Lipcon’s very own maritime accident lawyer Michael A. Winkleman recently appeared on The Willis Report on Fox Business Channel to discuss the latest cruise ship fire onboard Royal Caribbean’s Grandeur of the Seas and cruise passenger rights.
The incident in question occurred on Memorial Day Monday onboard the Grandeur of the Seas cruise ship. Although no one was injured, Royal has already offered passengers a full refund and future cruise credit for the accident and according to our maritime accident attorney, Royal made the right call with compensating travelers and took swift and decisive action to protect everyone onboard from harm.
“I actually think Royal Caribbean got it right here,” said our cruise ship lawyer during the interview in reference to the compensation offered to passengers. “I would certainly applaud [the cruise company] for what they did.”
Attorney Winkleman also discussed how Carnival Cruise Line, which also made headlines for a fire onboard the Carnival Triumph back in February, acted completely different than its competitor when the similar incident occurred, calling it a “night and day scenario.”
Carnival – hesitantly it seems – offered passengers a full refund for the accident onboard the Triumph, along with future cruise credit, reimbursement for some expenses on the vessel, and $500, but this pales in comparison to Royal’s immediate efforts to compensate passengers, especially because Carnival’s passengers were stuck at sea for five days amidst atrociously unsanitary conditions that posed a huge risk to their health, while Royal acted quickly and got passengers to safety, then arranged for their flights back home – all for free and without any hesitation.
The interview also touched upon the new “Cruise Passenger Bill of Rights,” created by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), which provides cruise lines with self-imposed regulations on how to handle emergency situations and under what circumstances passengers should be compensated.
When asked for his opinion of the bill by the show’s host, Gerri Willis, attorney Winkleman noted how although the bill is a good start as far as offering a guideline for cruise ships to abide by to protect passengers from harm, it doesn’t really serve as much of an incentive for lines to provide safe environments for passengers.
Check out the full interview clip here for more of our cruise ship lawyer’s commentary on Royal’s actions following the cruise fire and what passengers should do in the event they are faced with an emergency on the high seas.