ship Musician, Arrested On Child Pornography Charges;" Florida Today's "Cruise Ship Crime Stats Aren't Smooth Sailing;" Florida Today's "Who's Working on the Ships You're Sailing Aboard?;" USA Today Watchdogs Urge Better Reporting of Cruise Ship Crime;" Chicago Tribune's Can You Trust the Cruise Lines' New Passenger 'Bill of Rights?; Miami Daily Business Review's "Plaintiffs Celebrate Ruling In Concordia Shipwreck;" e-Travel Blackboard's "National Lawyers Strike Suspends Concordia Schettino’s Trial;" New York Times' "Those Wordy Contracts We All So Quickly Accept;" Global Travel Industry News's "Cruise Line Bill of Rights - Trustworthy?;" Trusted Luxury Cruises' "Silversea Cruises: Silver Shadow Failed Inspection;" eTravel Blackboard's "US Lawyer Says Silversea’s Silver Shadow Fails Sanitation Inspection;" Alaska Dispatch's "Corporate Interests 4, Alaska Zero. Game Over?:;" Skift Travel's "Cruise Lines to Begin Disclosing All Onboard Crimes on Own Websites;" CNN's "Luxury Cruise Fails Surprise Health Inspection;" eTravel Blackboard's "US Senate Cruise Industry Hearing Reveals Cruise Crime is Hidden;" NBC News' "Luxury Cruise Line Vows Changes After Ship Fails CDC Inspection;" KOAA's "More Problems for Cruise Ships;" NBC News' "Lawmakers Turn Attention to Crime on Cruise Ships;" NBC 6's "Major Cruise Lines Begin Posting Crime Stats;" Miami Herald's "Report, Punish Crimes in Cruises:" Washington Post's "Will a New Law Force Cruise Lines to Better Report Onboard Crime?;" Yahoo Voices' "Are Cruise-Safety Concerns Justified? Bigger Ships, More Destinations, Limited Accountability - Should Passengers Think Twice?;" Coach Class - Travel for Real People's "Cruise Passenger Bill of Putative Rights;" Travel Weekly's "Cruise Editor's Bookmarks: Three Interesting Reads;" Wall Street Journal's "Reputation, Regulatory Issues Dog Cruise Industry;" Noticias 25 Internacionales' "Uno de los cruceros más lujosos del mundo no pasó la inspección sanitaria;" About Cruise Ship's "Disney Line Sexual Assault;" Lloyd's List "MLC: Cruiseship Employees Work Ever Longer Shifts;" Associated Press/ CBS "Carnival Cruise Lines Says 6-Year-Old Boy Drowned in Pool at Sea;" CNN's New Day Reports: "Costa Captain Says Not My Fault;" Travel Agent Central "Dawn Princess Hit by Electrical Fire, Guests Called to Muster Stations;" Huffington Post "Woman Overboard On Grand Princess Cruise Feared Dead;" Miami Herald "Overboard Cases on Cruise Lines Often Under-Reported to Public;" Wikipedia - "Carnival Cruise Lines;" WPTV-NBC "Law Requires Man Overboard Systems on Cruise Ships to Detect a Passenger Falling Overboard;"  Cay Compass "Critics Urge Caution on Cruise Port Deal;" Change.org "P&O Ferries: Install CCTV Cameras on Passenger Decks;" Tampa Bay Business Journal "Raising the Sunshine Skyway Could Open the Bay for Giant Cruise Ships;" This is Kent "A Mum is Forever;"  Global Travel Industry News "Royal Caribbean Cruise: Passenger overboard - Coast Guard Taking Over;" Daily Mail "Coast Guard Searches for Passenger Who Jumped Overboard Royal Caribbean's Adventure of the Seas;" Lund University "Cruise Ship Passengers and Their Rights;" Vice "Cruising for a Bruising;" Cruise Week Who Will Keep CNN Honest?; ETB Travel News US lawsuit filed against Royal Caribbean after injury to child.

In 2012, Jim appeared on ABC's 20/20 special on the Costa Concordia disaster. He appeared on Australia's Dateline program "Lost at Sea" about passengers and crew members disappearing from cruise ships. Jim was featured on PBS's documentary "Disasters at Sea: Why Ships Sink" which looked at cruise disasters from the Titanic's sinking in 1912 to the current date. He also appeared on CNN's special "Cruise to Disaster" which explored the Concordia disaster.

Jim attended Duke University and graduated cum laude in 1980. He attended Tulane University School of Law, graduating in 1983 after taking Tulane’s internationally renowned admiralty curriculum.

