Monthly Archives: September 2012

Proudly Representing Cruise Ship Cases in Miami, Nearby Areas of Florida and Nationwide

A passport is the best cruise ship travel documentation, and in fact general documentation, that one can have.  The story of the Giannasca family is the perfect illustration of why to travel with a passport is preferred, and one should not rely only on the advice of the cruise line’s travel representatives.

Antonia Giannasca and her family decided to take a cruise to Mexico to celebrate her mother’s 71st birthday.  Giannasca was told to bring  a naturalization form and ID for her her mom, a naturalized citizen from Italy.  She was also told the acceptable documentation to bring for the rest of the family.

When the family arrived at the port, the Carnival agent told them there was a problem.  The agent informed them that the mother’s naturalization form would need an official raised seal, or the family would not be able to board the ship.  Though the family protested, the mom was refused entry to the ship.   The family was offered an opportunity to seek the required documentation, and pick up with the cruise in Key West, Florida – for an extra $1500 charge.  They declined.

Carnival cited that it is their policy that the passenger is responsible to bring proper documentation in order to board the cruise ship.  The company basically asserts that, even if their representative had given the family incomplete information, it remains the passenger’s responsibility to being proper documentation.  The family was denied all refunds, and vouchers for future cruising.

Obviously Carnival dropped that ball on this one.  It is truly unfair the way they treated the Giannasca family.  But, let this be a cautionary tale for the rest of us.  Seek a U.S. passport before traveling out of the country.  Deny companies like Carnival Cruise Lines the opportunity to bilk you out of your money.

 

Hickey Law Firm, P.A. – Miami Injury Attorneys handles cases of personal injury, cruise ship injury and sexual assault, and other personal injury cases.

There have been some truly strange stories about cruise ships over the years.  Many of these stories include cruise ship accidents,  cruise ship accidents, and other cruise ship crimes as well.  Ranking right up there among some of the strangest cruise ship stories we have covered, is this one out of Amsterdam.  A man sailing on a “booze cruise” woke up in the bar area of the ship to find that he was on fire.

James Bailey, a 28 year old British man, went on a booze cruise with some friends in Amsterdam.  Bailey apparently fell asleep in the bar area of the ship – waking up some time later to find that he was on fire.  Noticing the situation, the wait staff helped him to put out the flames, but not before Bailey suffered first, second, and third degree burns.

It is not currently known how Bailey came to be on fire.  He cites this uncertainty as a reason that he suffers continuing mental anguish surrounding the event.  He has said that he has had insomnia and is suffering night terrors since the situation. He is currently exploring taking legal action against the operator of the cruise line – DFDS Seaways.

DFDS Seaways has declined to comment on the incident.

 

Hickey Law Firm, P.A. – Miami Injury Attorneys handles cases of personal injury, cruise ship injury and sexual assault, and other personal injury cases.

A young woman went missing from a Royal Caribbean cruise ship on Sunday. A United States Coast Guard search has been initiated to try to locate the woman.

A 21 year old woman fell from the Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas – the world’s largest cruise ship. The woman, who has not been identified by name, is reported to be a resident of Bartlett, Tennessee. She was seen going overboard at about 9:30pm on Sunday night, about 47 miles off the coast of Port Everglades, Florida. She was sailing on a 7 day Caribbean itinerary at the time of her disappearance.

The woman was seen going overboard by a fellow passenger. The captain of the Allure was notified and he immediately informed the Bahamian Coast Guard. The U.S. Coast Guard was notified about 2 hours later.

Two ships which happened to be in the area of the time of the disappearance, Royal Caribbean’s Majesty of the Seas, and Carnival Cruise Lines’s Fascination, helped in the search for the woman, who has not currently been located. The Coast Guard says that they will exhaust all efforts in order to locate the woman.

The disappearance has caused a change in the itinerary of the Allure of the Seas. Because of the time taken for the search the ship is skipping its scheduled stop in Nassau, Bahamas. The ship is expected to continue on to the island of St. Maarten as previously scheduled.

Hickey Law Firm, P.A. – Miami Injury Attorneys handles cases of personal injury, cruise ship injury and sexual assault, and other personal injury cases.

As the Costa Concordia sank on January 13, 2012 – the captain of the ship had to make many split second decisions.  He had to determine what was going to be the best way to evacuate the ship.  He had to decide, in an instant, how to tell the passengers that the ship was damaged, without causing a panic.  He had to remember to follow all the emergency procedures exactly.  In these ways the captain - Francesco Schettino – failed.  Instead he ordered the crew to announce that there had been a balckout.

In recordings which were released on Thursday, the captain spoke to an engine room officer soon after striking underwater rocks off the Italian coast.  He knew there was trouble.   ”So are we really going down?”  he asked.  Within minutes the captain made an announcement to the bridge -”Say that there has been a blackout,” he ordered.  The captain had just ordered that the fact that the ship was sinking be hidden from the passengers.

32 people died in the sinking of the Costa Concordia, including 2 Americans.  No one will ever know what would have happened should the captain have decided to follow the proper emergency procedures from the beginning.  What is known, however, is that it is never acceptable for a cruise ship captain to lie to the passengers, as the ship sinks.  An interesting fact is that this very same captain can be heard on another recording being ordered back to the ship by the Italian Coast Guard.  He had decided to abandon ship and save himself.

 

Hickey Law Firm, P.A. – Miami Injury Attorneys handles cases of personal injury, cruise ship injury and sexual assault, and other personal injury cases.

Everyone knows that alcohol consumption can lead to violence. It is evidenced in bars and sports stadiums around the world. recently, select cruise lines have begun to offer “all you can drink” alcohol packages. Victim’s rights groups are clearly concerned that such packages could lead to more violence aboard cruise ships.

According to a recent study, cruise ships already have an incidence of sexual assault 1.5 times higher than on land. This means that, behind all the glossy commercials and brochures, being on a cruise can be relatively dangerous. But, often times seeing is believing. So, what we present here is a a video of what can happen on a cruise ship when too much alcohol is consumed.

According to the caption which was included with this video, 10 guests were forced off the ship as a result of the altercation. Cruise ship security often seems to be a bit helpless when something major happen. What do you think?

 

 

Hickey Law Firm, P.A. – Miami Injury Attorneys handles cases of personal injury, cruise ship injury and sexual assault, and other personal injury cases.