When you book a cruise, it’s practically guaranteed that you have a specific destination in mind. After all, getting to experience the excitement of a new place is one of the major appealing factors of a cruise vacation. Most people would not simply get on a cruise to float aimlessly in the ocean for a few days. On the contrary, while the cruise ship itself is great, you’re probably looking forward to getting off the ship and exploring exciting foreign ports of call a bit.
These are normal expectations when booking a cruise. So you can imagine what a shock it would be to realize that your cruise will not, in fact, be making any stops. A recent story out of Alabama explains how that is exactly what happened to one group of cruise passengers.
On Friday, April 14th, the Carnival Fantasy embarked on what should have been a three-night trip to Cozumel, Mexico. However, the ship, which departs from Mobile, Alabama, encountered a mechanical issue that prevented it from leaving the country.
Unfortunately, there was an issue with the propulsion system, which impacted the ship’s maximum cruising speed. This speed limitation meant that it would be impossible for the cruise to reach Cozumel and get back in time. Thus, the cruise to Cozumel became a cruise to nowhere.
This propulsion incident reminded us of the ill-fated Carnival Triumph “poop cruise”, where, because of an alleged propulsion issue, passengers were stranded at sea for days without power and without working toilets. Our firm successfully represented many of the passengers stuck aboard the Triumph. Consequently, this is not the first time a Carnival ship has been stranded (or close thereto) because of propulsion issues.
Back to the recent Carnival Fantasy issue, Carnival ultimately apologized for the inconvenience and gave guests two options. They could cancel, disembark, and receive a full refund. Or, they could remain on the ship, receive a 50% refund, a $50 onboard credit, and 50% towards a future cruise.
A Technical Difficulty Is Not Your Fault
As a maritime law firm, we know how devastating a technical difficulty can be for passengers who had eagerly awaited a few days away from the hassles of everyday life. However, in this case, we are glad to know that the malfunction did not put passengers or crewmembers at risk of any danger. Although inconveniences are difficult to deal with, they are far easier than handling the aftermath of an accident, illness or injury at sea.
It appears that Carnival has done its best to accommodate everyone aboard the cruise. Ultimately, it is in the cruise line’s best interest to make sure that its passengers feel well taken care of. After all, it only takes one bad experience with a cruise line to cause vacationers to look elsewhere in the future.
That said, we hope that Carnival will take the necessary measures to address this technical difficulty as soon as possible, perhaps even evaluating the rest of their fleet to be sure that this will not impact other travel itineraries. Even the newest ships can experience breakdowns, and it is up to the cruise company to stay on top of maintenance. Having said that, the Carnival Fantasy is the oldest ship in Carnival Cruise Lines current fleet. Thus, is this really that surprising?
If you’ve been injured at sea and believe the cruise line is at fault, you deserve a maritime attorney who understands the legal landscape.
Our team of attorneys have assisted clients with a variety of maritime personal injury cases, and we are ready to help you. So if you have questions and are prepared to take the next step, do not hesitate to contact us.