Jim has experience regarding issues of cruise ship crime and sexual assault. Over the past ten years, he has represented over 1,000 clients including over 75 individuals who have been victimized on cruise ships, cruise excursions and ports of call. Six of Jim’s clients have testified before the United States Congress regarding cruise ship safety. Jim has handled the following cases in the past ten years: 

  • The case of Laurie Dishman, sexually assaulted on Royal Caribbean’s Vision of the Seas. Her case resulted in changes to the cruise industry and the introduction of the Cruise Ship Safety and Security Act of 2010.
  • The “Missing Honeymooner Case” involving the disappearance of George Smith IV of Greenwich Connecticut from Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas cruise ship. Jim represented Mr. Smith’s widow, Jennifer Hagel.
  • Over 75 sexual assault cases against women and children on cruise ships, resulting in many million and multi-million dollars settlements.
  • The 2006 Star Princess fire disaster. The cruise ship fire resulted in one hundred cabins being destroyed and the death of one passenger, Richard Liffridge. Jim represented Mr. Liffridge’s family in litigation against Princess Cruises in California.
  • Numerous cases involving serious injury and death of passengers and crew members aboard Carnival, Celebrity, Costa, Norwegian, Oceania, Princess and Royal Caribbean cruise ships.

Jim is married to Lisa O’Neill who he met while they were undergraduates in college thirty years ago. Jim and Lisa are also law partners.

Watch 5 Years Later (Facebook video).

Lisa is also a Duke cum laude graduate, and attended the University of Florida School of Law in Gainesville, Florida. She served on Law Review as the Senior Articles Editor, won the prestigious Gertrude Brick Award, and graduated cum laude. Jim and Lisa work on all cases together.


In 1999, the firm created the web site CruiseLaw.com as an information resource for passengers and crew members worldwide. Here is what some publications are saying about Jim Walker:

"Top Maritime Lawyer" - ABA Journal.

"Top Cruise Lawyer" - USA Today.

"Prominent Private Practice Maritime Attorney" - Fox News.

"A Premier Lawyer for Cruise Passengers" - Reuters.

"Prominent Cruise Plaintiff Attorney" - Law.com (America Law Media).

One of the nation's leading maritime attorneys - News 6 Orlando.

"Leading Miami Attorney" - Newsweek Magazine

"Leading Maritime Lawyer in Miami" - Arizona Republic / USA Today

". . . it is nice to see a lawyer with scruples, and one that is honest with them" - Port Canaveral Blog

"An Outspoken and Candid Maritime Attorney Who has Represented Some of the Highest Profile Cruise Plaintiffs in History" - Cruisemates

"Longtime Maritime Lawyer Who Represents Clients Suing Cruise Lines" - New York Times

"Internationally Renowned Maritime Lawyer and Cruise Safety Advocate" - Times of Malta

"Cruise companies are watched closely by Jim Walker of US-based maritime lawyers Walker and O'Neill" - New Zealand Herald.

"Man For the Other Team" - International Shipping Publication Tradewinds.

"Famous Miami Maritime Attorney" - CruiseNewser.

"Prominent Florida-Based Lawyer for Cruise Ship Passenger" - Staten Island Live.

"Leading U.S. Based Cruise Lawyer" - eTravel Blackboard (Australia).

"Prominent Miami Maritime Lawyer" - Travel Agent Central.

"Industry Watchdog" - FOX News and LexBlog

"King of anti-cruise tirades . . . his impressive background and litigation record against cruise lines must be taken seriously." - Travel Weekly.

"Perpetual Pain-In-The-Cruise-Lines-Neck Jim Walker" - Gadling.

"A well-known thorn in the side of cruise lines" - Cruising Done Right (travel agent publication). 

Lexblog names Cruise Law News "Blog of the Year" writing: ". . . no attorney’s passion shows through more than Jim Walker’s in his blog, Cruise Law News. Not only is he an advocate for cruise passengers, but also a fervent watchdog for the industry as a whole. His 2014 included, among a multitude of accomplishments, traveling to Washingto, DC to back Senator Rockefeller’s Cruise Passenger Protection Act and forcing government officials in the Bahamas to have to answer to their ranking on the Top 10 worst destinations."

Jim is the author of Cruise Law News - described as a "Hard-Hitting Blog" by Miami's Daily Business Review.

Jim writes the "authoritative cruise blog" - Sydney Morning Herald.

"Cruise Law News, published by Attorney Jim Walker, has blown the doors off the cruise industry and has grown to be one the most widely read digital publications in the law." 

