Vucci Law Group Cruise Ship Illness Archives
COVID-19 Puts Cruise Ships on Cruise Control
Posted on Thursday, March 18th, 2021 at 5:45 pm
Eager to get out to sea and soak up some rays? It looks like you may be waiting a little bit longer to get back aboard a cruise ship. Due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, a new wave of cruise ships has just announced that they are pushing back their relaunch dates — again. Norwegian Cruise Line has become the first large-scale cruise line to announce that they are forgoing a June restart and plan to push their timeline to July. Other major cruise lines, such as Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruise Line, and MSC Cruises, have canceled their itineraries through May, but not into June.
Part of the reason for the continued delay may be that the cruise industry is still coming to terms with how to address Centers for Disease Control guidelines. In 2020, the CDC issued guidance called the “Framework for Conditional Sailing Order,” which was meant to serve as a roadmap for cruise ship operators and gave them instructions on how to keep passengers and crew members safe. Some cruise lines continue to grapple with how to put safety protocols in place and maintain them through the duration of a trip.
More Than One Hurdle for Cruise Lines
Another major hurdle the industry is still trying to overcome is the travel-restrictions that some governments have in place. While a few European ports have opened up with enhanced safety measures, others are remaining cautious. Canada has extended its ban on cruise ships until at least 2022. The ban applies to all ships carrying more than 100 people aboard. The country has even banned smaller adventure-seeking pleasure crafts from entering Arctic waters, hoping the move will protect indigenous people from those potentially carrying the virus.
Memories Haven’t Faded and Neither Have the Lawsuits
While this response may seem extreme, consider the stories from cruise ship survivors caught in the aftermath of the first wave of the virus last year. The pain, suffering, emotional distress and uncertainty is still raw for many of the survivors trapped and frightened at sea and stuck stranded at port.
Those aboard the Grand Princess, quarantined on board off the California coast, remember the trauma all too vividly. More than 100 people aboard the ship ended up infected with COVID-19, and eight died. The family of one man who passed away is now suing the operators of that cruise line for negligence and wrongful death. Their case is only one of a dozen lawsuits filed so far by the passengers and surviving relatives on board that Princess Cruise ship.
Reach Out to the Team at Louis A. Vucci P.A.
Everyone has been impacted in some way by the COVID-19 pandemic. While we all wish we could relax and get away for a while, cruise lines still have a responsibility to ensure that when they sail, they are doing it safely. Those impacted by the first wave of the virus one year ago are living with the consequences of the actions, or lack thereof, of the cruise line industry. As they await the final results of their pending lawsuits, we can only hope that the cruise line industry as a whole has taken the disasters of the past to heart and enhanced their safety protocols.
If you or a loved one has suffered due to a COVID-19-related experience aboard a cruise ship, contact Louis A. Vucci P.A. for information on how we may be able to help you. Our skilled legal team has experience handling a wide range of cruise line-related accident, injury, and illness claims. To find out how we may be able to help you collect the compensation you deserve from a negligent cruise line, contact our office at (786) 375-0344 today.
Positive Changes That Could Come to the Cruise Line Industry
Posted on Wednesday, November 25th, 2020 at 3:00 pm
If there is one thing that the emergence of COVID-19 has done for the cruise line industry, it is the exposure of the chinks in many companies’ health and sanitation policies. COVID-19 is a highly infectious and transferable disease. Its emergence has exposed just how easy it is to transfer germs among passengers at sea, resulting in serious illness and compromising the health and safety of both passengers and crew members.
Closing in on almost a year after the disease first appeared, the cruise industry has yet to set sail again in full force. Has the pandemic taught companies anything? As devastating as COVID-19 has been to the industry, the cruise line industry may make traveling safer for passengers and employees in the future.
The Future of the Cruise Industry
COVID-19 has forced the Cruise Lines International Association to reexamine and rethink some of its most basic guidelines. Already, members are brainstorming about how they can help cruise line companies adjust and make future embarkations safer for everyone.
One of the positive changes that may last long after the COVID-19 epidemic has slowed down is a more complete and enhanced approach to ship sanitation. Some news outlets have already reported that enhanced hygiene will be at the center of many business models. This includes more stringent cleaning regimes for guestrooms and more thorough sanitation of kitchen and bathroom facilities.
