A rather ordinary couple of weeks in the world of cruising: 1,000 passengers or so sick with diarrhea and vomiting caused by gastrointestinal outbreaks on five cruise ships, 16 brawling passengers kicked off a cruise, a crewmember (a child activities supervisor no less) arrested on charges of molesting a child, a cruise passenger acquitted of rape due to jurisdictional loopholes, two passengers sentenced to 6 years in prison for smuggling pot, 3 passengers arrested for smuggling 13 kilos of coke, 1 dead and 9 sickened with flu on a cruise in Brazil, and another dead cruise passenger found face down in the water in the Cayman Islands.
All of this is in addition to the continued bad press caused by the Costa Concordia disaster. The latest bad news out of the Concordia mess is that cocaine was found on a hair sample of Captain Schettino. The news is confusing because the captain’s drug tests were reportedly negative. The cocaine was allegedly found on the hair rather than in the hair – meaning that Schettino apparently did not ingest the drug. These fine points will undoubtedly be lost on the public who now will associate the word "cocaine," along with "coward" and "womanizer," with the infamous captain.
Last week also saw the filing of an amended lawsuit against Costa and its parent company Carnival in the Miami-Dade courthouse in Miami. You will recall that non-maritime lawyers from New York announced that they would be filing a "class action" lawsuit, which turned out to be be a dud. They finally filed suit on behalf of just 6 passengers, 2 from New York, Florida and Italy each. The amended complaint adds an additional 33 passengers for a total of 39 plaintiffs. The lawyers said that the media mis-characterized the lawsuit as a class action, even though their website advertised the case as a class action.
The lawyers filed suit in Miami, even though the passenger ticket requires the lawsuit to be filed in Genoa, Italy, because Carnival and its deep pockets are located here.
The lawsuit now seeks $528,000,000, for just the 39 passengers.
Good luck with that.
Photo credit: Reddit