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-   -   Family sues RC for their drunken son leaning over a railing (http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/chit-chat-cruisers/333024-family-sues-rc-their-drunken-son-leaning-over-railing.html)

Paul Motter May 9th, 2007 12:16 PM

Family sues RC for their drunken son leaning over a railing
 
[FROM: VINDY.COM: http://www.vindy.com/content/local_r...6772001975.php


Family sues cruise line over death

A ship's passenger fell overboard while leaning over a railing.

CANFIELD — The mother of a man who fell off a Royal Caribbean cruise ship last year and was never found has filed suit against the cruise line.

Susan DiPiero filed the wrongful-death suit Monday in Miami-Dade County, Fla., on behalf of the estate of 21-year-old Daniel DiPiero, his father, Ronald DiPiero, and his three sisters.

Daniel DiPiero lived with his parents and two of his sisters at their Canfield Township home.

He and a group of friends left Miami for a vacation on the cruise line's Mariner of the Seas on May 14, 2006. His friends reported him missing the morning of May 15.

After his parents met the ship later that week in the U.S. Virgin Islands and watched footage from the ship's surveillance cameras, his family announced that he had fallen overboard about 2:15 a.m. May 15 after leaning over the rail and losing his balance on the ship's fourth deck.

DiPiero had been drinking before he fell over the rail, the cruise line reported after an FBI investigation into the accident. The company said he was served five drinks over a four-hour period — from 8 p.m. to midnight May 14.

The cruise line also said DiPiero and roommates smuggled liquor onboard in their luggage and drank it that afternoon and evening.

Fall captured on tape. The surveillance footage showed DiPiero asleep on a deck chair for two hours before he woke up and leaned over the rail.


In a statement of facts, the suit says DiPiero was cut off from drinking at one of the ship's bars, then went on to another. He was served more drinks until his intoxication became an obvious danger to his own safety, the suit says.

The suit says crew members never intervened to make sure DiPiero made it safely back to his cabin.

It says that based on his age, physical condition and case histories of others who have survived after falling off a ship at sea, it's likely DiPiero survived and suffered for several hours before succumbing to exposure

The suit alleges negligence because Royal Caribbean sells alcohol as a normal part of its business but did nothing to prevent death or injury in a more dangerous "shipboard environment."

It says the cruise line allowed and even enabled DiPiero to get so intoxicated he became a danger to himself, and then continued to serve him.

Safety issues

The suit says the cruise line didn't warn him that it was dangerous to be on an exterior deck near the railing at night while the ship was at sea.

There was no deck watch and no precautions taken to prevent passengers from falling overboard, and no procedure in place to timely detect and respond to such an accident, the suit says.

The company failed to monitor and have a timely review of shipboard surveillance footage, the suit says.

The suit demands a jury trial and personal injury damages in excess of $15,000.

Royal Caribbean had no comment on specific allegations in the suit.

The company reiterated details about the FBI and Coast Guard investigation, saying the digital video recording was thoroughly reviewed.

"We extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Daniel DiPiero," the company said in a prepared statement.

Paul Motter May 9th, 2007 12:24 PM

So what do you think about this? Is Royal Caribbean at fault? If so, what should they have done?

If you ask me, (and I have owned a bar and do know about bartender's responsibility, etc) they should have more security and when someone is "cut off" at one bar they should have a way to flag his card for other bars so he cannot get more drinks. HOWEVER: that should be the extent of it because...

1. There is no law against being drunk on a ship.

2. If a person chooses to get stinking drunk, that does not mean they become the cruise lines responsibility, because that would mean you have to confine the passenger somehow, and how are you going to do that? you can lock them up or post a guard on their cabin door, that is "kidnapping"

3. Even if his card had been flagged, other people could have bought drinks for him, or he could have walked around stealing other people's drinks (it happens, believe me), or he could have smuggled his own booze on board - whivh the family franjly admitted.

So - here is a family whose son smuggled booze onto a cruise ship he gets stinking drunks and bypasses the safety railings that always work as long as someone does not lean over them. And theyt sue the cruise line.

STINKING LAWYERS SEEKING OUT DEEP POCKETS - are making it more expensive and more restrictive for the rest of us to cruise.

dina May 9th, 2007 01:02 PM

In the words of one of my dearest friends, Natural selection at work.

The guy was an idiot and the cruiseline should not at fault for stupidity.

Dave the Wave May 9th, 2007 03:59 PM

I voted the 2nd option. It is a shame but one must be responsible for their own actions.

mehawk May 10th, 2007 12:27 AM

One has to kinda put an effort into their own safety.

Mike M May 10th, 2007 01:09 AM

Based on the voting options available I had to select #2.

If the man was a normal sized adult he would have been able to metabolize 5 drinks in four hours and not be stinking drunk. A normal 150 pound adult will metabolize one ounce of 80 proof alcohol in hour.

Five drinks may have given the young man a slight buzz but not falling down drunk. He was getting his drinks from somewhere else other than the bars or was very drunk before the five hour period that was recorded.

