Cruise Ship News: COVID-19 updates, Crew member illness concerns, the future of the cruise industry

Posted on Tuesday, June 9th, 2020 at 3:02 am    

Hope for Norwegian Cruise Lines Amid the Pandemic

Four months after the first reported case of Covid-19 in the United States, the economy started to reopen. Businesses suffered greatly during this pandemic, and some ended up having to close their doors permanently. With so much uncertainty looming, Norwegian Cruise Line can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Its parent company, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, issued a statement that they received financing that could potentially last for a whole year. If they can’t resume business any time soon, they’re not worried about their financial standing. The bailout gives them a cushion of funds that will ensure their survival until they can resume normal business operations.

This ray of hope came just after the popular cruise company notified investors of their money troubles. After filing the report, shares of NCLH stock plummeted 20% and continued to fall throughout the day. Norwegian withdrew $1.55 billion early on in the pandemic, causing their credit rating to drop and making it tougher to find new funding. Fortunately, NCLH was able to gather enough cash to last well beyond the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s no-sail order.

Crew Members Suffer from Coronavirus Outbreak

Approximately 2,500 staff members aboard the MS Norwegian Epic still can’t leave due to Covid-19. At first, funny posts on social media platforms seemed to brighten the crew’s mood during a traumatic situation. Now, weeks later, Norwegian Cruise Line is prohibiting their employees from sharing any information about the ship’s condition with the public.

Leaked audio obtained from Business Insider uncovered an announcement made by the cruise ship’s leadership team. They said any written, verbal, photographic, or video material detailing what’s happening on board without the company’s permission is a violation of their policy and could result in legal action.

This outrageous threat came just weeks after the cruise line had to halt operations and keep their employees quarantined to prevent further spread of the virus. Everyone still has access to their phones and can communicate with friends and family. Yet, if they post to social media without expressed permission from Norwegian Cruise Line, they could face prosecution by shoreside authorities. The warning is just another unpleasant circumstance following pay cuts, contract terminations, and fatalities.

CDC Issues Requirements for Disembarking Crew Members

Around 80,000 crew members working on 120 different haven’t been able to find their way home because of the outbreak. With the CDC recommending self-isolation for anyone experiencing coronavirus symptoms, operations halted, and employees ended up staying out at sea for weeks or months.

Now that things are calming down and there are various plans in place, cruise lines like Royal Caribbean started to disembark its crew and help them get home safely. However, the CDC is requesting that all staff entering through U.S. ports take private transportation home. Many companies complained that it’s too expensive to arrange private transportation for all their employees, halting disembarking efforts.

Crew operators and the CDC continue to be in limbo regarding foreign crew members and how to send them back to their families. Without the option of public transportation, the task of flying them back home has been a challenge. Although some companies were willing to comply with the CDC’s requests, others are now at a standstill and trying to agree on how to disembark the remaining workers safely.

Death Tolls Rise Among Cruise Ship Employees

The harsh reality of the situation is that the outcome is out of their control. Staff stuck on various cruise ships are sleep-deprived and stressed. Everyone is on edge because of the unknown. They don’t know how long they’ll be on the ship and how long it will take to get home. Those infected with the virus don’t know if they’ll survive. Others worry if they catch Covid-19, it could extend their time aboard because of the required self-isolation.

Some deaths raised questions about the effects of quarantining on a person’s mental state. An employee aboard the Regal Princess in the port of Rotterdam jumped off the ship and died. In a separate incident, a crew member from Jewel of the Seas went overboard. Deaths like these are traumatic. A former guest manager from Norwegian Cruise Line said she received Facebook messages from some workers saying they were suicidal.

Many people on these ships had to self-isolate in their small cabins for two weeks and spend even longer isolated from their families and friends. That can lead to stress, loneliness, and depression. Additionally, some felt momentary relief thinking they could finally go home only to find out their flights got canceled. The emotional highs and lows are starting to impact everyone.

The Future of Cruises

There still isn’t a definitive date for when cruise lines can resume normal operations. With so many people continuing to quarantine aboard the ships and no plans for getting them all to their home countries, there’s no way of knowing when the companies will start offering cruise services again.

