I previously wrote about Royal Caribbean cruise line’s decision to navigate the Anthem of the Seas into a storm, exposing the ship, passengers and crews to winds in excess of 100 miles per hour and seas in excess of 30 feet high. The incident resulted in damages to the ship, and reported physical injuries to some passengers and crew. Of course, the emotional damages due to this traumatic event is hard to measure, but apparent.
Another storm appears to be forecasted where the Anthem of the Seas was planning to go. However this time Royal Caribbean has announced it is cancelling the itinerary, to avoid the storm.
As I discussed in my prior blog, cruise lines normally do not cancel area cruise despite a forecasted storm, because they believe they can navigate around the storms, or that the ships are invincible. The decision is usually motivated by a desire to avoid the costs associated with canceling an itinerary. Normally, it is a financial decision that ends up exposing the passengers and crew to risk of injury or death when a cruise ship encounters a storm that was forecasted.
It’s good to see that Royal Caribbean apparently has learned a lesson finally, and has announced that it is stepping up its resources regarding addressing forecasted storms and itinerary changes. In view of the fact that cruise lines operate year-round, including during hurricane and storm seasons, this is a change that should have been implemented a long time ago. Of course it’s better late than never. However it shows that passengers previously injured due to the cruise line negligently encountering a storm, deserve compensation because Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines apparently did not have adequate resources and procedures in place.
Our firm has been acting as safety advocates for those harmed at sea for more than 30 years, helping passengers and crew members involved in serious personal injury and wrongful death cases.