Miami is known for many things, including spectacular weather, incredible cuisine, and not to mention, fantastic nightlife. But perhaps one of the city’s greatest appeals is its seemingly endless number of waterways that make for amazing recreational boating trips. Eager water lovers can enjoy one of the city’s numerous bays, rivers, or even set off for a scenic cruise across the Atlantic Ocean. So what are some of the best spots for boaters in Miami? Read on to find out some of our top choices. Continue reading
Just last week, we evaluated whether cruise passengers faced the risk of contracting Ebola while on a cruise ship. While it seemed that the risk wasn’t high, we wondered if the cruise lines had a protocol if this were to happen. Or better yet, did they have a protocol to prevent something like this from happening in the first place.
Now, it is clear that one passenger on board the Carnival Magic may have been in contact with the disease. It was reported that the cruise line offered only $200 to each passenger and a 50% discount in future cruises in compensation to passengers who found themselves on this Ebola-cruise.
For passengers who bought into a week of rest, relaxation, and sunshine, but ended up cowering in fear in their cabins, this just doesn’t seem right. It was reported that the cruise line also failed to keep the channels of communication open when it came to keeping passengers informed, raising red flags about how cruise lines may handle similar situations in the future. The National Post reported on the debacle, explaining that even when the captain initially publicized the quarantine, he failed to mention that it had anything to do with Ebola.
The Caribbean offers a variety of vacation opportunities to cater to every taste. With over 30 islands in the area, you can have a primitive, off-the-beaten-path adventure, relax at an all-inclusive resort, or party all night long with the well-heeled in a salsa club. Just like civilian folk, celebrities’ tastes encompass the whole range of vacation options available in the Caribbean. You can see the rich and famous lounging on fancy beaches, partying at exclusive clubs, or “roughing it” on some of the lesser-developed islands.
Of course, when celebrities travel, many choose to bring along their security personnel to ensure that their vacations are safe and relaxing. For common folk who are injured while vacationing or find themselves in difficult situations, contacting an offshore injury lawyer can mean the difference between having justice served and suffering in silence.
For those of us who want to follow the footsteps of the stars through fine dining and exquisite shopping, St. Barts may be a good choice. The island is a veritable celebrity hive! Jay-Z was caught dining at the Carl Gustaf Hotel. The island was recently featured in a Real Housewives of New York episode. After taking in the white-sand beaches and seeing the glorious sunshine featured in the show, who could say no, to St. Barts?
Just a few weeks ago, a former Holland America cruise ship worker confessed to brutally beating, raping, and attempting to throw a passenger overboard. Our firm reported on the disturbing cruise ship rape and attempted murder incident, which happened on February 14 aboard the MS Nieuw Amsterdam. The assailant, a 28-year-old Indonesian man, obtained a key to the victim’s stateroom and waited in the balcony area of her cabin until she returned to her cabin. Once she was inside, the crew member proceeded to attack her.
While on trial, the perpetrator claimed he that the passenger had incited him prior to the incident by insulting his mother and calling him names. This was his excuse. After stewing over the alleged exchange all day, the crew member then decided to plot the attack and upon entering her room, lunged at the victim, striking her with a laptop and a curling iron, and even attempting to strangle her with a telephone cord. After raping the victim, he then tried to throw her overboard from the cabin’s balcony. Miraculously the woman escaped, but this horrific crime serves to further highlight the lack of safety for passengers on cruise ships.
Each maritime attorney at our firm can tell you that a wide range of crimes have occurred aboard cruise ships over the years, including sexual assault, battery, theft, and even homicide. Some crimes involve other passengers, while others involve the crew members themselves. Many crimes on ships could be prevented if cruise lines were to invest a greater amount of funds into improving onboard security, such as hiring trained security officers and ensuring surveillance footage is constantly monitored. Unfortunately, we’ve seen crime after crime happen without cruise lines doing much to stop them or prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.
Though some incidents may happen to quickly to be stopped, despite a cruise line’s best effort to keep passengers safe, some cruise ship crimes are so severe and shocking that we are left wondering if the ship had any type of security system or personnel onboard. Recently, we’ve come to learn about one such type of crime that is rumored to have occurred aboard a Costa Cruises vessel.
With Ebola having killed over 3,000 people in west Africa, and having killed one victim already in the U.S., some cruise line passengers may wonder whether traveling might put them at risk. Given the fact that cruise ships are filled with small, confined spaces and up to thousands of people in one sailing, they are often a breeding grounds for diseases.
