I just posted the following message to the "Value for Kind " thread. I am in no way personally involved in that situation, have never been to Maine or Bermuda. I have not read all the posts, but have read enough to say that it is indeed dismaying that so many people, maybe especially cruisers ("Hey, put me on a ship and I don't care where it goes"), don't understand their own rights and worse, even if they do, are not willing to fight for them.
I am not going to get into a discussion about LEGITIMATE itinerary changes, because I fully understand and agree that those are not the point. I am not going to get into a discussion about Maine, etc., at this time, because it isn't the point of this thread that I dearly hope will stay on topic.
To all good citizens here and everywhere else who blurt out the mantra "read the contract":
Keep in mind that THE CONTRACT may have been BREACHED by Celebrity Cruises.
To those who seem to think that once you have taken a cruise or bought a car and driven it or whatever that you have lost your rights to sue for compensation, YOU ARE WRONG.
If the only way to MITIGATE DAMAGES is to take the cruise first and then sue later, that is a perfectly reasonable thing to do.
Keep in mind that courts look with disfavor on DISCLAIMERS when companies try to hide behind them and then neglect to act IN GOOD FAITH.
I have more to say on this matter, but not at this time.
Hmmm, maybe I should have been even more specific with what I had hoped would occur with this discussion topic, especially since I really did not intend for there to be any discussion about the itinerary mentioned in the original post. That's why I tried to start a new topic. I can see where I was not clear enough, so I will try to start over.
This is a general topic about cruise contracts, disclaimers, etc.
It is not about any particular case. I am most definitely not referring to the case in the thread under which I first posted that topic, though since I posted in the Celebrity Cruise discussion area, you may correctly assume that I think Celebrity Cruises is behaving extremely badly towards its passengers with regards to itinerary changes. You may know something about that case, at least Celebrity's side of it, and I admittedly don't.
I repeat:, cruise line contracts can be breached for several legal reasons, including bad faith, false and misleading advertising, etc. Furthermore, unfair competition is illegal.
What really disturbs me is that so many passengers are discouraged from pursuing action against cruiselines, and I do think some cruise lines are taking advantage of that fact and are able to get away with significantly worse behavior than other types of companies, not because the law is on their side quite as much as you think it is, but because the perception is there that the fight cannot be won.
The cruise lines all stipulate that any and all litigation must take place in the Marine Court of Broward County Florida. If you have ever read or been involved in such a case you will quickly realize that the Marine Court of Florida will find in favor of the cruise lines citing the information above that was provided by Ocngyp.
The Marine Court is nothing like your civil courts just as Marine Law is nothing like civil law.
Babette & Ross - Thank You! The bottom line is that it is our responsibility as consumers to know what we're getting into before we go. Both of you have once again added valuable information to the boards. Many thanks.
I hear so much anger and resentment in some of these threads, and I find that terribly sad. What about being flexible, going with the flow, and viewing unexpected changes as delightful surprises/adventures? I realize some may consider this a bit "polyanna," but I truly believe that much of life (including cruising and other travel) is what we make it.
Several years ago, I took an all-inclusive vacation (not a cruise, something else) that did not go exactly as advertised. Because of weather and other circumstances beyond the control of the provider, a number of changes had to be made throughout the trip at the last minute. That meant that we did not get to do some of the things we had really been looking forward to, but it also meant we got to do some other things instead that we had not planned.
Because of very bad weather one day, a day-long river rafting adventure had to be cancelled and could not be rescheduled. We instead were "relegated" to the lodge lobby where we sat around a glowing fire in the huge stone fireplace, sipping hot apple cider, and listening to an 85-year-old share incredible tales of the past with us.
Did I feel cheated by this and other last-minute changes? Not at all. Did I demand some sort of compensation? Nope, the thought never even crossed my mind. We didn't get to go river rafting that one day, something we were truly looking forward to. But the flip side is that had we gone river rafting that day, we would have missed out on a wonderfully cozy day, a day we'll remember fondly for the rest of our lives.
I realize some may consider me a wimp who doesn't fight for my rights. But it is also my right to choose to make the most of things whenever I can.
I am by no means an avid cruiser and am not very aware of how cruiselines operate with regards to the contract.
All I kwow is I did not get my cruise contract until after I booked and paid for my cruise. In the contract it states that the contract is valid even if I did not sign it (stating I agree with the terms of the contract).
Can someone please give me some contructive feedback as to how I should have proceeded.
<< I repeat:, cruise line contracts can be breached for several legal reasons, including bad faith, false and misleading advertising, etc. Furthermore, unfair competition is illegal.
What really disturbs me is that so many passengers are discouraged from pursuing action against cruiselines, and I do think some cruise lines are taking advantage of that fact and are able to get away with significantly worse behavior than other types of companies, not because the law is on their side quite as much as you think it is, but because the perception is there that the fight cannot be won. >>
A quick review of case law would disprove your statements. While much of a cruise contract may seem to be "unconscionable" because it would appear that the cruise line is protected far more than the passenger - in the vast majority of cases against cruise lines because of the wording of the contract, courts have ruled in favor of the cruise line.
Looking at the issue that started all this - the thread about the hurricane in Bermuda and the change in itenerary, I would have to ask - where exactly was there any example of bad faith or false or misleading advertising? And where is there any example of unfair competition.
Your handle of "Sympathetic" leads me to believe that you feel that cruise lines are less than candid in their contracts. But let's use your examples - can you cite an example of Celebrity, or any cruise line, acting in bad faith? Can you cite any false or misleading advertising by Celebrity or any other cruise line? All in all, I'm rather glad that cruise line matters are handled by a maritime court - as they would appear to place a value on common sense - such as crusing during hurricane season may well result in a change in itinerary. Other court rulings outside of the cruise industry have given us such improvements as tacky yellow stickers on the visor of your car informing you that the airbag (that another lawsuit forced manufacturers to put in cars) can kill infants, small children, or smallish adults. So perhaps we can turn the cruise industry into disclaimer city - lest anyone be "tricked" into booking a cruise by "bad faith" or "misleading advertising". But we have become a society that prefers litigation over common sense.