These days, cruise vacations are becoming increasingly exciting. Each new ship that is built seems to contain even more unbelievable and awe-inspiring features. From the on board activities, to the shore excursions and everything in between, there is now more reason than ever to partake in a cruise.
As a result, for many people, this kind of vacation is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. On the day of your day of departure, you will likely be optimistic about the way that the trip will unfold. However, it is important to remember that not all trips go off without a hitch. There are, in fact, times when your high expectations may be tossed to the side. As a recent story out of Alabama reminds us, a medical emergency is one of those times.
There Was No Other Option
On an average day at sea, the process for addressing a medical situation is fairly routine. Passengers who feel ill will visit the ship’s infirmary and meet with the medical professionals there. If the issue is larger than what the on board staff is able to handle, the Coast Guard will medevac the patient to the nearest hospital. This allows the voyage to continue as planned and the patient to receive the necessary medical attention.
However, this week, Carnival Fantasy was required to actually turn around and return to its port of Mobile, Alabama due to a medical emergency aboard the ship. The situation was so particular that the patient was unable to be airlifted or even boated back to shore. Instead, the entire cruise returned to port. This is unusual, even for emergency situations. As a result, we send our deepest condolences to the affected passenger and hope that they will experience a full recovery.
This unexpected change in plans also impacts the rest of the passengers aboard the cruise. In order to make up for the inconvenience of returning to port and missing a scheduled stop in Cozumel, Carnival has issued guests a 50% refund on this cruise and a 50% credit towards a future cruise. Guests were also given the option to disembark in Mobile and receive a 100% refund of their cruise.
Cruise Passenger Safety is a Top Priority
In the wake of this incident, we are glad to see that Carnival made the safety and health of its guests a first priority. No cruise line ever wants to offer a sub-par vacation experience. However, when a medical emergency is as serious as this one was, there is no choice but to do what needs to be done.
Unfortunately, many passengers find that their cruise lines are not as responsive after an illness or injury aboard a ship. Often times cruises lines put profits over a passenger’s well being and fail to order timely medical disembarkations or the ship’s medical staff misdiagnose the condition and fail to recognize the seriousness of the situation. Once back on land, passengers face a nearly insurmountable obstacles when they attempt to hold their cruise line accountable for what has transpired. Cruise lines will attempt to disavow any responsibility for its ship board medical staff. The individual doctors will seek to avoid liability by claiming that they do not have sufficient ties with Florida to be held accountable in Court here.
That is why Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A. is here to help. We have assisted countless cruise passengers with their claims against many major cruise lines. So if you are ready for a maritime lawyer who knows how to achieve the results you deserve, do not hesitate to contact us.