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Cruise Lines Were Not Ready To Handle The Coronavirus Pandemic

April 23, 2020
Colson Hicks Eidson

Most people who go on a cruise expect to have a fun and relaxing time. However, the coronavirus pandemic struck cruise lines hard. Now that everyone has had a chance to understand some of the impacts of COVID-19, we have seen that the cruise line industry was not ready to handle this pandemic. From inadequate onboard procedures to ships being stuck at sea, the negligence of cruise lines is becoming apparent. At Colson Hicks Eidson, our nationally-recognized cruise line injury attorneys are dedicated to helping catastrophic injury victims secure compensation if they were harmed.

Cruise lines and their push to continue operations

On April 9, 2020, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) extended a “No-Sail Order” for all cruise ships operating in US waters for an additional 100 days, meaning that the industry would not be able to resume operations until late July. The CDC director said that “cruise ship travel exacerbates the global spread of COVID-19 and that the scope of this pandemic…has not been controlled sufficiently by the cruise ship industry.”

Cruise lines were not ready for this

Evidence has emerged that most major cruise lines continued regular operations even after knowing that there was an increased risk of COVID-19 infection aboard their ships. Even after implementing quarantine procedures onboard many vessels, countless ships were not ready to handle what happened next.

Passengers were relegated to their cabins and left with little contact with the outside world. Some were stuck in their cabins for weeks. Many cruise ships were denied port at various locations around the world. The Diamond Princess was at port in Japan, and passengers were unable to get off the ship.

Several other cruise ships were stranded at sea with confirmed coronavirus cases on board. Others bounced from port to port after being denied entry by host governments. It was the work of passengers’ governments, not the cruise lines, that eventually allowed repatriation.

For passengers on board a ship with a deadly virus, this was a nightmare scenario – and one that could have been avoided. Cruise lines knew about COVID-19, and they knew there was a potential for massive passenger exposure. Yet they continued to set sail, despite not having any onboard or port contingency plans. They let passengers continue life as normal on board.

The cruise lines will have plenty to answer for in the coming months as passengers and crew work to understand just how much the cruise line operators knew before allowing the ships to set sail. As the industry looks to bounce back, can we trust that they will take the necessary steps to protect us?

Our team is ready to help

Catastrophic injuries or wrongful death aboard a cruise ship are the worst-case scenarios for passengers and their loved ones, but the reality is that these events happen. In many cases, they happen due to the careless or negligent actions of the cruise line owners and operators. At Colson Hicks Eidson, our award-winning attorneys have vast experience handling these types of cases, and we are ready to help victims secure compensation. This can include:

  • Coverage of all cruise ship injury expenses
  • Lost wages and benefits if you cannot work
  • Pain and suffering damages
  • Loss of enjoyment of life damages
  • Possible punitive damages against the cruise line

If your loved one was killed or catastrophically injured due to the negligent actions of the cruise line operators, our attorneys will pursue full compensation for your losses. We understand that this can cause immense pain and suffering, and you deserve justice and closure. When you need a cruise ship injury or wrongful death attorney in Florida or throughout the United States, you can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or by calling us at 305-476-7400.