Some planned on reopening by now, but the CDC keeps extending the shutdown. Cruise lines like Royal Caribbean say they want to get back on the water by June 12. Others are shooting for reopening in July or August. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to predict precisely when cruise-goers can take their next trip. The coronavirus is in control of everyone’s schedules at this point. When the world returns to normal depends on how much longer this pandemic affects businesses and whether researchers can find a cure.

Contact Louis A. Vucci P.A. for a Free Consultation

If you contracted Covid-19 while working on a cruise ship, the experienced attorneys from Louis A. Vucci P.A. might be able to help you. You probably incurred expensive medical bills and without a source of income, worry about how you’re going to pay. If you got sick because of the cruise line’s negligence, you could file a lawsuit for financial compensation.

You deserve to seek justice against those responsible for your suffering. The attorneys from Louis A. Vucci P.A. will help you get through this devastating time in your life. You can count on us to be by your side from beginning to end of your case. To find out how we can help you pursue legal action after your diagnosis of Covid-19, call (786) 375-0344.

Fitness at Sea: A New Cruise Line’s Hope for Healthy Travel

Posted on Thursday, June 1st, 2017 at 5:57 pm    

Most major cruise lines are aware of a traveler’s need for wellness and activity during their vacation and offer a variety of accommodations like rock-climbing, on-board sports, and spas to cater to their health conscious customers. A new startup cruise ship, Blue World Voyages, is taking this trend a step farther by committing to providing a cruise experience completely centered around wellness and fitness. According to a new article from the Miami Herald, this new cruise ship would boast of a retractable pool that goes directly into the ocean, virtual reality baseball and golf, and farm-to-table food that comes from the very places the ship visits.

The startup cruise line is still in the process of obtaining necessary funds from investors and has already raised $15 million in investments and expects around $10 million more from crowdfunding efforts. Despite these efforts, certain cruise experts are skeptical of the ship’s success, noting that most major cruise lines already cater to the wellness wanderer and that the proposed fitness ship would be too niche to compete with these already well established ships. Whether the startup makes it off the ground or not is yet to be seen, but fitness lovers should keep an eye out to see if this innovative ship makes it on the market.

Contact Us

Although cruise ships are meant to offer fun and relaxation, sometimes even these nautical vacations can prove dangerous. Theft, assault, and accidents that result in injury are unfortunately common occurrences on cruise ships, and many victims do not get the help they need following such incidents. Louis A. Vucci P.A. believes that every victim should receive justice and compensation for the crimes committed against them. If you have any questions or would like to set up an appointment with a qualified Miami cruise ship injury attorney, please contact us at (786) 375-0344 today.

Norwegian Cruises Just Made Sailing a lot More Interesting

Posted on Thursday, April 20th, 2017 at 9:50 pm    

Cruise ships are known for their luxury accommodations, adventures, and exhilarating activities. From rock climbing and basketball courts to water slides and on-board surfing, cruise lines continue to compete and improve their amenities, adding more interesting and blood-pumping experiences every year. Norwegian Cruise Lines and Scuderia Ferrari have partnered together to introduce the newest experience vacation cruises have to offer, a two-floor racetrack that can accommodate up to ten electric go-karts at a time. This new addition changes the cruise-ship game and demonstrates the increasingly competitive quality of cruises, a definite plus for adventurers on vacation cruises.

This amenity is not the only new one the Norwegian Joy has to offer. The ship also contains such fantastic new technologies as hovercraft bumper cars, outdoor laser tag, revolutionary water slides, and much more. This expansive ship will set sail this June from Shanghai to Tianjin. Upgrading to more high-end rooms can yield passengers even more benefits on this luxurious cruise, like free usage of the monumental racetrack. Norwegian Joy is a revolution for cruise lines, and new and more extravagant cruise ships will undoubtedly crop up to compete with this novel pioneer.

Contact Us

Cruises are meant to be altogether fun, relaxing, memorable experiences for individuals and families of all ages. Unfortunately, some activities meant to be fun can result in serious injuries, in addition to other dangers on board. If you or a loved one has been injured or hurt from your stay on a cruise line, you may be entitled to compensation to make up for the physical, emotional, and financial losses you have endured. At Louis A. Vucci P.A., our qualified cruise ship injury legal team has years of experience with these cases and will fight for the full compensation you deserve. Please contact us at (786) 375-0344 today.

