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Cruising to Cuba!

Written by Spencer Aronfeld on . Posted in Cruise Ship Accidents

Are Cruise Lines headed to Havana?

President Obama’s easing of US restrictions for travel and investment in Cuba has Havana looking like it may be the next hot port for the cruise industry. And with time, we will likely see U.S.-based passenger cruise lines like Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Celebrity soon docking in Havana.

As a lawyer that sues cruise lines on behalf of injured passengers, I am very concerned that Cuba does not yet have the infrastructure, port facilities and telecommunication capabilities to provide adequate support and protection for passengers, especially in remote parts of the country.  It has been nearly 50 years since American tourists have been able to freely travel to Cuba.  And, unlike other caribbean ports –like Ocho Rios (Jamaica), George Town (Grand Cayman) and Cozumel (Mexico) that have had decades of experience handling the complex issues that occur when small ports are invaded by tourists–I am not sure that Cuba is ready, not just yet.

Norwegian Cruises to Cuba

Norwegian Cruise Line’s CEO, Frank Del Rio has announced that NCL already has several itineraries in mind-beyond just Havana, possibly including Cienfuegos, Trinidad and Isla de Pinos.

A cruise to and around Cuba will be an exciting addition to the typical Caribbean cruise ship itineraries; but I strongly urge NCL, as well as other cruise lines, to carefully plan and ensure that passenger safety is always placed ahead of corporate profit. Of particular concern, are onshore excursions, where passenger can find themselves far from the safety and protection of their ship. Excursion tour operators will need to be carefully vetted and insured.

Our cruise ship passenger injury attorneys are passionate about protecting the legal rights of the injured. If you have been involved in an accident during a cruise or onshore excursion, it is important that you consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer who sues cruise ships immediately. Most cruise lines have a very limited time period to initiate a claim and to file a lawsuit. Our firm offers anyone who has been involved in an accident during a cruise a free initial consultation.  Call us today: 1-866-597-4529 or email us at: newcase@aronfeld.com.

cruise-ship | Aronfeld Blog

Do I Need a Maritime Lawyer to Settle my Cruise Ship Accident Claim?

Written by Spencer Aronfeld on . Posted in Cruise Ship Accidents

Almost every day, we get asked questions on how injured passengers on a cruise ship should handle their claims. Here is a recent question I received via email:

“Dear Maritime Lawyer in Miami:

Do I need an attorney to settle my cruise ship accident claim?

Thank you,

Hurt in Tulsa”

Dear Hurt in Tulsa:

Thanks for your email. We are asked this question almost every day in our office. Typically, we investigate several potential cases against cruise lines like Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian every day.

My answer is–it depends. The first and probably most important element of any potential claim is how serious the injuries are. Sometimes we are called by passengers who simply did not like their cabin, food, or the facial they got in the spa. Those are not cases that I would take and certainly not cases any of the best lawyers who sue cruise lines would consider either.

However, if the injury is a broken bone, required stitches, hospitalization or in any way changed the quality of the passenger’s quality of life, a lawyer who sues cruise companies should be consulted–immediately.

Why? Because cruise lines like Carnival, Disney, RCCL, and NCL are staffed by some of the finest and most experienced maritime defense lawyers in the country. All those lawyers do every day is look for ways to minimize and often completely eliminate passenger claims. After all, that is what they are paid to do. And they do it very well.

Therefore, you too should have the benefit of an experienced lawyer–one who will fight to protect your legal rights and maximize your recovery. Maritime accident claims are complex, with different rules, time limits, and courts that handle most cruise ship injuries than for a slip and fall at the local Wal Mart.

Our attorneys have been battling on behalf of people who have been hurt by careless cruise lines for nearly 25 years. Let our experience and passion help you get the all compensation you deserve, not just part of it, but all of it. Call us today for a free initial consultation: 1-866-597-4529 or email us at: newcase@aronfeld.com

Thank you,

Spencer Aronfeld

Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer

Polarstern_stabilizer

Stabilize Me – Stay Upright on a Cruise Ship in Rough Seas

Written by Spencer Aronfeld on . Posted in Cruise Ship Accidents

Dealing with a Cruise Ship in Rough Seas

Nobody enjoys rough seas during a cruise. They can cause seasickness and often lead to an increase in passenger slip, trip and falls injuries. Fortunately, most modern cruise ships are equipped with devices designed to minimize and virtually eliminate the rocking and rolling feeling that passengers and crew experience in rough seas. This equipment is commonly referred to as stabilizers or stabilizer wings. Smaller or older cruise ships have installed two stabilizers-one on each side of the ship. Larger ships such as Royal Caribbean’s Voyager, Freedom and Oasis class vessels have four installed four stabilizers, two on each side of the ship.

Often when we investigate a cruise ship passenger injury claim, the passenger does not really understand why they fell. They can be simply walking through the ship and suddenly find themselves lying on the deck-often with a broken arm or leg. The sudden trauma may cause them to forget what happened in the moment before the fall as the last thing they remember is simply lying on the floor in pain.

In these kinds of cases, when our attorneys investigate a potential passenger injury claim; we obtain and inspect the ship’s log and compare it to global weather tracking conditions.  We carefully assess the wave height and temperature, barometric pressure and wind conditions. Wind analysis is important because wind speed and wind direction analyzed in conjunction with the speed of the cruise ship at the time of the incident can be key indicators of when stabilizer wings should be deployed.

The ship’s log will tell us when and if the stabilizers were in fact deployed. We frequently find that stabilizers are “coincidentally” deployed shortly after a passenger falls but without a change in weather conditions.

What are stabilizers and how do they work?

Stabilizers on cruise ships look a lot like airplane wings-and when deployed extend from the ship of the vessel outward.  And like airplane wings they can pivot be up or down depending on the wave conditions.

Whenever the ship’s wave and weather sensors detect severe wave and wind conditions the stabilizers can be automatically deployed.  In addition the bridge can manually deploy the wings on one or both sides of the ship’s hull. According to reports, the use of stabilizers can eliminate about 85% of the roll of the vessels.

Stabilizers only affect the rocking and rolling of a cruise ship; but have no effect on controlling the ship’s pitch (which is the front of the ship bobbing up and down in rough seas).  That it why it is important for the bridge to pick a courses that minimize heading into rough seas head on. Cruise lines do not like to deploy stabilizer wings because they create drag, reduce speed and increase fuel consumption.