Tag-Archive for » Cruise lawsuits «

Who's Responsible For Anything Any More?

Somewhere, a student in 7th grade gets bad marks, and the parents blame the teacher. On some 18th green, a golfer misses a three-foot putt and rants about needing a new putter. A teenager drives drunk, four people are killed and his defense is that he suffers from "affluenza" — a new word that is destined to make its way into dictionaries in place of "poor little rich kids.".

It is truly an age of non-responsibility. 

Here's one from a cruise ship…

A woman becomes intoxicated, falls overboard and sues the cruise line, which happens to be Carnival.

Her lawyers claim the woman was coaxed into excessive drinking with casino coupons from the bartender. Later she fell seven stories, hit a lifeboat and was severely injured. She is seeking punitive damages for "negligence and the intentional infliction of emotional distress."

You be the judge.

Grand Princess
7 nights
September 14, 2014 
Seattle (return): KetchikanTracy ArmJuneauSkagwayVictoria
Inside: $598
Cost per day: $85

The Crazy World of Carnival Cruises

BreezeDo you hear the one about the cruise line that was being sued by the lawyer for passengers on a ship's "cruise from hell" even though the passengers weren't really on the ship?

It's not a joke. It's true. And here's one for the Ripley archives…yes, Carnival.

A Houston attorney named John Bruster Loyd — who must be important because a Google search prompts 18 quick hits — filed a suit against Carnival this month on behalf of clients Luke Cash and Ami "Summer" Gallagher, claiming they had been on the Triumph in February, when it spent five days more or less lifeless in the Gulf of Mexico.

Luke and Summer were in Texas at the time. They had a pre-paid wedding in Cozumel scheduled on a future Triumph cruise, which was canceled. The attorney forgot his clients hadn't been on the ship and, in the end, uttered those two words seldom uttered by a lawyer.

Mea culpa.

Only in Carnival's world.

* * *

And then there are the people who really want Carnival. Badly. They live in DominicaDominica, an island nation in the south-east Caribbean, and they haven't seen a Carnival ship in three years after their 21-year relationship went south.

They say the price of gas cut Carnival's commitment to Dominica and that there's no sign the absence of ships will change any time soon. For a nation that depends heavily on tourism and agriculture, this is a troubling situation.

The former tourism minister calls Carnival was the island's "most important economic partner." Given the "wanted" lists that Carnival seems to be on for all the wrong reasons, maybe the cruise line should think about going back to where its ships really are missed the most.

* * *

And one final note on Carnival…

It's the first major cruise line to implement a widespread reduction of fees that single travelers have to pay, with more deals than ever on multiple ships and multiple itineraries for the solo crowd.

Two questions:

1. Will more major lines follow suit?

2. Given that cruise lines rarely do these things if they're sold out, does this mean Carnival is simply trying to put more heads in more beds?

Norwegian Pearl
20 nights
April 18, 2014
Miami, Cartagena, Panama Canal, Puntarenas, Puerto ChiapasHuatulcoPuerto VallartaSan DiegoLos AngelesSan FranciscoVictoriaVancouver
Inside: $1,359
Cost per day: $67

What Can Happen on Ship's 'Playground'

Here's a serious cruise incident for you to ponder:

Last February, a nine-year-old boy on a Royal Caribbean ship suffered a head injury while playing a game similar to dodge ball. Participants were other kids and crew members from the ship.

The ship was docked in the Bahamas. The kids were invited to play by the crew and, being kids, they were only too happy to oblige. The game was played on hardwood or concrete, with the kids dodging balls thrown by the crew. Nobody was wearing protective equipment and the boy, Leo Tao, collided with another child and had to undergo emergency brain surgery in Nassau.

You know what's next, right.

A lawsuit.

In it, the complainant says Leo suffered "severe and permanent damage" and that Royal Caribbean was at fault because "no protective equipment was provided…nor were any warning signs present."

The cruise line defense is that the accident "could happen at any school, playground, or daycare."

So…when is a playground-type collision somebody's fault, and when is it part of the risk of being a kid?

Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas
13 nights
November 4, 2013
London, Funchal, St. MaartenSt. KittsSt. Thomas, San Juan
Inside: $399
Cost per day: $30



Carnival corners market on suits


We always thought the only cheap suits in the world are hanging in closets, or on people who like to wear them, but maybe there is some competition in the legal world after all…

* * *

A man from Ireland, where jokes are legendary, sued Carnival because he was "humiliated" by two comedians who included Irish jokes in their routine. Five years ago, John Wolfe and his wife were on P&O's Oriana when the "offensive" jokes were told and he accepted about $2,500 in vouchers when he complained.

On the heels of his successful complaint, Mr. Wolfe sued Carnival (which owns P&O) when it happened again, this time on the Artemis.

The suit was settled by Carnival, out of court…for five figures.

* * *

A P&O (again) passenger who did a Tina Turner impersonation during a talent show on the Pacific Jewel off the coast of Australia is also suing Carnival.

During 50-year-old Kate Strahan's performance, in which she wore a mock leopard-skin dress, one of the judges (British entertainer Rory Healey) said "You may be dressed like a leopard but you're more like a tiger." To which she said: A cougar, you mean." Healey took it one step too far, allegedly, when he replied: "You can 'cougar' me at any time."

Ms Strahan claims she is so stressed that she has been unable to work. She also claims Carnival should pay her $1.025 million.

* * *

The Miami New Times has reported that a man named Kurt Gies is suing Carnival (are you seeing a trend here?) after injuries sustained while participating in the Hairy Chest Contest on the Carnival Legend last year.

Gies is seeking damages for “serious and permanent scarring, disfigurement, and embarrassment,” and says he was treated in the Legend's medical center, which has no record of his being there.

He claims his feet were burned from the ship's deck.

* * *

Really? Really? Really?

Celebrity Reflection
14 nights
October 21, 2012
Barcelona, Toulon, Cannes, Livorno, Rome, Sorrento, Catania, Ephesus, Rhodes, Mykonos, Koper, Venice
Inside: $1,299
Cost per day: $92

Failed Rescue Charge Likely False


You may have heard news reports about a cruise ship that allegedly failed to respond to a small boat that was adrift in the Pacific Ocean a few months ago. A fisherman and one of his passengers on the small craft died and Princess Cruises was criticized — and subsequently sued by survivor Adrian Vasquez and the victims' families — for not coming to the fisherman's rescue.

Yesterday, Princess claims it has been cleared…and you can be relatively certain the expected exoneration will not get the same exposure. But maybe we're wrong, so watch for it.

The story began when three passengers on the Star Princess reported seeing a boat that they thought might be in distress. Crew on the bridge checked it out, decided the boat was not in distress and kept going.

After exhaustive research, Princess has discovered that the "boat in distress" was not the fisherman's boat.

How so?

The passengers were bird watchers. They had sophisticated cameras and took photos of the "distressed" boat. Later, when the boat — called the Fifty Cent — was eventually found, there was video footage of the belated rescue. Princess had the photos and the video, which was recently discovered, analyzed by a photo expert who used to work for NASA.

You can see the differences in the photos here, but there are more on the Princess website, so you can make your own call. There is also inconsistencies in recorded statements by Mr. Vasquez, and some rather complicated evidence from a meteorological firm that the two vessels were not likely in position for the fishing boat to be seen from the Star Princess. Naturally, Princess is now insisting the legal proceedings be dropped and is offering, out of respect for the victims, to waive its right to recover legal costs.

For video: http://youtube/vcdw. For more photos: http://www.princess.com/news/images.

From the time we first heard of this, it struck us as being strange. We have been on a cruise ship that was used for rescue operations (in the middle of the night, so we didn't see anything but a late arrival), and we have interviewed captains about rescue operations. It was hard to believe that Star Princess captain Edward Perrin, or any cruise-ship captain, would not respond to a small boat in trouble. It's not only the right thing to do, but it's a delay that is unlikely to bring complaints from passengers about being late.

Since the alleged sighting of the boat, in March, both Captain Perrin and Princess have been taking an unwarranted beating in public. The same captain last month was praised by Canadian authorities for positioning his ships to block the wind for rescuers who rescued two sailors in stormy seas off the coast of British Columbia. Not only was that the right thing to do, but it must have shown some creativity.

The premature judgment of the captain and his cruise line was, in the end, jumping to conclusion…giving a whole new meaning to "jumping ship."

Cunard Queen Mary 2
7 nights
November 20, 2012
London, New York
Inside: $695
Cost per day: $99

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