The dining experience may undergo significant changes, as well, in the wake of COVID-19. Buffet style lines where people are constantly hoovering over food, even with sneeze guards in place, standing close to one another in line and touching bins of plates and utensils may become a thing of the past. While buffets have always been a popular option, they are rife with conditions that may expose a large number of people to a pathogen in a short amount of time. Limiting guests or serving meals to seated guests may be preferred.
One of the most important changes that could take the cruise line industry in a more positive direction is upgrading current shipboard medical facilities. March already feels like forever ago, but the image of people sick and stranded on cruise ships is still burned in many people’s memories. Learning from past mistakes, cruise lines may be looking to bulk up their medical facilities and enhance the supplies and staff they have onboard their ships. This would put them in a position to better handle not just disease outbreaks, but other types of serious medical issues that could arise while out at sea.
In the short-term, passengers who board a cruise line in 2021 may see routine COVID-19 testing before and after boarding ships, mask requirements, and increased sanitation protocols. In the long-term, cruise lines may make changes that put passenger safety and security at the forefront of the cruise experience.
Contact Louis A. Vucci P.A.
The legal team at Louis A. Vucci P.A. has extensive experience handling a wide range of cruise ship cases, from ship-related COVID-19 cases to medical negligence claims for people injured onboard a ship. Future safety changes are a positive step in the right direction, but if you or a loved one have suffered from a cruise ship illness or injury, you may be entitled to compensation. To talk to one of our attorneys about your potential claim, contact us at (786) 375-0344 today. The consultation is free.
Holiday Cruise Plans Go Bust
Posted on Wednesday, November 18th, 2020 at 2:04 pm
If you were hoping to take a nice and relaxing cruise to celebrate the holidays, get ready to change your plans, yet again. Many popular cruise lines are once again stalling plans to set sail, this time canceling cruises through at least December 31st of 2020.
This new wave of cancellations comes only days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidelines for cruise ships in the wake of an increase in COVID-19 cases in the United States and Europe. At, first the news seemed positive for cruise lines, with the CDC announcing that it was listing its “no-sail” ban in United States waters. However, as the order was lifted, it was replaced with new and enhanced guidelines that require cruise lines to ensure that the health and safety of passengers and cruise line employees come first.
Parent companies Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruise Line, Disney, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, and Regent Seven Seas Cruises have all suspended their plans to return to the sea through December 31st.
What Are These New CDC Guidelines and How Could They Impact Passengers?
At the core of the new CDC safety guidelines are enhanced measures that aim to make cruise lines safer for both employees and passengers, instead of floating petri dishes of disease. Ships sailing from U.S. ports will be required to establish onboard COVID-19 testing capabilities. These testing capabilities will mean that rapid testing of all passengers and crew members can be accomplished the day a ship sets sail and the day it returns to port to screen for infections.
It also means that symptomatic passengers, future passengers, and crew members may be tested with a quick turnaround for results to help contain any potential outbreaks. These testing measures will be coordinated with the CDC. The order also sets standards that govern proper hand hygiene and social distancing.
Passengers or crew members who test positive for COVID-19 before boarding will not be allowed on the ship. If a passenger or crew member tests positive while they are onboard the ship and out to sea, then the individual will be placed in isolation until they can be transferred to a dedicated facility onshore. Remaining passengers and all crew members who are deemed nonessential will be required to quarantine. The new CDC guidelines also mandate that cruise lines have all the essential medical equipment on board, as well as trained personal that can treat severely ill patients.
What Are Cruise Lines Doing in the Meantime?
During this new round of delays, many cruise lines have expressed that they will be busy making necessary changes to accommodate the CDC’s new guidelines. The first round of departures for most cruise lines will be without paying customers. These departures are meant to be simulations that will test their response to COVID-19 related issues and to make sure that they have accomplished the goals that the CDC has laid down.
Contact Louis A. Vucci P.A.
COVID-19 has impacted several customer services and travel industries. It is understandable that many industries want to get back to what they do best, make money. Should profit come before public safety? At Louis A. Vucci P.A., we don’t think so. Both passengers and cruise line employees should feel safe and confident with their work and travel plans. When cruise lines forgo safety for profit, you may be entitled to compensation for any resulting injuries.
If you or a loved one has suffered harm linked to COVID-19 exposure on a cruise ship, contact the legal team at Louis A. Vucci P.A. for help. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal options, call (786) 375-0344 today.
