This was another interesting week in the strange world of cruise law news.
The week ended with a Miami jury awarding $2,900,000 in compensation for an injured Royal Caribbean crew member whose knee was butchered by a doctor in Nicaragua, which I mentioned in yesterday’s blog. The trial highlighted the cruise line’s practice of keeping ill and injured crew members out of the U.S.
Another crew member committed suicide by jumping overboard at night. This time it was a Carnival employee. This is the fifth crew member suicide this year. There have been four prior suicides by Royal Caribbean crew members in the past 10 months, on the Monarch of the Seas on January 1st, on the Radiance of the Seas on March 21st, on the Explorer of the Seas on May 5th, and on on the Oasis of the Seas on May 24th. The cruise industry needs to study the issue of crew member depression given the requirement of working long hours everyday, every week, for months on end.
Unlike the Royal Caribbean suicides, the Carnival tragedy was handled with great sensitivity by Cruise Director John Heald.
Royal Caribbean was named the worst of the world’s major cruise lines for cuisine and service, according to the respected Berlitz "Complete Guide to Cruising and Cruise Ships."
It was a rough week for Royal Caribbean, being recognized for bad medical treatment for the crew members and bad food and service for the passengers, not to mention the most crew member suicides this year.
The week also saw the usual maritime dramas, 200 passengers rescued from a burning ferry boat in the Baltic Sea, a passenger who disappeared from the Balmoral cruise ship in the English Channel, and another Coast Guard rescue of an ill passenger from a cruise ship.
We also wrote about the 25th year anniversary of cruise passenger Leon Klinghoffer killed by Palestinian terrorists on the Achille Lauro cruise ship. Have the cruise lines taken sufficient steps over the past 25 years to protect passengers from terrorism?
Cruise Law News (CLN) created a facebook page. 77 fans in the first week. Yea! Fans can post comments, photos and even videos. We hope you visit and leave a comment!
CLN continued to moved up the list of popular law blogs. On the Avvo / Alexa list, we are now the 21st most popular law blog. For U.S. readers, we are in the top five most popular blogs by lawyers who actually practice law (I’m excluding law professors who have all of the time in the world to write!)
CLN was selected as one of the best blogs in the LexBlog network on Thursday. Thanks LexBlog.
CLN was also mentioned in Ohio lawyer Russ Bensing’s popular blog "The Briefcase" in an article entitled "Fun on the High Seas. Russ writes "forget what he costs them in his lawsuits; his blog alone is a powerful disincentive to those contemplating a Caribbean cruise." Hmm . . . didn’t know I was so scarry. But thanks Russ!
Be aware and be prepared. Safe cruising!