If you were scheduling a cruise vacation with Norwegian Cruise Line, would you book the ticket knowing that extensive repairs were going to be made to the ship while you were at sea? That areas of the ship would be closed or cordoned off? That activities might be suspended? That the sounds and sights of construction crews working would interrupt what should be a relaxing vacation?
Just last month, Norwegian Sun set sail from Miami to Los Angeles through the Panama Canal — a two week cruise that featured “chemicals, jackhammers, closed sections of the ship, smelly odors and 500 irate passengers having a face to face session with the ship’s captain.
Why would Norwegian schedule massive renovation while at sea and not put the ship in dry dock? Well, probably because of the financial set back. A ship that isn’t sailing isn’t making money. With a 1,936 passenger ship like the Sun at sea, that means well over a million dollars in revenue for the cruise line once cruise fares and on board activities are included.
A ship not sailing means a ship not generating profit by selling alcohol (which they sell a lot of despite passengers trying to sneak booze onto the ship, shore excursions, casino betting, gift shops and so much more.
Is the risk of inconveniencing passengers — or possibly subjecting them to injury — a cause for pause with the cruise line? Apparently not.
The Miami Herald reported “for two weeks, the sounds of jackhammers pierced cabin walls, decks were inaccessible and sewer lines broke, filling entire cabins with the odor of feces and urine.”
Additionally, Cruise Law News (another law firm in Miami that represents cruise ship passengers in injury and accident cases) shared their insight into Norwegian’s short-sighted renovations. Their belief is that money comes first, with customer service and passenger safety taking a back seat.
Passengers even set up a Facebook Group at Panama Canal Sun to share their stories and photos and videos. The group description is:
This is an information sharing group for anyone who has pictures taken while onboard the NCL Sun. We sailed from Miami on March 16, 2018. Construction onboard the ship began almost immediately. We will be using this group as a means to stay in touch with each other and to share information.
Is there a class action brewing? Perhaps, but it’s important to not that inconvenience isn’t the same as injury
Photo Credits: Panama Canal Sun Facebook Group (see link below)
Waks and Barnett, P.A. | Admiralty and Maritime Law
Waks & Barnett attorneys practice in the areas of personal injury and wrongful death, with a focus on Cruise Ship Injury and Accidents, Admiralty and Maritime cases. For more information, please call our office in Miami — our number is 1-800-905-2891. All initial consultations are free of charge.
Cruise ship accidents are not uncommon, with many leading to personal injury and wrongful death suits filed against the cruise lines. Waks and Barnett, P.A. has successfully handled many of these cases over the past 25 years.