September 2020 Cruise Ship News: Coronavirus Updates and More
Posted on Thursday, September 10th, 2020 at 8:27 pm
During the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, many places that encourage large gatherings or have limited space for social distancing remain temporarily closed for the public’s safety. Cruise ships remain one of the trigger locations for spreading coronavirus. The industry did not act quickly in halting voyages. In fact, many coronavirus cases, and even some virus-related deaths, were attributed to sailing on a cruise last Spring. If you believe medical negligence caused your coronavirus diagnosis or a loved one’s death from the viral infection, then the experienced team at Louis A. Vucci P.A. can help fight on your behalf. Call us today at (786) 375-0344 for your free consultation.
On March 14, 2020, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) posted a Warning – Level 3, Avoid Nonessential Travel. A No Sail Order was issued to start April 15, 2020, which suspended all cruise ship travel in the United States. The law applies to all vessels with a capacity over 250 passengers. On July 16, 2020, the CDC extended the No Sail Order a second time, which will remain in effect until September 30, 2020. As of right now, the U.S. cruise industry suspended all voyages until October 31, 2020.
There are a few noteworthy updates on where cruise ships and coronavirus stand in recent and coming weeks.
Cruise Ships and Coronavirus Updates
In recent global news, certain cruise lines have started sailing again in other parts of the world. According to CNN, MSC Cruises’ first post-COVID voyage set sail on August 16 from the Genoa port in Italy. While the cruise line would not share the exact number of the amount sailing, it did report the trip operated at 60% capacity. At full capacity, the vessel holds 6,300 passengers. The MSC Grandiosa set sail on its second cruise on August 23. Both cruises included stops and day trips at Mediterranean ports.
Several smaller cruise lines restarted trips across Europe this summer. In early August, the Norwegian cruise ship MS Roald Amundsen made major headlines as multiple crew members and guests tested positive for COVID-19. A total of 71 people, both passengers and guests, ended up testing positive. Several became severely ill and it was announced on August 28 one passenger died from the viral infection.
Here in the U.S. cruise ships might not be sailing, but many crew members are still stuck in U.S. waters. After the implementation of the No Sail Order, many cruise crew members remained on-board. Almost five months later, the U.S. Coast Guard reported to USA Today they were tracking 57 cruise ships in U.S. waters that held approximately 12,084 crew members.
Post-Coronavirus Cruise Ship Procedures
Now that cruise ships have started sailing again many are wondering what new precautions the industry is taking to protect crew and guests against coronavirus.
As the first ‘big’ ship to sail since April, for better or worse, MSC Grandiosa has set the new and current standard.
Here are a few new safety precautions the company is taking on their cruises:
- Test every crew member for COVID-19 prior to boarding and several times during their contract.
- Test every guest for COVID-19 prior to boarding.
- Anyone that tests positive is denied boarding, as will the entire party they are traveling with.
- Enhanced sanitation methods that include using hospital-grade disinfectant and UV-C light technology.
- Operate at a maximum of 70% capacity to ensure social distancing is possible on the ship.
- Temperature checks of guests and crews prior to boarding the vessel.
These are just a few of the many new procedures the cruise line is now enforcing.
Current U.S. and Global Coronavirus Statistics
As of August 28th, the CDC reported the following coronavirus numbers in the U.S.:
- 5,845,876 confirmed cases
- 180,165 deaths
- California has the highest total cases at 683,529
- Florida has the second-highest total cases at 605,342
On a global scale, the WHO reported the following worldwide coronavirus numbers as of August 28th:
- 24,299,923 confirmed cases
- 827,730 deaths
- America has the highest confirmed cases count of any country
- Brazil has the second-highest at 3,717,156 confirmed cases
Tips for Protection Against Coronavirus
The CDC recommends the following steps to protect yourself against coronavirus:
- Wash hands frequently for at least 20 seconds with soap and water.
- Use a sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol when handwashing is not an option.
- Avoid touching your face, especially your nose, eyes, and mouth, with unclean hands.
- Maintain six feet (approximately two arms’ lengths) distance from people who are not part of your household.
- For those over 2 years old or who do not have breathing problems, wear a face covering when in public settings, especially when social distancing is not possible.
For more recommendations and steps on how to protect against coronavirus, visit the CDC’s website.
How an Experienced Medical Negligence Attorney Can Help
Any sickness is hard to deal with, but in some cases, COVID-19 symptoms prove to be extremely difficult to overcome. In several cases the illness lasts for weeks, making it hard to focus on anything but getting better. Or, if you lost a loved one the sudden loss is unbelievable tragic and requires time to grieve. A medical negligence attorney who understands the ins and outs of the law can fight on your behalf while you focus on recovering or mourning the loss of a loved one.
