Should Royal Caribbean Passengers Consult with a Cruise Ship Lawyer Following the Recent Grandeur of the Seas Fire?

Lipcon, Marguiles, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A

When accidents occur on a cruise ship, whether at sea or in port, victims should always consult with a cruise ship lawyer  in order to determine whether it is in their best interest to file a claim  and to obtain their assistance in procuring compensation for their injuries, pain and suffering. However, if the maritime incident does not cause injuries, pain or suffering, should passengers still expect a settlement from the cruise lines?

Yes, and RCCL is doing just that.

So far, no injuries have been reported following the recent cruise ship fire onboard the Grandeur of the Seas, a Royal Caribbean vessel, and despite RCCL officials acting quickly to get passengers to safety and making accommodations for guests to return home free of charge, some passengers may be entitled to more compensation than what the cruise line is initially offering all the passengers on board.

The  cruise ship fire broke out just before 3 a.m. on Memorial Day Monday in an aft mooring area of the vessel and spread to a crew lounge located a deck above before being put out by the vessels crew. Grandeur of the Seas was carrying 2,224 passengers and 796 crew members from Baltimore, MD to Coco Cay, Bahamas when the fire broke out. The Grandeur of the Seas crew members contacted the U.S. Coast Guard for assistance combating the fire, and Lake Worth, FL responders dispatched three cutters and two aircrafts to help with the incident.

The fire was extinguished just before 5 a.m., but its cause remains unknown. Coast Guard officials have categorized it as a “Class A” fire, meaning it involved solid combustible materials, such as plastic or wood, instead of flammable liquids like fuel.

In order to assess the damage, RCCL officials made the decision to divert the ship to Freeport, Bahamas instead of staying in route to RCCL’s  private, Island Coco Cay, Bahamas.  Then after determining that the damage was extensive enough to merit the cancellation of the remainder of the itinerary, as well as the next scheduled voyage which was set for May 31, RCCL did what a responsible Corporate citizen should do.

RCCL has stated it will be giving its passengers a full refund for their cruise vacation, free  flights for all cruise guests back to Baltimore, where the vessel sailed from, a future cruise credit, and for those guests whose rooms were affected by the fire, complimentary hotel stay in Freeport until their flights are arranged.

Hats off to RCCL for doing the right thing.