Maritime Matter of the Week

Cruises Respond to Humanitarian Crisis In Puerto Rico


Written by
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.

The past several weeks have not been easy for residents of the Caribbean and southern United States. With Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria devastating parts of the Caribbean, there is a considerable amount of reconstruction that needs to take place. Last week, Hurricane Maria barreled through Puerto Rico, leaving the island in a state of serious and urgent need.

According to reports, it could take months for the island and its population of 3.5 million (in excess of the populations of Alaska, Vermont, and the Dakotas combined!)  to regain electricity. In the meantime, tensions are rising as supplies of food, water and medicine are dwindling. Currently, the largest airport is operating at only 20% of its usual capacity, with fewer than 10 flights into the country each day. As a result, delivering the much-needed supplies has been a challenge.

Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Lend a Hand

Fortunately, the cruise industry has stepped up to help. Three of the world’s largest cruise lines–Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian–have stepped up to offer what they can in terms of the items that Puerto Rico most desperately needs.

In a statement from Carnival, the company said they are, “are currently traveling to destinations in the Caribbean and donating and delivering supplies, water and food to the Caribbean, which will include San Juan as well.”

Royal Caribbean explained that they would be cancelling all voyages planned on the Adventure of the Seas, instead using that ship for humanitarian missions in the Caribbean. The ship is scheduled to arrive in San Juan on Wednesday, September 27th, and will continue to make stops in St. Thomas and St. Croix.

Norwegian Cruise Line has found another way to lend a hand, partnering with All Hands Volunteers, a disaster-relief organization that raises money for hurricane relief. The company has pledged to match up to $1.25 million in donations.

In the wake of such a tragic natural disaster, it is refreshing to see the cruise lines making an effort to assist the local communities in some of the hardest hit areas. As the cruises make a considerable amount of money from having ports of call in these typically ideal vacation destinations, it is ultimately in their best interest to do what they can to help with rebuilding.

A Maritime Lawyer Will Have Your Back

That said, as maritime lawyers, we know that the cruise lines do not always make the best choices. And, unfortunately, even the big name cruise companies do not always have the best interest of their passengers and crewmembers at heart. In the past, we have seen some cruise operators make terrible and dangerous decisions, as was the case with the Anthem of the Seas in 2016. So if you have been injured aboard your cruise, you can rest assured that you are not alone.

After an accident or injury at sea, it can be overwhelming to navigate the next steps. That is why we are here to help. Every member of our team has experience handling the most complex maritime cases. So no matter the size or scope of your situation, LMAW, PA is here for you.

When you are ready to take control of your future and leave the past behind you, do not hesitate to contact us.


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