Why Choose Louis A. Vucci P.A.?
Our experienced team not only has years of experience handling medical negligence claims for people who’ve become injured or ill on cruise ships, but we will fight aggressively on your behalf both in and out of the courtroom.
We understand during these difficult times financial issues are at an all-time high. Therefore, we operate on a contingency basis. We only collect a fee if we win your case, and we do not require money up-front.
Don’t Waste Time – Get Started Today!
If you, or your loved one, are suffering due to medical negligence caused by a coronavirus diagnosis following a cruise, then you might be entitled to compensation. At Louis A. Vucci P.A., we can answer all your case-specific questions in our free consultations. Call us today at (786) 375-0344, or simply reply in our online chat message to get started.
Cruise Industry Still on Hold as No Sail Order Extended Again
Posted on Wednesday, July 29th, 2020 at 9:25 pm
Considered a nonessential travel method that should be avoided during the COVID-19 pandemic, cruise ships have been sitting idle since the middle of March, and there is no definite date in place for when they will be able to sail again.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) put a No Sail Order in place on March 14, 2020, for all cruise ships that operate in U.S. waters and carry over 250 passengers and crew. The CDC also put cruise ships under a Level 3 travel health notice because of an increased risk for person-to-person spread of the coronavirus among passengers. The No Sail Order was extended on April 15, and a second extension was announced on July 16, 2020. The order will remain in effect until one of the following events occur:
- The CDC rescinds or modifies the order, or
- COVID-19 is no longer a public health emergency, as declared by the Secretary of Health and Human, or
- September 30, 2020
How Cruise Lines Are Handling the Crisis
On March 13, 2020, the cruise line industry’s largest trade association, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), announced a voluntary 30-day suspension of operations for all of its member cruise lines. The suspension was prolonged until July 24 and then again to September 15. Although the cruise industry is currently experiencing substantial financial losses, it is looking ahead with optimism. The CLIA website states, “Despite current challenges, the cruise community will emerge from this global crisis stronger and even better than before.”
Popular cruise lines like Carnival, Norwegian, and Royal Caribbean have posted special messages on their websites to address questions from travelers. The statements strive to rebuild trust by explaining that the organization’s first priority is safety, and it is working to implement whatever changes are necessary to meet the new demands.
Many cruise lovers live in the U.S., so cruise lines have devoted customers who will want to come back at their first opportunity. Policies for cancellation and postponement of reservations have been relaxed, and deep discounts are being offered to encourage people to plan ahead for returning to sea. However, passenger numbers may struggle to be restored to pre-pandemic levels. The cruise business profits by putting as many travelers as possible on one ship. Passengers interact in group activities, sit elbow-to-elbow in theatres, and eat meals or sunbathe within arms-reach of each other. The social atmosphere is the perfect place for viruses to circulate. Cruise ship companies are having to re-think their typical business model in order to promote their service and make customers feel safe.
New Protocols When Cruise Ships Sail Again
When cruising is once more a travel option, restarting operations will most likely happen in a gradual manner, as the virus will be at different stages in different areas. Health and safety will have to be made a priority to preserve the future of the industry. Planning is now in the works for new protocols to be in place when sailing resumes to protect passengers and crew from illness outbreaks onboard. New procedures under consideration include:
Since maintaining social distancing throughout the ship can go far in preventing the spread of disease, the number of passengers allowed on cruises will be reduced. With less capacity, the inside cabins could go unoccupied, and instead, rooms with windows or balconies could be filled up to allow passengers access to fresh air.
Boarding procedures and health screenings
Touch-free temperature scans will be required before boarding. Ship personnel may also decide to deny boarding to anyone with symptoms of illness. Crew procedures for embarkation will be touchless, and boarding times will be staggered to avoid close contact in lines as passengers take turns going through the boarding process.
Hand sanitizing stations will be located throughout ships, and in-depth disinfecting of all public areas repeated regularly. Certain sections of the ship may be closed periodically to allow for deep cleaning.
Cleaning supplies (disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer) and protective gear (masks and gloves) could be added amenities for each cabin. Extra bedding that can’t be washed easily, such as throw pillows and bedspreads, could be omitted. Disposable covers for high-touch items, such as television remote controls, is another possible hygiene precaution.
