Articles Tagged with “Royal Caribbean”

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A family cruise turned tragic when a parasailing excursion went awfully wrong, taking the life of a mother and wife. During the cruise, the mother and daughter purchased a shore excursion offered aboard the cruise ship, a parasail excursion which would take place after the ship docked at one of its scheduled stops.

After the parasail operators sent mom and daughter up in the sky, the rope broke off due to heavy winds and dangerous weather conditions. This resulted in the two passengers to plummet into the water at a very high rate of speed. The force of the impact caused traumatic injuries to daughter and mom sustained fatal injuries.

Leesfield & Partners filed suit against the carrier and the tour operator. The cruise carrier argued that the tour operator was an independent contractor and that the responsibility of the cruise line could not and was not engaged. Ultimately, after several months of litigation, our maritime law attorneys secured a $7.25 million settlement on behalf of the family and daughter.

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Tour-bus-crash-01With the main cruise ship companies based in Miami, Leesfield & Partners has represented countless families of cruise passengers who lost their lives or who were gravely injured while on a cruise excursion.  Whether a son killed in a bus accident in front of his parents on their way to an excursion, or a mother fatally injured and daughter sustaining extreme brain damage during a parasailing excursion, or a husband drowning during a snorkel excursion, the pattern of negligence is often the same in each and every case.  Cruise lines will advertise their ships as the safest floating cities on the planet, but the truth is the excursions cruise lines select for their passengers are less than safe, if not downright dangerous.

Cruise lines will sell excursions to their passengers, either during the booking process on the internet, or directly on the ship.  Excursions represent a major selling point and entice most passengers to purchase excursions as a way of visiting far away countries and islands while the ship is docked.  Unfortunately, passengers are led to believe that cruise lines are in charge of running these excursions and maintaining the equipment pertaining to, or the transport to and from a cruise excursion.  However, that cannot be further from the truth.

In the last 24 hours, Royal Caribbean (owner of Celebrity Cruises) has confirmed that several cruise passengers (Celebrity Equinox & Serenade of the Seas) were fatally injured in a bus crash in Eastern Mexico.  The bus company selected by Royal to transport its passengers, Costa Maya Mahahual, confirmed that they had just picked up passengers who had boarded off two cruise ships that had just docked in the coastal town of Mahahual.  The excursion sold by Royal was a guided tour of the Mayan Ruins located in Chacchoben, which is approximately 100 miles west from the port.

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Fabian Palmer, a 25 year-old from Jamaica, found himself working on the Enchantment of the Seas, a cruise ship operated by Royal Caribbean. During a Christmas cruise, Palmer, who was assigned to maintaining the vessel’s pool areas, befriended a young girl, age 14.

We reported on the sordid events in a previous article here: Another Crew Member Pleads Guilty to Sexual Rape Charges of Minor Passenger on Royal Caribbean Cruise

fabianpalmerfacebook.jpgFor several days, Palmer would leave written notes to the minor girl, until the night of December 23, 2011. That night, Palmer took the child into a bathroom located inside a male locker room. He locked the doors behind them and despite the girl’s protests, performed multiple sexual acts. The FBI came into possession of video surveillance footage that showed Palmer lead the child in the male locker room and in one of the bathrooms.

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A 15 year-old girl, who was vacationing with her family on a ten day cruise that returned to Port Everglades on January 3rd, 2012, was raped by 20-year-old Luiz Scavone and another 15-year-old teenager. The young girl was lured from “Fuel”, the ship’s teen dance club, to a private cabin by the 15-year-old male, where she was told she was meeting friends for a party in the cabin. But when the girl entered the cabin, instead of seeing friends, she was face to face with Scavone who, with the help of the other male passenger, forcibly restrained her in the cabin. They ripped off her clothes, forced oral sex, and then both raped her. The Broward Sheriff’s Office said that the victim was unable to stop her assailants even though she repeatedly said “no” and begged them to stop while trying to fight her way out of the cabin.

According to the arrest report, the victim reported the assault immediately. Royal Carribean notified the FBI and BSO, and both alleged assailants were arrested at Port Everglades. Scavone, Brazilian, was arraigned at a first-appearance court hearing on Wednesday when he stood before Judge John Hurley. Scavone is accused of one count of lewd and lascivious act on a minor and faces a $10,000 bond. Judge Hurley also ordered Scavone to relinquish his Brazilian passport. Luiz Scavone is currently behind bars in a Broward County jail pending an immigration hold. The minor assailant was also charged with one count of lewd and lascivious battery and transported to Broward’s Juvenile Assessment Center.
Video of Arraignment above

This tragedy is unfortunately not an isolated occurrence on cruise ships. In an article of January 2007, the LA Times revealed that “Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., the world’s second-largest cruise operator after Carnival Corp., accounted for 66 of the 178 reports of sexual assaults. But internal company records turned over as part of a civil lawsuit — and obtained by The Times — revealed that at least 273 people told Royal Caribbean that they had been the victims of sexual assault, battery, harassment and inappropriate touching during a shorter time period.” (over 32 months) Read the article here

Safety and security of cruise ship passengers, even if claimed by cruise lines as their paramount concern, has been all but neglected. Cruise lines refuse to implement proven security measures including additional security guards, monitoring closed-circuit cameras around the clock, or increasing visual police force to deter criminals. Allure of the Seas is the largest ship in the world and has a capacity of well over 6,300 people. While there are hundreds of cruise ship employees manning the restaurants, bars, clubs, malls, and shows, on the other hand this city on water has a minuscule number of employees assigned to passenger safety and security. As such, sexual assaults and other criminal acts on cruise ships are neither ever prevented nor stopped until it is too late.
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