For many, a cruise vacation only comes rarely, if at all. Cruises do an impressive job at combining the best of what the land and sea have to offer. On a typical day, they can offer a welcome relief from the stress and chaos of daily work life and a much-needed respite from most of the responsibility of live on land.
In the past few weeks, however, the cruise industry has found itself in a different position. In the wake of not just one, but two hurricanes in the Caribbean, the need for relief efforts and assistance is greater than ever. As Carnival did in Hurricane Katrina, once again the Cruise companies, who pride themselves on memorable vacations, are now extending a helping hand.
Cruises Offer Food, Supplies and More to People in Need
This week, FEMA is sending a cruise ship to serve as a home base for the National Guard and first responders on the ground in St. Thomas. The island, which was one of the hardest hit during the storm, is in serious need of humanitarian efforts. For the next three months, the ship will feed and house anywhere from 1,000 to 1,500 relief workers. Moreover, this is not the only good deed to come out of the destruction in the Caribbean.
Last week, Palm Beach received assistance from the Grand Celebration. The ship docked there to provide housing, food, and on-board services to individuals impacted by the hurricane. The Company charged just $39 a night per person, a price that included both accommodations and meals.
Others still, like Norwegian and Royal Caribbean, sent pallets of medical supplies, animal supplies, bottled water, milk, and toilet paper to St. Thomas and Disney Cruise Line donated meals and bedding to those affected on the island.
When combined with Carnival’s promise to send 11 ships and up to $10 million in donations to the hurricane-ravaged Caribbean, it is clear that the cruise industry is committed to helping these devastated communities rebuild.
Relief Efforts Could Have A Financial Incentive
Given the fact that so many of these companies derive a large part of their business income from ports of call across the Caribbean, they no doubt have a vested interested in getting the impacted areas up and running as soon as possible. While we do not doubt the sincerity behind each offering of food, supplies, or monetary donations, we also understand that cruise lines are often most concerned about maintaining their bottom line.
In the past, accidents and injuries have occurred at sea and in foreign ports, that had the lines been more safety minded and dutiful in providing safer accommodations, facilities and shore excursion vetting procedures, would not have occurred. Unfortunately, far too many passengers and crewmembers become the victims of preventable incidents aboard cruise ships. We sincerely hope the same is not the fate of those living aboard these vessels now and their future occupants when they return to their regular usage. However, if you or a loved one ends up being injured, assaulted or given bad medical care on board a cruise ship, at sea or in port, we at Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A. are here to help.
We know that speaking with a maritime lawyer may be just what you need to see your legal matter with clarity and begin to navigate the road that lies ahead. Therefore, if you are seeking legal representation that will bring results, do not hesitate to contact us.