Requiring hand sanitizer use upon entering onboard restaurants is a measure that some cruise lines already had in place, but the crowd-pleasing self-service buffets may disappear altogether. Passengers may be assigned to tables in dining rooms and seated only with their traveling companions. Crowding could be reduced by spreading diners out with more venue options available, especially outdoors, or instituting multiple seating times. Room service could be encouraged by expanding the menu choices and hours of availability.
Future Considerations for Cruise Operators
Although relaxing some of the new protocols eventually will probably make sense, the stricter sanitation procedures should remain in place. With the cruise industry’s history of onboard virus outbreaks, such as norovirus, the augmented attention to cleanliness should be a welcome and permanent addition to its operations.
Competition has always been intense among cruise lines, and it will probably only increase while some travelers still rule out cruising as a vacation option. Sanitation policies will be added to the amenities that customers compare between ships, so companies should be racing to outdo each other in the area of onboard health.
Louis A. Vucci P.A. Is Here for You
Has your life been impacted by the detrimental event of contracting COVID-19 as a guest or crew member on a cruise? You may have a personal injury claim that Louis A. Vucci P.A. can help you with. Our skilled medical negligence attorneys can determine if your illness was caused by the cruise line’s failure to act responsibly, and you could be entitled to financial compensation. To find out how you may be able to pursue legal action after your COVID-19 diagnosis, just call us at (786) 375-0344 or fill out this contact form. Let’s get started today.
How Are Cruise Lines Navigating the Coronavirus Pandemic?
Posted on Tuesday, July 7th, 2020 at 9:54 pm
The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound effect on the cruise industry. The global outbreak has caused major problems for hospitality and travel in general, but the nature of the cruise industry, in particular, presents unique issues, including forcing potentially infected passengers to spend weeks in close proximity to one another, with limited medical care.
Under these new circumstances, cruise lines are often unable to guarantee the safety of their customers. The result has been a cessation of operations and employees stranded on ships, waiting to be repatriated to their home countries. Some companies have been sued for their alleged inadequate response to the crisis.
Problems Faced by Cruise Lines
The primary issue that cruise companies must deal with during the pandemic is providing a clean and sanitized environment. Thousands of people must live together in close quarters for weeks, eating, drinking, and socializing in close proximity, and touching surfaces that may be contaminated. While evidence suggests that COVID-19 is not spread through food, its ability to spread through HVAC systems is unclear. Also at issue is the ability of a cruise ship to spread contagion to other cities worldwide, as the ship makes stops for tours and excursions.
Frequent cruise ship passengers tend to be older, above 65 years of age. This age group is at a higher risk than the general population of suffering severe effects or death from the COVID-19 virus, and their medical needs are more extensive.
Health care on cruise ships is very limited. Even a large ship may only have a couple of doctors and a few nurses on board. A small medical staff such as this can be incredibly inadequate to deal with a major disease outbreak among the passengers. Ships must have medical staff on-call 24 hours a day, but this could mean that the limited staff becomes overworked during a viral outbreak.
How Can Cruise Lines Protect Their Passengers and Crew?
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control provides federal guidelines for cruise ships in the form of the Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP). While these rules primarily address gastrointestinal and not respiratory illnesses, some of the recommendations overlap with CDC advice for the prevention of COVID-19 infection. A Carnival spokesperson has noted that the company has implemented protocols including monitoring guests for fever as well as additional procedures for cleaning and sanitation.
In response to the pandemic, the CDC announced an industry-wide No-Sail Order on March 14. The order remains in effect until July 24, or until the CDC director decides to rescind or modify the order, or the Secretary of Health and Human Services declares that COVID-19 is no longer a public health emergency. The order applies to all commercial passenger ships that carry more than 250 guests and where an overnight stay is anticipated.
Current Cruise-Related Lawsuits
It can be difficult to sue cruise companies, as they enjoy a number of protections, and are often not U.S. companies and not subject to many safety regulations that would normally protect customers and employees. Still, many cruise lines are facing lawsuits related to their response to the crisis:
- Carnival Cruise Lines has been sued by more than 60 passengers for failing to protect them from COVID-19. The lawsuit alleges that Carnival failed to sanitize the Grand Princess ship between voyages and didn’t screen new passengers for the disease.
- Costa Cruises has been sued in federal court by passengers of the Costa Luminosa vessel, alleging the company acted negligently in response to an outbreak on the ship. Three passengers on that voyage have died from COVID-19 so far.