The maritime lawyers here at Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A. have seen a wide range of outbreaks affect cruise passengers, but by far, the most frequently reported of all infectious disease incidents are associated with Norovirus, a gastrointestinal illness that is extremely contagious. The fact that cruise ships offer such close quarters, once Norovirus starts spreading, an outbreak becomes likely, resulting in ship quarantines and sick passengers. Additionally, the fact that cruise ships often maintain subpar sanitation, the likelihood with which a virus can spread is exacerbated.
So, given the fact that disease can spread quickly on board a ship, are cruise passengers at greater risk for contracting Ebola? Yes and no.
For many of us, enjoying a relaxing day out on a motorboat, tinny, or jet ski is the ideal perfect day. When we think of going out on the open waters, whether for fishing, scuba diving excursions, or sightseeing, we don’t usually equate the activity with tragedy. Though the possibility of getting into an accident is very real, the notion that we’ll be the ones suffering a boating accident is not a very prominent one.
While recreational boating should be an enjoyable pastime first and foremost, it’s important to remember that accidents can – and often do – happen. Most boating accidents happen in the blink of an eye and can involve both experienced and novice sailors alike. Even the most prepared of boaters can become caught in a sudden storm or rogue wave, or can be the victim of another individual’s negligent actions, such as boating while under the influence of alcohol or speeding.
Because there is no guarantee that a collision or capsizing tragedy will not occur, each boating accident lawyer at our firm can attest to the fact that it is always better to live by the motto, “better safe than sorry.”
Last Saturday, the Star Princess cruise ship called on Cabo San Lucas, Mexico to deliver supplies to residents after the area was devastated by Hurricane Odile. According to news reports, the Princess Cruises’ ship brought bottled water, milk and paper products, among other supplies.
“The residents of Cabo San Lucas form one big hospitality community that regularly welcomes our ships’ guests. We want to return that hospitality by giving back to them as they work to recover and prepare to receive visitors once again,” said Princess President Jan Swartz.
Though we applaud Princess’ decisions to assist the devastated city, we can’t help but wonder where this same sense of urgency and consideration was when another Carnival Corp. vessel, the Carnival Triumph, was in need of assistance?
Each admiralty lawyer at our firm knows that one of the leading contributors to boating accidents is alcohol consumption. Alcohol impairs a boater’s judgment to the point that they are unable to properly and safely navigate their vessels, leading boaters to make irrational and unsafe choices while out on the water, and can also cause a boater to lose consciousness, leading them to suffer total loss of control of their vessel and to fall overboard.
While each state has its own laws when it comes to boating under the influence – and despite the fact that alcohol consumption tends to increase the frequency and severity of accidents – many continue to drink alcoholic beverages while operating or riding in vessels or water crafts. And this is not a problem limited to the United States. Sadly, alcohol appears to have been a main factor in a boating accident in Ireland earlier this year, in which a 20-year-old autistic man drowned when the vessel he was riding in capsized.
Police continue to search for evidence as to why the vessel capsized in Lough Erne last May. Six people had been sailing along the waterway aboard a motorboat when the vessel capsized and sank. Those who survived the accident said the accident was “sudden” and could not explain what could have possibly caused it. However, reports on the incident reveal everyone on the boat had been consuming alcohol and no one was wearing life jackets – two critical mistakes.
If you’ve been injured while on a cruise, you may be wondering what your options are and whether or not it makes sense to contact an offshore injury lawyer. It’s important for anyone who has been involved in an accident on board a cruise ship to understand that they should never refrain from seeking legal counsel. Many victims may think their injuries are too minimal to warrant compensation, but are actually eligible to file a claim.
Let’s say the victim speaks with an offshore injury lawyer, who then determines that the cruise passenger is, in fact, eligible to file a claim. What then? How much can victim expect to receive?
It’s difficult to say with certainty how much can be expected, as settlements vary from case to case. Each situation is unique, and it all starts with determining whether or not the cruise line was, in some way, at fault. Cruise lines are responsible for maintaining a safe shipboard environment, which includes keeping passengers safe from both accidental injuries and those related to criminal incidents. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. Failure to properly train crew members, failure to keep ships in safe working condition, and a host of other factors can contribute to an injury while on board a cruise vessel.