Is Carnival the World’s Largest Cruise Line “Fun Ships”? You Decide

Lipcon, Marguiles, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A

There have been many cruise ship accidents throughout the years, some of which have resulted in serious injuries and fatalities. Although many factors can lead to an accident at sea or in port, a large percentage of incidents are caused by the cruise line’s negligent or wrongful actions and could have been prevented had the right steps been taken and followed at the right time.

Poorly trained, overworked, crewmembers, lack of adequate and common sense shipboard safety items and procedures, failure to properly examine, service and maintain equipment, and refusing to fully investigate an accident immediately and then implement procedures to make sure that kind of accident does not happen again are all factors that have played a role and will continue to play a role in the daily crew injuries and frequent passenger injuries, sexual assaults and even deaths that occur across the entire cruise industry.

But while every cruise company has been involved in at least some type of incident, one cruise line – Carnival Cruise Line leads the industry injury causing incidents/accidents in modern times.


Since the line was created 41 years ago, Carnival has consistently failed to improve its crew and passenger safety record in any significant way.

This year alone, the Carnival Triumph, Elation, Dream, and Legend vessels have all been disabled due to mechanical errors and all have failed to implement ( have ? ) emergency backup system capable of keep the vessel reasonably comfortable and safe for all its occupants during the length of time they were disabled and stranded at sea. The Triumph debacle has been dubbed one of the worst disasters in maritime history, and with good reason. Over 4,200 people were stuck onboard what some have called a floating petri dish, replete with overflowing sewage and waste, after a cruise ship fire knocked out the vessel’s power.

The fire was traced back to the Triumph’s engine room, where U.S. Coast Guard officials found a leak in a fuel pipe. However, the Carnival Triumph experienced mechanical problems prior to the cruise ship fire incident. What does that say about the cruise line’s safety policies?

Below are some of the most well known Carnival Cruise ship incidents that made it to the main stream news outlets in recent years:

  • July 2, 1981: The Carnival Mardi Gras caught fire after a crewmember discarded a cigarette onboard the cruise ship.
  • July 20, 1998 – Cruise ship fire aboard the Carnival Ecstasy left 60 people injured.
  • November 10, 2006 – Carnival Liberty passenger David Lee Fitzgerald died following complications with Norovirus. The illness is spread by a lack of shipboard sanitation, which explains how 535 other passengers and 143 crewmembers also became sick with Norovirus.
  • April 21, 2010 – Over 70 people were injured after Carnival Ecstasy made a sharp turn to avoid a buoy at the last minute.
  • Nov. 8, 2010 – A cruise ship fire disabled the Carnival Splendor with over 4,000 people onboard.
  • May 3, 2011 – Cruise passenger Angel Holcomb died from injuries suffered after being over-served alcohol in the Carnival Conquest’s casino.

And this doesn’t even include the 48 people who went overboard from Carnival vessels between 1995 and 2013, or the many cruise ship rape and sexual assault cases, murders, drug crimes, and pedophilia incidents that don’t make news.

Only time will tell if the line will be able to continue to attract enough business and buy enough lobbying power to continue with its business as usual policies that have resulted in the above facts or if it will finally be forced to make the necessary changes to improve safety onboard its Fun Ships and Costa vessels.