- Royal Caribbean is facing a wrongful death suit after two crew members were airlifted off the Oasis of the Seas vessel, and a 27-year-old member of the Celebrity Infinity crew died from the virus.
- Holland America has been hit with a lawsuit after an outbreak of COVID-19 on their MS Zaandam vessel in March. The ship set sail from Buenos Aires on March 7 and stopped in Montevideo, Uruguay, and the Falkland Islands before the trip was canceled a week later.
Each cruise line has made their own decision as to when to resume sailing:
- Carnival plans to deny boarding to all guests age 70 or older unless they have a letter of fitness from their physician. Carnival cruises in North America are suspended through September 30, except for Carnival Legend, suspended through October 30, and Carnival Radiance, canceled through November 2. They will suspend their Australian cruises through August 31.
- Costa Cruises has suspended all cruises through August 15, and their Northern Europe cruises through the remainder of the summer season.
- Holland America is suspending global operations of its fleet through Fall 2020.
- Norwegian Cruise Line has suspended operations through September 30, and intends to resume sailing on October 1.
- Royal Caribbean has canceled its sailings until September 16, except for voyages to China, which they hope to resume in August.
Start dates will depend greatly on the progress of the outbreak at the time and whether there is a second wave of the virus in the fall.
What Cruise Passengers Should Expect in The Future
Guests should expect additional safety measures, such as pre-boarding health screenings, periodic temperature checks, and the suspension of buffets. Companies are expected to enhance their sterilization procedures and monitor public spaces, closing them early each day for deep cleaning. Ship crews will be trained in new procedures to combat outbreaks, and ships may expand their medical facilities and add new medical staff. Shore excursions will adopt protocols for the requirements of each port.
Global cruise lines represent a $45 billion industry, serving more than 20 million passengers a year. The cruise companies continue to make changes to make their vessels safer for the public, but there is much work to be done. Until there is a vaccine in place, cruise lines will remain in a frustrating state of limbo, and may continue to face litigative hurdles.
Contact a Cruise Ship Injury Attorney Today
Cruise lines are often international companies that are not subject to U.S. safety regulations, making cruise line legal cases particularly complex. However, the cruise line attorneys at Louis A. Vucci P.A. are highly experienced in this area of law. We have the skills and resources needed to uphold your rights and secure the full and fair compensation you need.
If you’ve suffered from COVID-19 or if you have lost a loved one to COVID-19 as a result of traveling on a cruise ship, don’t hesitate to contact our attorneys at (786) 375-0344 to schedule a free consultation. We’ll fight for the justice you deserve.
Coronavirus, Cruise Ships, and Your Legal Rights
Posted on Friday, May 1st, 2020 at 3:52 pm
What was supposed to be a one- to two-week cruise for sun, fun, and a little R&R has turned into an extended nightmare for many people who embarked on a cruise recently. Ships are the perfect environment to foster the spread of infection, and the recent coronavirus outbreak has proven that fact.
It is hard to keep tabs on the number of people who have contracted coronavirus while on a cruise because the numbers just keep going up. What is not hard to track, however, are the ways that cruise line companies are trying to dodge their responsibility when it comes to compensating passengers who contracted the disease while aboard one of these ships.
Louis A. Vucci P.A. breaks down why it can be difficult to hold cruise lines accountable and what you can do about it.
Why Is Suing a Cruise Line So Difficult?
It can be very difficult for passengers of cruise liners to protect their legal rights when something goes amiss aboard a ship. Why is that? Unfortunately, many cruise lines have legal protections because they are not, in fact, U.S. companies. These companies are incorporated in foreign countries, which means they are not bound by U.S. employment standards, Occupational Safety and Health Act regulations, and other food and safety regulations.
The rules that have been put in place to protect Americans at work, on the roads, or at businesses, simply don’t apply to cruise lines. This isn’t just a niche problem that applies to small-time cruise lines either. News reports highlight the fact that Carnival is incorporated in Panama, Royal Caribbean is incorporated in Liberia, and Norwegian Cruise Lines is incorporated in Bermuda.
Major cruise lines have skirted U.S. laws and regulations by incorporating outside of U.S. jurisdiction, and that makes it more difficult for Americans who have suffered at their hands to seek justice.
What Can be Done to Help Cruise Line Passengers?