The U.K. Metro newspaper refers to Jim as the "Devil of Cruise Reporting."

Prominent Miami-based maritime lawyer - Engle International.

Respected Miami-based maritime lawyer - eGlobal Travel Media. 

LexBlog says "Walker is the world’s leading reporter on deaths, injuries, and safety matters relating to the cruise industry. Via his blog, he not only reports the news, but is the de facto cruise industry watchdog." 

Professional Associations

  • Admiralty Law Committee of the Florida Bar (former member)
  • Florida Admiralty Trial Lawyers Association
  • Maritime Law Association of the United States
  • Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum

Education

  • Kent School, Kent Connecticut 1976
  • Duke University, Durham North Carolina 1980
  • Tulane School of Law, New Orleans Louisiana 1983

Bar Admissions

  • Florida Bar Association
  • Louisiana Bar Association (not active)
  • United States District Courts, Eastern District of Louisiana and Southern District of Florida

Media, Television, Radio, Magazines and Newspapers


Jim and his clients have been featured on television, cable news and radio shows, as well as in documentaries, newspapers and magazine articles.

ABC, CBS, MSNBC, CNN, FOXNews, DATELINE, 48 HOURS, 20/20, Larry King Live, A & E Investigative Reports, Hannity & Colmes, Greta Van Sustern, Nancy Grace, Inside Edition, Julie Banderas, Big Story Weekend, CourtTV, Catherine Crier, Montel Williams, Joe Scarborough, Rita Cosby, Mike & Juliet, Geraldo Rivera, Nancy Bloom, Dan Abrams, UK’s BBC-Radio 4, Heartland w/John Kasich, E! Entertainment, TruTV, Canada’s CATV-5, Good Morning America, TIME Magazine, National Law Journal, RADAR Magazine, Lawyer’s Weekly USA, Miami Herald, American Law Media, Tradewinds, Fort Lauderdale’s Sun-Sentinel, Miami Business Review, LA Times, NY Times, Salt Lake Tribune, Florida Today, Daytona Beach Journal, Sacramento Bee, Washington Post, Greenwich Times, Greenwich Citizen, Greenwich Post, San Francisco Chronicle, U.K.'s Telegraph, St. Petersburg Times, Miami’s New Times, U.K. Mirror, London’s Guardian, Edmonton Post, Chicago Sun-Times, Bahamas Journal, Italy's "Chi l'ha Visto?" television show, Germany's Wunderwelt Wisen, CruiseCritic, South Florida Business Journal, Open Secrets organization, Queerty, Baltimore Sun, Bahamas Tribune, National Public Radio (NPR), USA Today, Gadling, FOX Business, Slate Magazine, ABA Journal, Australia's The Age, Attorney at Law Magazine, Huffington Post, U.K.'s Daily Mail, BBC, Freeport (Bahamas) News, Haaretz, Trip Advisor, Wikipedia, Palm Beach Post, India Times, E Turbo News, Global Travel News, Comunidade News (Brazil), Canada's CTV, OutFront with CNN's Erin Burnett, Slate, The Daily, London's Financial Times, Newsweek Magazine, Newsweek's The Daily Beast Blog, Fund Web, Reuters, Consumer Affairs, Australia's Herald Sun, Canada's NewsTalk 1010 Radio, Houston Chronicle, Wall Street Journal, Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), Tampa Bay Business Journal, Perez Hilton, Business Insider, Greenwich Magazine, Herald Sun, CNN Money, the Australian newspaper, Christian Science Monitor, International Business Times, Maritime Executive, Businessweek, Bloomberg, Alaska Dispatch, Minnesota Post, Virgin Islands Daily News, Arizona Republic, Trip Advisor, Daily Kos, Jamaica's Gleaner newspaper, Antigua Observer, N.Y. Daily News, U.K.'s Daily Mail, UPI, Inquisitr, Christian Post, KTIC Radio, Cordova Times, Bloomberg News, Business Insider, Times of Malta, CNN Opinion, Wall Street Journal Blog. Newsday, CBC Radio (Canada), American Public Media Market Place, WGN Radio (Chicago) Chicago Tribune, WWL Radio (Miami), CNBC Squawk on the Street, WIOD Radio (Miami) and the Associated Press have all covered Jim’s cases and his client's causes.

Watch Jim on ABC's 20/20 program in January 2012 about the Costa Concordia disaster:

Watch Jim on Australia's Dateline program "Lost at Seas" in March 2012 about cruise ship disappearances: