Although cruise ship disasters are fodder for many epic Hollywood movies, few vacationers imagine that their relaxing luxury cruise plans could actually end in disaster. However, a spate of cruise ship accidents on Carnival and its subsidiaries (Princess Cruises, Holland America and Cunard) resulted in many injuries and deaths in recent years. Miami’s own Micky Arison, Carnival Corp.’s CEO and corporate heir of 30 years, is stepping down in the wake of public scrutiny about these incidents.
In February 2013, a Carnival Triumph engine-room fire left over 4,000 people without air conditioning or functioning toilets for a few days in the Gulf of Mexico. In January 2012, a ship on one of Carnival’s subsidiary lines was shipwrecked off the coast of Italy. Thirty-two people were killed. In addition, the line sustained several incidents of engine fires and stranded cruise ships in which no passengers were physically hurt. However, these travelers likely experienced emotional pain and suffering. Many were stranded at sea without electricity for days. Passengers may have been unable to contact family and loved ones as they drifted in remote areas of open ocean, unsure of their fate.
As Carnival Corp. trains its new CEO and pours funds into marketing in hopes of regaining the public’s trust, many injured or bereaved parties may still be awaiting the settlements they deserve. The company also plans to amp up its safety and emergency response systems in the near future. But for many, it’s too little, too late as they mourn loved ones or harbor traumatic memories of their dream vacation turned nightmare. While much media attention is focused on the recent struggles of this maritime empire and its more obvious casualties, less attention is given to the “invisible injuries” countless many have sustained.
If you are a victim of any cruise ship accident or malfunction, you may be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering. An experienced personal injury lawyer can navigate these rough waters for you while you focus on healing your life.