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Royal Caribbean Cruise Line’s Newly Renovated Serenade of the Seas Tugged Back to Port

Written by Spencer Aronfeld on . Posted in Cruise Ship Accidents

Royal Caribbean Cruise Line’s newly renovated Serenade of the Seas–experienced both plumbing and electrical problems off the coast of Louisiana yesterday-requiring it to be tugged back to port in New Orleans.  The flooding affected nearly 200 cabins of the nearly 90,000 ton vessel.

As of this morning, the ship has power – its navigational systems are down requiring RCCL to cancel an undisclosed number of passenger reservations.  Apparently RCCL is offering their inconvenienced passengers a “free cruise” but nothing for their lost accommodations and time.

serenade of the seas

Royal Caribbean Cruise Line’s newly renovated Serenade of the Seas–experienced both plumbing and electrical problems off the coast of Louisiana

A statement issued by RCCL today said:

“We understand the anticipation and excitement leading up to their cruise, and we apologize for impacting their vacation. Royal Caribbean international will provide these guests with a full refund of the cruise fare paid.”

The Serenade was set to depart on January 24, 2015 on a seven night Bahamas cruise with stops including Key West, Nassau, Coco Cay and returning back to New Orleans on January 31, 2015.

Fortunately, for passengers aboard the Serenade the leak occurred just a few miles outside of port and it does not appear that anyone was injured, unlike the passengers who were aboard Carnival’s Triumph– who were towed for days across the Gulf of Mexico with no plumbing water or electricity.  

We are often contacted by passengers who have been involved in a slip, trip or fall and seriously hurt on board a cruise ship while they are still in the midst of their voyage.  To find out what to do first when you hurt a cruise, click here.

Cruise ship passengers have very specific limitations on their legal rights and should always consult with an experienced attorney. We offer free initial consultations for anyone who has been seriously injured during a cruise.  Call:  1-866-597-4529 or email us today.

Child Hospitalized After Nearly Drowning on Cruise Ship

Written by Spencer Aronfeld on . Posted in Cruise Ship Accidents

A four year old boy nearly died while on a family cruise onboard a Royal Caribbean ship. The tragedy occurred aboard Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas, where the four year old child nearly drowned after wandering away from his mother on the ship’s 15th deck at the wave pool. According to reports, the boy’s mother searched for the child-but was unable to see that he has entered into the ship’s wave pool and apparently remained submerged for nearly 6 minutes. The boy is currently at Broward Health Medical Center in critical condition.

The accident occurred shortly after the ship left the Port Everglades and was headed out on a seven-night cruise to Labadee, Haiti; Falmouth, Jamaica; and Cozumel, Mexico. According to Broward Sheriff’s Department’s Fire Rescue spokesperson Mike Jachles that a fellow passenger spotted the child and pulled him from the water. Other passengers provided CPR until the ship’s medical crew arrived and transported him to the ship’s hospital-where they were able to restore his pulse and blood pressure.
The Oasis of the Seas is one of RCCL’s Freedom Class ships and is one of the newest and most complicated cruise ships in the world with 21 swimming pools and jacuzzis holding 5,070,632 lbs (2,330 tonnes) of water.

Drowning on Cruise Ships Occur with Frightening Frequency

Drowning on cruise ships can and do occur with frightening frequency. The problem often arises when parents, lured by the sun and sea take their eyes off of their children. In May 2014, a 6-year-old British boy was diagnosed with a severe brain injury after he was found at the bottom of a pool on RCCL’s Independence of the Sea. The accident occurred while the family was on a seven-night western European voyage and was force to return to port so the child could be airlifted to a hospital.
In February 2014, a 4-year-old boy died, and his 6-year-old brother was airlifted to the hospital in critical condition after they were found at the bottom of a swimming pool on the Norwegian Breakaway, a ship in NCL’s fleet.

