Injury Lawyer’s Review of Seabourn’s New Ship The Ovation

In the competitive luxury cruise ship market, one cruise line seems poised to take the lead in 2018–Carnival Corporation’s Seabourn Cruise Line. Seabourn is based in Washington State and operates out of Carnival’s Holland America offices, having relocated from Miami, where Carnival maintains its world headquarters. The Seabourn fleet currently consists of only four ships, all flagged and registered in the Bahamas for the convenience of Carnival. The Seabourn Odyssey has been in service since 2009, the Seabourn Sojourn since 2010, the Seabourn Quest since 2011, and the Seabourn Encore since 2016. However, it is their latest ship, the 600-passenger Seabourn Ovation, that has many in the cruise industry buzzing with excitement after it was just christened in Singapore for its maiden voyage, scheduled for May of 2018. The Ovation will be a sister ship to the Encore, but with an additional deck to accommodate more cabins, passengers, and both a sushi bar and piano bar. Rather than trying to compete with the over-the-top opulence of the current “Queen of Luxury Cruise Ships”–NCL’s Regent Seven Seas Explorer–it is purportedly designed with a more sedate yacht-like feel, giving passengers a more nautical and less glitzy or Vegas feel. THE PERFECT CRUISE FOR GOURMET DINING Foodies who like to cruise will be excited to learn that the Seabourn Encore’s cuisine has been designed by Thomas Keller, who many believe is one of America’s if not the world’s leading chefs. If you have ever dined at the Yountville’s French Laundry or Napa’s French Laundry, you know that meals at a Keller restaurant can cost $400.00 or more a person. Passengers on the...

Injured Crew Member Gets Jones Act Injury Case Dismissed

Representing injured passengers against cruise lines like Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Disney, Celebrity, and Norwegian is expensive and difficult for the injured and their lawyers. However, it’s a lot easier than what injured crewmembers must face if they get hurt while working on a cruise ship. Take, for example, the case of Miguel Antonio Alvarado Castro, a Honduran injured while working as a cruise ship cabin steward aboard the Pullmantur Sovereign cruise ship.1MIGUEL ANTONIO ALVARADO CASTRO, Appellant, v. PULLMANTUR, S.A., PULLMANTUR CRUISES, S.L., PULLMANTUR CRUISES SOVEREIGN, a foreign corporation, and PULLMANTUR SHIP MANAGEMENT LTD., Appellees. 3rd District. Case No. 3D16-556. L.T. Case No. 14-21552. June 7, 2017.  He was represented by another Miami maritime injury law firm in a Jones Act Claim2The Jones Act says: any seaman who suffers a personal injury in the course of his employment may, at his election, maintain a cause of action for damages at law, with the right to a trial by jury, and in such action all statutes of the United States modifying or extending the common law right or remedy in cases of personal injury to railway employees shall apply.  46 U.S.C. § 3010. against Pullmantur Cruises. He also alleged unseaworthiness, failing to provide maintenance and cure, and failing to treat his injuries. The evidence in the case was Mr. Castro’s allegation that on September 7, 2013, while he was working on the Sovereign, he was severely injured because of the constant heavy lifting, bending, twisting, and turning he had to do as part of his responsibilities as a cabin steward. He sued Pullmantur, a Spanish Cruise line–registered in the Bahamas, but...

Cruise Ship Accident: The Unwelcome Impact of Mega Cruise Ships in Venice, Italy

Recently, I had the opportunity to visit Venice, Italy, to take the deposition of a Norwegian Cruise Line nurse in a maritime medical malpractice case and to inspect a Norwegian cruise ship in another passenger cruise ship accident claim. I can report that Venice may be one of the world’s most romantic and beautiful cities. Founded in the 5th century, Venice is spread over 118 tiny islands and has been a major maritime destination since the 10th century. The whole city is an architectural and engineering masterpiece, and virtually every building contains work by the world’s greatest artists.   Since 1987 Venice has been inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is probably why it is a favorite port of call for the competitive cruise line industry, battling not just each other to bring bigger ships with more passengers into Venice’s cruise ship terminal, but also the city itself as it fights to preserve the authenticity of its charming canals, architecture, and local culture. Despite the city’s efforts, as cruise ships continue to increase in size, it is not uncommon for a modern mega ship to disgorge 4-5,000 passengers in a few hours—throngs that can quickly swarm and overwhelm the narrow pedestrian streets and bridges linking the tiny islands. Bargain-hungry cruise passengers, who may have only a few hours to shop and sightsee, prefer fast-food alternatives to leisurely Italian-style meals, causing kebab shops and—heaven forbid—pizza-by-the-slice stands to pop up, trying to meet the demand. The exceptions to the rule are gelatarias offering homemade and handmade artisanal ice cream.   These developments certainly have not made the locals happy....

