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No Guarantee Of A Seaworthy Vessel

Written by: Kuki

To be clear, and up front, it’s plainly obvious that I am an an avid cruise enthusiast. I think cruising is the best vacation experience available. It combines vacation, travel, entertainment, and adventure, all quite inexpensively.

And I do believe the vast majority of sailings are safe, and incidents and issues are indeed very rare.

I support the industry and its innovations fervently, and that’s why I’ve so enjoyed writing about it for Cruisemates for 14 years.

That’s also the reason I became so upset last week when watching a new piece on CNN “reporting” on a story about the fire on the Carnival Triumph which occurred this past February.

When the incident occurred last February I wasn’t any happier about the way the media reported on it (overblown and hyped, when, while passengers endured some very uncomfortable conditions, lives were not in danger) than I am now with the statement Carnival made in their defence …

As reported on CNN, Carnival said, ” the contract that passengers agree to when they buy a ticket makes absolutely no guarantee for safe passage, a seaworthy vessel, adequate and wholesome food, and sanitary and safe living conditions.”

I’ve been aware for a very long time that the cruise contract referred to has always removed the cruise lines from any responsibility of basically anything that occurs on their ships, other than proven gross negligence.

However, in this case, as pressure mounted, for them using this statement for their public response and defence is truly disappointing. Yes, I’m certain there are all kinds of legal reasons as to why they must limit what they say publicly. But on a personal level, I think they need to “man up”!

In my opinion, if that statement is their defence and final policy, they should also include that statement on every advertisement they run. That would make it perfectly clear to all potential customers, and eliminate the need to dance around the legalese ramifications.

That statement also seems to fly in the face of some of the facets of the Passenger Rights Act, which Carnival agreed to in May of this year. Though even in that Bill of Rights there seems to be language which could be seen as giving them an “out”.

As someone who has stood and spoken fervently backing up Carnival’s product for a long time, including after the Triumph fire in February, I’d really like to see them stand and speak fervently backing up their product, not looking for escape clauses.

- A View From The Kuki Side of Cruising -

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Comments

Comment from Kenneth Eden
Time December 26, 2013 at 7:32 am

Here is another way to look at the term of passage and the ramifications that may arise from ANY conflict, be it seaworthiness or plumbing.

Why not make the disclaimer as simple as those found on US TV ads for prescription drugs,

“taking ______, may cause blindness, loss of feeling in the legs, nausea, headaches, loss of bladder control, early puberty in a child, swelling of the lips, tongue or throat, headaches, high blood pressure, low blood pressure, heart attacks, stroke, fainting, dementia, diabetes, lock jaw, toe fungus, loose stool, bird flu , or even death.

Persons under 18 should not take ______ due to suicidal tendencies.

Women who are pregnant, or could become pregnant, should consult their doctors before taking _____.

Nobody read this stuff, and nobody reads the cruise contract.

Take your meds, happy cruising.

Comment from Paul Motter
Time December 26, 2013 at 8:47 am

The way I see this clause is that it is the same as a parking lot that says “not responsible for any damage to your car.” It is just a blanket legal statement to make sure that people do not bring cars in and then try to capitalize on every little thing that goes wrong. The same with a cruise ship. If a ship missed a port because of a faulty pod – it should make the news and people should avoid that ship in the future if they care about that port – but the cruise line don’t not want 4000 lawsuits saying everyone deserves a full refund due to breach of contract.

Of course cruise lines care about their safety and performance records, why else is Carnival spending $300-million in engine upgrades. But at the same time, why leave to door open to sue-happy lawyers.

Does Amtrak guarantee a no breakdowns, does the airline industry? Not as far as I know.

This is not the same as saying they don’t care or will not take their own course of responsibility.

Comment from Kenneth Eden
Time December 26, 2013 at 10:32 am

caveat emptor

Comment from Kuki
Time December 26, 2013 at 11:34 pm

Yes everything has a caveat of “buyer beware”, and of course the cruise lines have no interest in putting their ships and their passengers in danger.

And it’s ridiculously outrageous the warning labels corporations have to put on products due to a litigious society.

However, the defence presented— that safe passage, nor a seaworthy vessel can be guaranteed, stretches the boundaries of reason for corporations as well.

When all sides in a dispute offer crazy arguments, it makes expectations for a reasonable solution, or judgment, near to Impoosible.

Comment from Dan Ragland
Time December 31, 2013 at 1:09 pm

Love to cruise,31 cruises. 14 on Carnival. However the last 5 Carnival cruises gradually were less enjoyable. 3 nights on last cruise with no prfessional entertainment in main showroom. Fewer staff and crew + slower – less service. Terrible music groups in lounges. Poor VIP check in. Crew and entertainment people were complaining about cut backs that made their jobs harder with no extra copensation. Even Carnival admitting they knew they had maintanence problems but failed to react in a timely manner. Fuel leaks are a very serioius saftey hazard which can easily cause fire. I think we have taken our last Carnival cruise.

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