Monthly Archives: September 2015

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

When you take that longed for cruise vacation the last thing you want is to become sick. There are several things you can do to ensure a healthy vacation and one of them is to be careful about what you eat. There is not only the danger that with food available 24 hours a day it may well take its toll on your waistline, but there is always the risk that what you eat might make you sick.

The first thing you should do is be careful of the buffet. Not only can food which is not properly heated through harbor bacteria, but if someone suffering from norovirus touches the serving spoon in front of you, then the virus on the spoon will transfer to you. The catering staff should be serving the food to you so no infected passenger can transfer it via the serving utensils.

The second food item to be careful of is meat. Cruise lines usually follow strict safety measures but if the meat is not cooked above 140 degrees Fahrenheit then this in the danger zone. Below that number bacteria can multiply so be very careful of beef on a cruise ship. Poultry is also similar to beef as it has to be cooked and handled in such a way as to eliminate bacteria. In addition it is vital to avoid cross contamination with poultry, so raw poultry or the knife used to cut it, or the surface it is cut on must not come near any other produce, especially if that produce will be served raw.

Looking at condiments you should be wary of unrefrigerated ketchup, mayonnaise or mustard, especially if they are left for a while in a warm environment where bacteria could form.

Milk is also something else to avoid unless you know exactly where it came from and how it has been stored. Certain raw milk can contain E. coli, listeria and salmonella, so if possible, use an alternative.

You should also be careful of shellfish, especially raw oysters which have recently been proven to be carriers of norovirus. Try not to eat raw shellfish and check that it is properly cooked.

When it comes to alcohol, although everyone knows that over indulgence in alcohol is not necessarily wise, not everyone is aware that enjoying your pina colada cocktail may not have the desired result as coconut milk, one of the key ingredients, is a very effective laxative. So alcohol and especially pina coladas should be drunk in moderation.


When people decide to go on a cruise the whole experience is important to them, not merely the time spent at sea.

Florida now is facing major challenges to its infrastructure when it comes to boarding the cruise ships and disembarking at the end of the cruise; the latter being especially important when passengers have a flight to catch.

Currently, sometimes it can take hours to disembark and to clear immigration which leads to frustration and even heated arguments. The situation is worsening by the day as the cruise ships become larger and larger with more passengers and more ships want to use Florida as their base. At present almost two thirds of all of the American cruise passengers board their ships in Florida.

There are 15 seaports in Florida, five of them major and they are now investing $3.5 billion to try and make improvements via construction projects.

Port Everglades is having its navigation channels both deepened and widened to take the larger ships and at Port Miami, not only is the channel being increased in size, they are also building a tunnel to go directly to the highways and putting in a rail service to connect the port to the existing railway system.

Port Canaveral has recently opened a new terminal which cost $110 million and has plans for renovating another two terminals and is building a plaza with a hotel, shops and restaurants in time for two new ships, the Norwegian Epic and Carnival Magic to move to Port Canaveral as their home base. In fact the numbers of passengers using Port Canaveral are expected to increase by half over the next couple of years, from 4.2 million cruise passengers to six million a year.

All of this work will take time, so passengers travelling via Florida ports should expect continued delays and frustration when boarding and disembarking and should ensure they leave themselves plenty of time for any onward flights.



A group of passengers from a cruise ship are filing a class action after their cruise went very wrong.

In March this year, 2,000 passengers, mainly from Melbourne, Australia and Hobart, Tasmania boarded the Carnival Spirit cruise ship for an eight day tropical cruise from Sydney, Australia to New Caledonia. They all wanted to get away from the cold and enjoy visiting tropical islands and lying on sunny beaches.

However, only three hours into the cruise, the ship turned around and diverted to Melbourne and Hobart where the weather was freezing. The captain said the reason for the diversion was Tropical Cyclone Pam, but the passengers are saying that the cruise leadership should have known that the cyclone was there and that they were deliberately deceived and misled.

The passengers say that none of them were prepared for freezing weather and so many had to wear bath robes on board on top of their clothes as it was cold, and much too cold to sit on deck. Others purchased thick jackets. When she ship called in at Melbourne, around 400 passengers who had flown from Melbourne to Sydney to board the cruise, disembarked and left the ship not wanting to carry on cruising to freezing locations.

Carnival Cruise Lines refused to offer any refund but did offer a $150 on board credit and a discount of 50% of their purchases on board to be credited against future purchases.

The class actions claims that the company should have known about the weather prior to departure as the strong monsoon winds developed in late February and Cyclone Pam actually formed four days before the cruise ship was due to leave. The action states that passengers should have been offered the option of cancelling with a full refund.

In their contract, the cruise company states that in the event of bad weather they would offer a revised itinerary which is as close as possible to the original. But the passengers state that changing a tropical paradise cruise for an area known as the Gateway to the Antarctica have no similarity at all.