While being incorporated outside of the U.S. makes things more difficult and complicated for passengers and their attorneys, there are still ways to hold them accountable. It’s possible to recover damages by arguing to a judge that the cruise line in question knew their actions were “unreasonable under the circumstances.”
Cruise lines may have been negligent by ignoring the mounting evidence about the dangers the coronavirus pandemic posed to the public and failing to adequately warn their passengers and take steps to protect them.
There are even some maritime laws that could come into play like the Death on the High Seas Act. While it is an extraordinarily old law, attorneys are using every resource available to them to help passengers impacted by the coronavirus while out at sea. It may seem like an uphill battle, but it is a battle worth fighting.
Contact a Coronavirus Cruise Ship Lawyer Today
Louis A. Vucci P.A. is committed to helping people impacted by the coronavirus protect their legal rights from massive cruise line companies more interested in profits than people. While this virus may have changed the nature of how we work, it hasn’t changed how hard we work. We are here to fight for your rights and give you legal advice about all our options.
Contact Louis A. Vucci P.A. at (786) 375-0344 for a free consultation or fill out this form online. You may be eligible to recover compensation if you contracted coronavirus while aboard a cruise line.
Help for Coronavirus Cruise Ship Passengers
Posted on Thursday, April 16th, 2020 at 6:37 pm
Louis A. Vucci P.A. is here to help those who have been affected by the coronavirus while aboard a cruise ship. Many ships have spent weeks at sea, unable to dock, and as cases have proliferated onboard, many cruise ship passengers have become seriously ill or died as a result of the virus. We know that many passengers impacted by the coronavirus are struggling to understand their legal rights.
If you were affected by the coronavirus while aboard a cruise ship, you may be entitled to compensation. We are available to review your case and can help you decide if filing a lawsuit is right for you. You can rest assured that at Louis A. Vucci P.A., we are continuing to work hard on our cases while practicing social distancing to minimize the spread of the virus.
If you are a current client, please use email as your primary method of contacting us. If you are a prospective client who has been impacted by coronavirus on a cruise ship, please fill out this form so that we can set up a 100% free consultation either via phone or email.
What Is the Coronavirus?
Coronavirus is a viral infection that emerged in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. Since then, it has spread across the world. As of April 14th, 2020, nearly 2 million people have tested positive, and over 120,000 have died, according to estimates by the World Health Organization.
The most common symptoms of coronavirus usually develop two to fourteen days after exposure to the virus. These symptoms are:
- Shortness of breath
More severe symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Chest pain/pressure
- Blue tint to lips/face
If you experience coronavirus symptoms, it’s important to contact your physician right away, and always call in advance before going to a medical facility.
Coronavirus on Cruise Ships
Coronavirus spreads very easily, and cruise ships have become viral hotbeds due to the large number of people in close proximity to each other. In February and March of 2020, dozens of cruise ships began to report suspected and confirmed cases of coronavirus among their passengers and crew. Many countries were hesitant to let these ships dock at their ports due to fear of the virus spreading, resulting in confusion and delayed responses.
Cruise ship company responses to the coronavirus raise many legal issues. While it is notoriously difficult to prevent the coronavirus from spreading, there are steps that cruise ship operators could have taken early on to diminish or prevent the spread of infection. Cruise ships have a duty to take reasonable steps to protect their passengers from harm. There is evidence that several cruise ship operators were slow to respond to outbreaks by continuing to sail during the outbreak and not implementing social distancing measures.
Contact A Coronavirus Cruise Ship Lawyer
At Louis A. Vucci P.A., we understand the impact that the coronavirus has had on cruise ship passengers who were aboard during coronavirus outbreaks. We are working tirelessly to continue to fight for our clients, and are exploring new and innovative ways to stay in contact with our clients during these difficult times.
As of April 12th, 2020, thousands of passengers remain stuck at sea aboard cruise ships. If you were or are currently aboard a cruise ship during the coronavirus pandemic, contact Louis A. Vucci P.A. today by filling out this form to set up a free consultation to talk about your options. You may be eligible for compensation.
Coronavirus and Cruises
Posted on Wednesday, March 4th, 2020 at 4:48 am
A cruise should be one of the most relaxing ways that you and your family can vacation. Every cruise line bills their cruise experience as a refreshing one – with exciting excursions, onboard entertainment, and an endless supply of tropical beverages.
According to the Cruise Line International Association, more than 32 million passengers are expected to board in 2020. While millions have booked their deposits and counted down the days on their calendars, cruises in 2020 aren’t as fun as they might seem.
The coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, is a rapidly evolving virus causing respiratory disease and, in extreme cases, death. While the first case appeared in Wuhan City, China, the virus is spreading across the world, with cases popping up even in the United States. On January 31, the Health and Human Services Department declared the virus a public health emergency.
The CDC has confirmed that the virus appears to be spread person-to-person. That means that any location where people from across the world cross paths, such as airports or cruise ships, is going to be extremely dangerous for the general public.
Unfortunately for cruise-goers, the highly contagious virus has already affected numerous cruise lines. With people from all over the globe gathered in one enclosure, touching every guardrail, coughing in closed rooms, and shaking hands with every stranger – it’s no wonder cruise ships are a hotbed for spreading disease.
Affected Cruise Ships
On February 14, Carnival Corporation, one of the most massive cruise lines in the world, docked its Westerdam ship in Cambodia to the relief of many. The cruise ship had been denied entry to multiple ports after concerns of the virus spreading. They finally were allowed port in Cambodia, and the cruise-goers seemed to feel as if all was in the clear.
However, just two days later, an American passenger tested positive for the coronavirus. Who knows how many others came into contact with the American while on the ship? And now, all of those passengers are dispersed across Asia, heading to various airports in an attempt to get home.
Carnival is in even hotter water for another ship currently affected by the coronavirus. The Princess Diamond, a luxury cruise ship parked outside Yokohama, Japan, has been quarantined for two weeks. Thousands of people, both sick and not sick, have been stuck in their rooms, receiving meals by mask-wearing cruise employees. There are more than 540 confirmed cases aboard the ship, and quarantining the infected with all of the other passengers leaves room for hundreds of more passengers to be potentially infected.
One lawyer, an expert in global health law, has suggested that the quarantine has turned the ship into a “boiling pot of transmission.” Many other health experts question the measures that Carnival is currently taking.
The fear of spreading the coronavirus has led to many situations like these popping up over the last few months. In Italy, 6,000 passengers are currently being quarantined on their cruise ship even after preliminary tests show that there is no confirmation of the virus. One couple in question had recently been in Hong Kong, and the cruise line worried that allowing anyone off the ship could further spread infection.
What Should You Do?
Before you ever board a cruise ship, it’s important to call your healthcare insurance and see what kind of coverage you have for offshore medical occurrences. If you’re not covered, it might be a good idea to purchase travel insurance in the unfortunate case of needing medical assistance in a foreign country.
It’s also good to take a look at the medical accommodations provided by the cruise line. All cruise ships are required to have at least one medical professional on board. American-docking cruises have even stricter guidelines, demanding that the ship also provide an examination room, an intensive care room, and lab processing equipment.
It’s important to note that while the ships are required to have a doctor on board, they won’t usually have a specialist, nor will they likely have someone prepared to deal with something as medically intense as the coronavirus.
Another essential step to take pre-boarding is to look up the cruise ship with the VSP. The VSP, or the Vessel Sanitation Program, is run by the CDC and inspects ships for infection outbreaks. They then rank the ships from 1-100 for sanitation safety. Anything under a score of 85 is not recommended. The VSP also requires that ships report any outbreaks 24 hours before docking in an American port.
Once on the ship, it’s important that you do everything you can to keep yourself from getting sick. Because of the number of people that touch everything inside the ship, it’s crucial that you wash your hands frequently. If you notice someone who appears to be ill, alert a staff member immediately and go back to your room until the possibly infected area has been properly sanitized.
Were You Hurt or Did You Become Ill on a Cruise?
Cruise lines have a legal and moral imperative to ensure that they are keeping their passengers safe from contracting illnesses while onboard. Especially in light of the coronavirus, cruise ships should be taking all precautionary measures possible.
The big cruise lines make billions of dollars a year, and the least they can do is ensure the safety of their passengers.
If you or someone you love has become ill on a cruise ship due to the negligence of a cruise line, call us today at (786) 375-0344, and we can help you recover your losses. You could be entitled to damages to cover medical bills, loss of wages, emotional distress, and more.
At Louis A. Vucci P.A., we have been helping individuals go up against big corporations since 1997. We know that legal costs can seem daunting, which is why we represent clients on a contingency-fee-basis. That means that we won’t charge you a dime until we get you a full and fair settlement.
Call us now at (786) 375-0344 to schedule your free initial evaluation.