In March 2013, a 4-year-old nearly drowned in a pool aboard Disney Cruise Line’s Fantasy. Chase Christopher Lykken was deprived of oxygen for up to six minutes when he nearly died aboard a Disney cruise. Lykken w who was also just 4 years old boy nearly died during a family cruise aboard Disney’s Fantasy. Police were unable to determine how the boy got away from his family. After that incident, Disney hired lifeguards for its cruise line pools.

Cruise lines like to give people the impression that they can leave their troubles behind when on board. They provide lodging, food, drinks, casinos, spas and entertainment. Yet when it comes to their swimming pools, jacuzzis, spas and aquatic attractions passengers are often left to fend for themselves.

According to admiralty law–cruise ships have an obligation to provide reasonable care to their passengers-both adults and children. We believe this includes posting appropriately trained lifeguards at all swimming pools, jacuzzis and wave riders. In fact, RCCL, Carnival, Princess and Norwegian do not post lifeguards.

Have You Been Injured on a Cruise Ship?

Our attorneys sue cruise lines on behalf of passenger who are injured on cruise ships. We provide free initial consultations by phone: 1-866-597-4529 or by email:

Remember that most cruise lines require that any claim be filed in the United States Federal Court in Miami within in one year of the date of the incident, regardless of where in the world the accident occurred or where the passenger lives.

Holland America Cruise Ship Passenger Attacked and Raped

Written by Spencer Aronfeld on . Posted in Cruise Ship Accidents

Ketut Pujayasa, 29 an Indonesian crew member on Holland America’s MS Nieuw Amsterdam passenger cruise ship was sentenced by Judge Martinez to 30 years in a federal prison this week for raping and then trying to kill a passenger.

Mr. Pujayasa admitted to hiding in the passenger’s cabin and then choked, beat and raped the passenger-before attempting to throw her overboard from her cabin’s balcony while the ship was moving out to the open sea.

His victim survived and faced him in Federal Court in Broward County, Florida a few miles from Port Everglades where her ill fated cruise departed from.

Holland America Cruise Ship Passenger Attacked on the Balcony of the MS Nieuw Amsterdam

Ketut Pujayasa| Holland America Cruise Lines |Aronfeld Trial Lawyers

Ketut Pujayasa, 29 was sentenced by Judge Martinez to 30 years in a federal prison.

According to the Sun Sentinel, the attack occurred on the balcony of the MS Nieuw Amsterdam, when Mr. Pujayasa was able to access the victim’s cabin by using a master key. He then waited for her on her balcony. He claimed in court that he wanted to punish her for insulting his mother-when he delivered room service to her early in the day-she apparently yelled out “wait a minute… you son of a bitch.” The victim denies ever making this statement not ever seeing him before the attack.

As a result of the attack, the woman suffered serious injuries including fractures to her spine, skull, and face. Thankfully, the attack was interrupted by fellow passengers–and Mr. Pujayasa escaped from the cabin by jumping from the balcony. He subsequently confessed to his roommate, ship security workers and the FBI agents.

Passenger rape continues to be a problem aboard cruise ship. In 2010 Congress enacted the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act- with the hope that it would force cruise companies to initiate policies to prevent and protect passengers from rape. The bill mandates that all serious crimes involving U.S. citizens be reported to the FBI as well as the publication of crime statistics on a website available to the public.

Unfortunately, the bill’s language only requires that crimes “that are no longer under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation” be publicized. Some studies show that the FBI only investigates about 10% of reported cruise ship crime- resulting in very misleading statistics. To check out the latest crime statistics click here.

It is important to protect yourself and your family on your next cruise. According to FBI Special Agent David Hearn: “Watch what you are doing and keep your wits about you. It seems like an enclosed environment. That gives people a false sense of security. You should have fun, but act responsibly and know what your kids are doing at all times. And if you see suspicious activity or a crime has occurred, contact the ship’s personnel immediately.”

If you have been involved in an accident during your cruise-contact our office today for a free initial consultation regarding your legal rights. We have nearly 25 years of combined legal experience suing Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Holland America, Norwegian and Disney Cruise Lines. Call us today 1-866-597-4529 to discuss your potential claim.