Dangers in Paradise: Couple Attacked on Carnival Cruise

Posted on Friday, March 3rd, 2017 at 12:28 am    

When people spend money on a cruise and take time off from their hectic lives, they reasonably expect to have a fun and relaxing time. They may lounge by the pool, attend a magic show, or go on late night food runs to a ship’s 24-hour buffet. Easy, light, and fun should all characterize a passenger’s experience on a cruise, but unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.

For example, in February 2016, a couple aboard a Carnival cruise ship was violently beaten and attacked in their own room by another passenger. Louis A. Vucci P.A. in Miami is representing the couple as they are now accusing Carnival Cruise Line of inadequate security and negligence. They add ship employees gave the attacker too much alcohol. Their harrowing experience demonstrates the hidden danger of cruise lines and the prevalence of attacks on-board.

If you go on a cruise, please have fun, but also be cautious and vigilant of potential dangers around you. Although such attacks should not occur and it is the responsibility of the cruise line to keep its passengers healthy and safe, these attacks still do unfortunately occur, as proven with the case above. If you or a loved one has been wrongfully injured or attacked on a cruise line, you may be entitled to compensation for your trauma because the cruise line failed in their responsibility of keeping you safe. If you have any questions or would like to set up an appointment with a qualified cruise attorney, please contact Louis A. Vucci P.A. at (786) 375-0344 today.

Holland America’s New Ship Is Where Traditional Meets Contemporary

Posted on Monday, February 27th, 2017 at 10:01 pm    

Koningsdam—Holland America Line’s newest and largest ship—has a decidedly modern feel without sacrificing traditional cruise ship luxuries. Form follows function, so the Koningsdam succeeds in blending both familiar and fresh aesthetic aspects to create a luxurious experience.

Koningsdam differs from Holland America Line’s previous ships because it is light and spacious; pale woods and bright spaces of Koningsdam’s interior replace dark woods of earlier ships. Other changes include a lighter color scheme for towels, as well as a transition from oil paintings to black-and-white photographs. The addition of curved ribs to the ship reflects an appreciation for musical themes, a central aspect of Koningsdam’s appeal.

The ship also does not fall short on entertainment. Classical musicians of the Lincoln Center soothe, while Memphis-trained singers featured in the B.B. King Blues Club delight passengers. LED screens 2 stories high and 250 feet long ensure nobody misses the incredible live song-and-dance production.

Dining establishments complement the elegant design and spectacular entertainment of the Koningsdam. Upon request, passengers receive private bottles of quality wine from Chateau Ste. Michelle vineyards, Cold Creek, and Canoe Ridge Estate. Hands-on classes and demonstrations contribute to the urban feel of the ship. The Culinary Art Center presents five-course meals and unlimited wine. Between the amazing dining experience, incredible live entertainment, and intricate design of Koningsdam, the ship guarantees a comfortable and sophisticated ambiance to the satisfaction of its passengers.

Louis A. Vucci P.A. understands that you go on a cruise to have a carefree and relaxing break. However, accidents can still happen on vacation, and occasionally the cruise ship company’s negligence makes accidents more likely. If you sustained an injury because of a cruise company’s irresponsibility, call our offices at (786) 375-0344 for the compensation you deserve.

Regent’s Explorer allows guests to cruise in style

Posted on Friday, February 3rd, 2017 at 7:37 pm    

A new addition to the fleet of Regent Seven Seas Cruises is the Seven Seas Explorer, a massive and beautiful luxury cruise ship.

The Explorer features six restaurants, offering a variety of creative entrees, and one café. On the different decks you can find a pool, two hot tubs, putting greens, a bocce court, jogging track, and theater that performs nightly shows, a lounge that features music, a small casino, a well-stocked library, a cardroom, and of course, shuffleboards. Canyon Ranch Spa offers a variety of relaxing treatments including scrubs, wraps, baths, and massages. Also featured at the spa are a thermal suite with a sauna, as well as steam and cold rooms. Suites on the ship are spacious and many include balconies, bath tubs, showers, and walk-in closets. The overall ambiance of the ship is elegant and cool with a very spacious feel. With a crew member for every 1.4 guests, it is easy to get the attention you need.