Cruise Ship Accidents Cruising To and From Labadee, Haiti

Should I get off the ship in Labadee? Absolutely, if for no other reason than to tell your friends you have been to Haiti. What they don’t ask won’t hurt. If you have booked a Royal Caribbean cruise that includes Labadee, Haiti, on the cruise’s itinerary, you’re in for a treat–even though you are not likely to experience the true culture, food, music, or people of the country of Haiti. That is because Labadee is a private resort run by RCCL, which pays the country of Haiti for each passenger who visits its port, recently renovated to accommodate RCCL’s new mega ships like the Harmony of the Seas. You’ll know of RCCL’s financial agreement with Haiti because of the government officials at the port literally counting the people who step off the ship. The site is fenced off from the rest of Haiti and guarded by a private security force, reminiscent of scenes from Jurassic Park.   Within the confines of the resort, RCCL passengers have a continuous opportunity to spend money on everything from beer to beachwear. Bungalows, ziplining and t-shirts are sold by RCCL crewmembers every few steps. In fact, the food and drinks are golf-carted right from the cruise ship, so you are most likely eating and drinking the exact same food as those passengers who stay onboard.   The beaches and waters surrounding Labadee are breathtakingly beautiful in both the clarity of the water and the tranquility of the ambience.  One side of the cove is more protected than the other, affording both calmer waters and softer, sandier beaches, unlike the other side which has...

Cruise Ship Passenger Injuries While Cruising To or From Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is one of the busiest and, without a doubt, most beautiful cruise ship ports in the world. Old San Juan is a charming and historic area–great for walking, shopping, and picture taking that are simply magical–and only a five-minute walk from the port, where cruise ships embark on cruises around the world every day.   In fact, virtually every major cruise line schedules San Juan, Puerto Rico on its itineraries, including AIDA Cruises, Azamara Club Cruises, Carnival, Celebrity. Costa Crociere, Crystal Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, Holland America, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean (RCCL), Silversea, Viking Ocean Cruises, SeaDream Yacht Club, and Windstar. Both RCCL’s and Carnival deploy ships that homeport at San Juan year-round–RCCL Adventure of the Seas and the Carnival Fascination, which cruise weekly through the Southern Caribbean. RCCL’s Harmony of the Seas, the world’s largest cruise ship, visits San Juan frequently.    In addition to the breathtaking beauty of Puerto Rico and the unique Spanish-influenced colonial architecture found in Old San Juan, Luis Munoz Marin International Airport is only seven miles from the cruise ship terminal. This makes the Port of San Juan very convenient for cruise ship passengers flying in from around the world, who are easily able to board cruise ships. Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States, and cruise ship passengers are provided protection and services by the United States Coast Guard while the ship is in Puerto Rico’s waters.    However, passengers who are injured aboard cruise ships to and from Puerto Rico–by, for example, slipping on a...

Injury Aboard a Cruise Ship: St. Maarten and St. Martin Cruise Ship Accident Claims

If you have not yet had a chance to visit the gorgeous island of St. Maarten (aka St. Martin) on a cruise, we highly recommend that you include this Caribbean gem in your next booking. What makes this island unique is that it is home to two separate countries, with diverse cultures, languages, currencies, food, and people. The Dutch side of the Island is called St. Maarten, with its capital of Philipsburg, and the French side is known as St. Martin, with its capital of Marigot.   Cruise ships dock on the Dutch side and generally provide their passengers with a full day to see what the island has to offer. We recommend taking a private taxi, to enable traversing the 37-square-mile island at leisure–stopping where, when and with whom you choose. Private taxis can be easily booked right at the cruise ship port taxi stand. Please note that full-day private taxi service can cost between $200 and $300 a day, and these drivers do not accept credit cards, so visitors should have plenty of U.S. dollars on hand. One of the very first things you may notice when exploring the Dutch side of the Island, shortly after exiting the port, is the number of casinos and bordellos peppering the roadside.  Marijuana is openly available, too. Whether those elements are attractive or repulsive, they reflect the Dutch culture made famous in Amsterdam.   On the French side, visitors can find nude beaches, French pastry shops, and the sultry architecture found in Marigot the capital city. Also, those who enjoy shopping at upscale French boutiques like Chanel and Louis Vuitton...
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