Articles Tagged with cruise

The Celebrity Solstice ship has reportedly been dealing with a series of Norovirus outbreaks, according to reports dos-screen-virus-warning-1243783-300x225and a recent passenger’s statement. The passenger stated that he and his wife had been informed of the prior outbreak of the gastrointestinal virus after their ship left the Sydney port for Auckland. The passenger claims that it was not until the ship left Melbourne that the captain announced to passengers that an earlier cruise had an outbreak of the Norovirus, and informed guests to take extra sanitary precautions such as extensive hand washing and using hand sanitizer.

In a statement, Celebrity Cruises reportedly confirmed cases of the illness in passengers and crew, and claimed that it had sent a text message about the outbreak in informing passengers that it would need additional time to clean the ship.

Norovirus can be transmitted through infected food or water, by personal contact, or with contact with a surface that has been contaminated.

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You take your family on a cruise featuring a huge Olympic-sized swimming pool on deck. Your kids are excited to get a chance to enjoy the water while on the ship. However, when you arrive at the pool you notice something quite troubling – no lifeguards. For our team of cruise ship injury lawyers, not having a lifeguard on duty is simply unacceptable and extremely dangerous.

As of the date of this posting, only Disney requires lifeguards to be on duty at swimming pools onboard cruise ships. You read that correctly – out of all the various cruise lines (e.g., Carnival, Viking, Winstar, etc.) only one liner requires on-duty lifeguards. The other cruise lines appear to have decided that since lifeguards are not legally required, they do not want to invest in this important safety precaution.

There does not appear to be any other legitimate reason for not having at least one lifeguard on duty at swimming pools on cruise ships, especially with so many ships being occupied by families with young children able to access the pools. The cruise ship industry has grown precipitously with mega cruise ships featuring massive pools utilized by hundreds of passengers. These cruise liners must understand that a drowning can occur in the blink of an eye. In fact, in many instances, a drowning situation may not even be recognized by a passenger until it is too late.

Carnival Cruise Line has ordered “mega cruise ships” that will hold about 7,000 passengers each, making them essentially floating cities. Obviously, this means bigger profits for Carnival, as bigger ships will mean more passengers and more ticket sales. But is bigger going to mean better and safer? Probably not. Our team of experienced Miami maritime injury attorneys have handled serious cruise ship injury cases and, in many instances, the focus for the cruise line is to pack as many people on board, regardless of potential safety hazards.

Some maritime experts are getting worried about the security issues associated with putting so many people on a ship at the same time and going for extended voyages at sea. This can pose problems for smaller ports which do not have the infrastructure to handle potentially thousands of people at the same time, especially when it comes to providing emergency services. In fact, mega cruises can practically double a small port’s population in a matter of minutes by dumping an entire “city” full of passengers and creating havoc. In addition, the bigger cruise ships will, by having more number of people on board, increase the danger of outbreak of diseases like the norovirus (which recently occurred on two Royal Caribbean cruise ships in 2015). These mega ships are likely going to be magnets for criminals and thieves looking to steal purses, wallets, and other valuables.

A legislative proposal by U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Ed Markey named the Cruise Passenger Protection Act of 2015 (CPPA) will make it mandatory for cruise liners to have built-in state-of-the-art security technologies such as man-overboard detection systems and other relevant security systems. The proposed law would also provide for security measures for passengers who have been victims of crimes at sea. The CPPA is just a proposal at this point working its way through Congress. This means, as of now, the level of security on a cruise ship is dependent upon the discretion of the cruise line.

Cruise ships are not always about welcome drinks, sundecks, and romantic dinners under the moonlit night. There are, unfortunately, many serious crimes that can occur on board a cruise ship, no matter how secure you think you may be. Petty thefts, serious assaults, battery, and even rapes have been reported on cruise ships. In fact, over 950 cruise ship crimes were reported to the FBI between 2011 and 2012, and those are only the crimes that the FBI is aware of. Unfortunately, many crimes, especially sexual assaults, go unreported. Our team of Miami maritime lawyers are here to help and have handled many cases for victims of serious criminal acts while on board a cruise ship or other vessel.

Get Treatment, if Needed

If you or a loved one are the victim of a physical assault or rape by a fellow passenger or crew member, seek immediate medical attention. Cruise ships should have trained medical professionals on board to provide treatment. Be sure, once you return to land, to get copies of the medical records so you can provide them to the authorities and to your attorney. This will help established that the incident occurred if a claim is pursued against the cruise liner and/or an employee of the liner.

Cruise ship accidents can happen anytime, anywhere, without any prior warning whatsoever. Take, for example, the recent incident involving the Royal Winner Princess II party cruise ship, which hit the Carolina Beach Wildlife Fishing Pier on July 11, 2015 injuring 15 passengers on board. At least two passengers had to be taken off in stretchers under emergency circumstances with neck braces. In spite of all the modern scientific technological advancements, human error accounts for more than eighty percent of cruise ship accidents, according to official reports from the U.S. Coast Guard. Loss of concentration often results in overlooking submerged obstacles lying ahead, like rocks or icebergs, and panicked manoeuvring the huge vessel at the last moment often proves fatal and overturns the ship altogether – injuring passengers on board. As experienced maritime lawyers, we want our readers to understand and be prepared for a serious cruise ship incident.

Important Steps Any Cruise Ship Accident Victim Needs to Take

If you or a loved one gets hurt while on a cruise ship, be sure to report the incident immediately to a crew member or other administrator (be sure to get their full name and contact information). Take photos, record videos, and get the names of any witnesses. You want to have documentation reflecting when and where the incident occurred. Once you have safely returned to land, a written notice of intent to file a claim according to the terms of your cruise ticket is necessary (a maritime lawyer can help with drafting and sending this letter).

A lawsuit based in maritime has been filed in the brutal beating of a cruise passenger that we mentioned on our blog a few weeks ago. With the filing of the lawsuit, the victim’s attorney has revealed the carelessness of the cruise line that contributed to the vicious attack. Our Florida maritime law firm is monitoring the case closely.

The Horrific Attack

DSCF6491The case stems from a  Holland America cruise ship passenger was brutally beaten by a Holland America employee, who apparently had a master key and used it to gain entry into the victim’s cabin. The employee tried to strangle the woman with a phone cord, smashed her with a laptop and other blunt objects, and even tried to throw her overboard. She was also sexually assaulted. At one point, her oxygen supply was completely cut off from the choking. The entire attack lasted about an hour, until the victim managed to escape the cabin into the hallway.

If you are a passenger on a cruise, you may be aware of a number of potential hazards (especially if you are a regular reader of this blog). You may be aware of slippery floors, excursion accidents, mechanical failures, and a number of other possibilities. But one thing we don’t give much thought to is food safety. How safe is the food that cruises are serving?

bacteriaReport Looks at Cruise Food Safety

ProPublica has looked into this issue in a fascinating, interactive page that allows viewers to look at safety from each aspect of a cruise ship, from the kitchens to the pools to everything in-between. The site also allows you to search for the safety record for a particular cruise ship, although bear in mind there is no obligatory safety reporting required of cruise ships, so the database may not be completely reliable.

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