Unfortunately, luxurious amenities are not the case for all cruise ships. When the number of crew members is low and guest needs are not attended to, incidents are more likely to occur and injuries can happen. If you are injured on a cruise ship, contact Louis A. Vucci P.A. at (786) 375-0344. Our team is ready to help you get the money you deserve.

Carnival Corp. caught polluting oceans; fined $40M

Posted on Saturday, December 10th, 2016 at 4:46 pm    

The United States government slapped a $40 million fine against Miami, Florida-based Carnival Corp.’s Princess Cruises for polluting the water.

According to the U.S. government, the Princess Cruises used a “magic pipe” to dump dirty water into the ocean off the coast of England in 2013. Investigators claim this instance of discharge is one among several wherein the ship dumped dirty water into the Atlantic, including off the shores of U.S. ports from Texas to South Florida and along the Eastern Seaboard in 2012 and 2013.

Cruises are among the favorite vacation plans of Americans because they are engaging, affordable and comprehensive. However, there are instances when one can become seriously injured during a cruise, which is a dangerous case because it can take hours before medical help can be obtained. Seek the legal assistance of our attorneys at Louis A. Vucci P.A. by calling our offices today at (786) 375-0344 if you sustain a cruise ship injury. We can help you receive compensation for the negligent actions of others.

Court of Appeals finds for plaintiffs in norovirus lawsuit against cruise line

Posted on Friday, October 14th, 2016 at 5:23 pm    

In the case of Swift & others v. Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, the defendant made an appeal regarding the court’s decision, which favored 16 claimants who alleged that Fred Olsen Cruise Lines did not perform their proper level of care. In particular, they say they failed meet provisions set forth under the Athens Convention of 1974, thus causing them to contract norovirus.

The judge asked whether the failure to implement the outbreak and control plan caused the passengers to contract the norovirus. In dismissing the cruise operator’s appeal, the Court of Appeals ruled that the judge that handled the case did so in an unbiased manner.

If you have sustained injury and incurred losses because of a personal injury accident that happened aboard a cruise ship, our attorneys at Louis A. Vucci P.A. can help you file the appropriate lawsuit. Call our offices today at (786) 375-0344 to see how we can hold negligent people responsible for your plight.

Carnival wants to oust lawyer after Facebook comments

Posted on Monday, June 6th, 2016 at 5:04 pm    

Miami-based Carnival Corp. demanded the removal of Attorney David Singer from a personal injury lawsuit in the southern Florida district court. Carnival claims that Singer posted comments on Facebook to warn passengers of the “outrageously high temperatures” on the Carnival Sunshine ship, and that he published private information regarding a mediation session between his client and Carnival.

Carnival said that Singer’s “wildly improper” statements violate the federal court’s local rule on extrajudicial statements, and that the publishing private communications from the mediation directly violates a court order. A Carnival representative noted, “This court specifically ordered that ‘all discussions, representations, and statements made at the mediation conference shall be confidential and privileged’ and that ‘the court may impose sanctions against parties and/or counsel…who otherwise violate the terms of this order.”

An injury incurred on a cruise can be dangerous, especially if the injured person must wait for hours before a physician can attend to the issue. Louis A. Vucci P.A. can be counted on to handle cases of individuals injured on cruise ships. Call our offices at (786) 375-0344 to learn more.

Crystal Cruises to open Miami office by early 2017

Posted on Friday, March 25th, 2016 at 9:41 pm    

Century City, California-based Crystal Cruises will be opening a Miami, Florida office in early 2017 by occupying a 40,000-square-foot space at the Shrine building in downtown Miami, while keeping its Los Angeles offices.

Crystal president and chief executive officer, Edie Rodriguez, stated the company has been operating in a temporary rental space in Miami since last year with 50 employees, but noted that their operations have now grown too large for the space. Crystal’s new site is owned by their parent company, Genting Hong Kong, which is part of the Genting Group, a Malaysian conglomerate.

The Genting Group purchased the downtown Miami site in 2011 – which housed The Miami Herald back then – and bought nearby property, including the Omni Mall. Genting owns 28% of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and is a partner in Universal Studios in Singapore.

We at Louis A. Vucci P.A. effectively handle a wide range of cases pertaining to cruise ship injuries and accidents. Should such an instance happen to you and you would like to gain formal legal representation to file a case against the responsible parties, call our offices today at (786) 375-0344.