Cruise Line’s Step Up Efforts To Provide Relief To Hurricane Sandy Victims

Lipcon, Marguiles, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A

Hurricane Sandy left a path of destruction in its wake, especially in New Jersey and New York. The superstorm also took its toll on the cruise industry, but while our maritime lawyers have witnessed many incidents in which companies have done their best to avoid losing any revenue, a recent act of kindness by several leaders in the industry has led critics to applaud the lines for their generosity.

The cruise lines have been involved in Hurricane Sandy relief efforts, but have stepped up their strategies this week, donating both money and cruises to the victims of the storm that ravaged the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast in late October. Carnival Corp. announced it was donating $2 million to four charities that are providing relief and support to Sandy victims. Carnival is donating $1 million to the Robin Hood Relief Fund, $500,000 to Habitat for Humanity International and $250,000 each to Save the Children and the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City.

Micky Arison, chairman and CEO of Carnival Corp., called Hurricane Sandy “one of the most devastating natural disasters in U.S. history,” and noted the company’s “special relationship with the region, with several ships either homeported or visiting the area as a port of call, as well as hundreds of thousands of residents who sail on the fleets of our various cruise brands.”

Another industry giant, Norwegian Cruise Line, invited audience members and their families from Wednesday’s recording of Katie Couric talk show, Katie, onboard the inaugural sailing of the line’s newest vessel, the 4,200-passenger Norwegian Breakaway. The show featured a special audience including 150 New York-area mothers who had been affected by Hurricane Sandy, and who, along with their loved ones, will attend the Mother’s Day weekend sailing on the Breakaway, May 10-12, 2013, sailing from New York City.

The godmothers of the Norwegian Breakaway, the Rockettes, were also on hand to present the audience with the cruise giveaway.

“As a New Yorker, I know firsthand the kind of damage Hurricane Sandy inflicted on this area,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian’s CEO.

While these efforts are commendable, nothing can fully undo the damage caused by Sandy. Luckily, no cruise passengers were reported hurt during the storm, even those onboard vessels that were out at sea when the storm struck. However, there are times in which unfavorable weather conditions strike and vessel operators do not heed warnings to avoid getting in harm’s way. When passengers or crewmembers aboard a vessel are hurt because of a negligent cruise operator, they are entitled to seek help with a maritime lawyer in order to protect their rights. They may also be eligible for compensation for their pain and suffering, so it is imperative that immediately following any injuries, victims turn to a legal professional to discuss their options in filing a case.

Photo Credit: NASA