Cruise Ship Law, Maritime Matter of the Week

British Cruise Passenger Files Lawsuit Over Early Wake-Up Call


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Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A. is comprised of attorneys that are nationally-recognized industry leaders in the field of maritime and admiralty law. Our team of lawyers has over a century of combined experience, has successfully handled over 3,000 cases, and has recovered over 300 million dollars in damages for our clients.

While most maritime lawyers are called to action over an injury or death that happened at sea because of a cruise, cargo or personal water craft operator’s negligence, one British man has filed an unexpected lawsuit against a U.K.-based cruise company over an early wake-up call. The plaintiff, David Bookbinder, 71, of Derbyshire, has filed a lawsuit this week against Thomson Cruises for the early wake-up call, which he claims ruined his entire vacation.

According to the Derby Telegraph, Bookbinder is asking for a full refund for his Red Sea cruise aboard the Thomson Celebration. Bookbinder claims he was forced to wake up before 5 a.m. on the day the vessel was calling on Israel in order to clear immigration. The lawsuit claims that the ship’s crew members told passengers that the early wake-up call was necessary so they could be interviewed by Israeli immigration officials before being cleared to get off the vessel. However, Bookbinder believes that the passengers were forced to wake up early because the cruise line wanted to sell more shore excursions for the visit.

Israeli immigration procedures can be lengthy, but Bookbinder believes that they could have been carried out at a “more acceptable” time. Having the early wake-up call give Bookbinder such stress that he claims it ruined the entire sailing.

“I’m happy to get out of bed at 3:30 a.m. if the ship is sinking, but not so excursions can be sold,” said Bookbinder.

According to a spokesperson for Thomson Cruises, the immigration process in Israel is customary and the wake-up call is something that is regularly done with all ships visiting the nation.

While this particular lawsuit was filed over uncommon circumstances, there are many times in which cruise vacations are ruined because of an incident onboard the vessel. Accidents that are caused by crew member negligence, crimes such as theft or sexual assault at sea, or even an illness onboard spread because of a lack of sanitation aboard the vessel can be contested with the help of maritime lawyers like those at our firm.

The cruise lawyers at Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A. have over 165 years of combined experience in the field of maritime and admiralty law and help those wronged by a cruise line operator or crew members to obtain the compensation they deserve for their pain and suffering. If you or a loved one experienced an onboard accident while sailing aboard a cruise line, turn to our experienced maritime attorneys today to schedule a consultation and discuss your claim options.


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