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Cruise Ship Errors and Disasters:  More than a Decade of Recent Blunders

In the June 10, 2013 issue of Time magazine, reporter Josh Sanburn provides a brief yet fascinating overview of the many cruise ship mishaps that have unfolded over the past 14 or 15 years. It’s a litany of ships battered by high waves and winds, illegal dumping of toxic chemicals into U.S. waters and passengers stranded in unsanitary conditions for days on end – among other atrocities.                                                                                                                         Hopefully, after reviewing these events, future passengers will consider a cruise line’s level of responsibility and safety before purchasing a cruise ship vacation.

Major Cruise Ship Blunders:  1999 – (Early) 2013

  • July 21, 1999. Royal Caribbean agrees to pay “a record” $18 million in fines, after admitting guilt to 21 counts of dumping various hazardous chemicals into U. S. waters.

The company also admitted that it had lied to the U. S. Coast Guard regarding these forbidden activities;

  • September 22, 1999. A fire in the engine room strands the Carnival Tropicale in the Gulf of Mexico. Passengers had to cope with raw sewage and blocked toilets. At least one person said the Tropicale was later nicknamed the “ship from hell;”
  • May 26, 2003. The S. S. Norway suffered a boiler explosion that killed eight crew members and injured at least a dozen more;
  • April 15, 2005. A 70-foot wave hit the Norwegian cruise liner Dawn, injuring four passengers, tossing around ship furniture and breaking windows;
  • February 2010. Approximately 2,600 passengers and crew were aboard the Celebrity Cruises’ Mercury when at least 400 of them contracted a norovirus that caused serious vomiting, nausea and diarrhea;
  • November 8, 2010. The Carnival ship Splendor developed a “catastrophic failure” of one of its generators, leaving its 4,500 passengers and crew stranded;
  • January 13, 2012. Thirty-two people died off the coast of Italy when The Costa Concordia capsized;
  • February 2013. Passengers aboard The Carnival Triumph drifted for days following its loss of power. Serious sanitation problems developed, exposing many to a large amount of raw sewage. Afterwards, this journey was referred to as “the poop cruise;”
  • May 27, 2013. Although no one reported any serious injuries, numerous passengers aboard The Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas had to cope with the sudden, early end to their vacations when this ship caught on fire.


It is difficult to say currently whether purchasers of cruise ship vacations will hold some of these cruise line companies responsible for their poor performance and safety record.  However, everyone should remember they have the right to seek full compensation for the various injuries they suffer due to these disastrous cruise trips.

If you’ve suffered a serious cruise ship accident or injury, contact the Maus Law Firm to learn more about your rights.  The Maus Law Firm has offices in Fort Lauderdale, Pompano Beach and the Florida Keys, and handles accident and injury claims throughout Miami-Dade, Monroe, Collier, Lee, Broward and Palm Beach counties.  You’ll need the help of an experienced South Florida cruise ship attorney on your side. Call Toll Free today at: (855) 999-LAWS, or locally at (954) 784-6310.






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