Perhaps some other methods can be implemented to keep people from going overboard but unless you do something intentional an adult can't "fall" overboard. The only thing that could be done to keep people from protecting them from themselves would be to enclose the outer decks in Plexiglas, chain-link or raise the railings to six feet and destroy the view and stop people, like me, from cruising. If you start implementing small measures than you will keep adding more measures until there will be no exterior spaces left on the ship for "idiots" to fall off of.

Another example of the .001% ruining it for the other 99.999%.

Take care,
Mike

ready2gonow May 10th, 2007 07:18 AM

I agree that the lines need to have a method in place so that an extremely intoxicated person cannot go from one bar to another, after it has been deteremined that he has had enough to drink.

The lines cannot be responsible for stupidity.

mehawk May 10th, 2007 01:13 PM

The thing about stopping one from going from bar to bar is some people are obnoxious to begin with and you can't tell if they are obnoxious drunks or not. :shock:

IBCRUZIN' May 10th, 2007 05:24 PM

O.K. My $0.02 worth.

I believe that at the point that this passenger snuck liquor onboard the ship, which was a clear violation of the contract between aforementioned passenger and the cruiseline, argument could be made that he voided his contract with the cruiseline. At the point the contract was voided, the cruiseline had no further obligation to this passenger.

Since he was of legal drinking age and the contract between passenger and cruiseline is extremely well defined, they are not liable and have been released from any liability as a result of his own negligence or foolhardy actions. That coupled with the fact that the passenger voided out the contract by sneaking liquor on board, means . . . . . . (drumroll please)

The family and their bottom feeding attorneys are dead in the water (no pun intended) :cry: :cry: :cry:

Now, there is always some hungry attorney to take this waste of time case in the hopes that there may, by some miracle, be a payday at the end of this. The family may not realize how furtile this lawsuit is.

I work for a very large law firm in New York City. One of the richest in the country in fact. This is why companies like RCCL (not our client) pay law firms like the one I work for the really big bucks. RCCL will make mincemeat out of this lawsuit and this young man's family. They will be lucky if they are not countersued. (Common tactic in this type of case).

Mean Dean May 10th, 2007 11:55 PM

A couple of thoughts....

I think the ship's bars being able to communicate with each other and flag a passenger's card is a good idea.

I have no problem with security personnel escorting a drunken passenger back to his cabin, and making sure he stays there for awhile.

Lastly, a person is responsible for his own behaviour -- not society, not his employer, and not the cruise line.

Dean

Angelgal May 11th, 2007 12:46 PM

I have seen many cruisers drink as much as they can and they get stinking drunk. I wonder why they bother to go cruising and spend lots of money to cruise when they can just stay home and get stinking drunk.

What drinkers like about cruising is they don't have to drink& drive home so they are free to drink all they want.

The major mistake they make is thinking they can just run up to the ship's rail to vomit onto the ocean. People don't realize that they are top heavy and that is why they fall overboard. The rail is high enough that they have to put their bellies over the rail in order to vomit and that is why they fall.

The guy was old enough to drink and he should take his own responsibility on how much to drink..... but if he was an alcoholic then he had no control of his drinking and that is a problem he already had when he boarded the ship.

It was an accident because the guy didn't expect to fall. He was being nice in trying to vomit off the ship's deck. Instead he died trying not to make a mess on the deck. If I was RCL I would pay the $15,000 which is nothing compared to paying top gun lawyers to defend their company.

Maybe it is time for the cruise lines to built higher rails so people don't lean over it or sit on the rails. Plus.... when dangerous winds show up most ships will put yellow tape to close off certain sections of the decks because they are too windy and dangerous. Some people break the rules and still go into the restricted area not understanding they are putting their lives in danger. People are falling overboard or jumping overboard, or being thrown overboard. It's time for a protection rail to be installed to protect people from themselves.

Paul Motter May 11th, 2007 01:38 PM

I do agree it should be easy to flag a card "do not serve" for a certain number of hours. It would be easy for the cruise lines to implment (from an IT perspective) and it would yet another way for the cruise lines show the public they do care about people.

However, it is merely a gesture, since people CAN smuggle drinks on board, steal drinks or get others to buy them for them.

If the family is indeed just asking for $15,000, then their strategy appears to be " just give us the money, its cheaper than a trial" however, that probably comes from the fact that cruiselines often settle all kinds of cases.

At some point, the lines are going to get like some other companies and say "no more, you want money then sue us." That is the only way to get rid of the notion that an industry is an "easy target".

IBCRUZIN' May 11th, 2007 04:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Paul Motter
I do agree it should be easy to flag a card "do not serve" for a certain number of hours. It would be easy for the cruise lines to implment (from an IT perspective) and it would yet another way for the cruise lines show the public they do care about people.

However, it is merely a gesture, since people CAN smuggle drinks on board, steal drinks or get others to buy them for them.

If the family is indeed just asking for $15,000, then their strategy appears to be " just give us the money, its cheaper than a trial" however, that probably comes from the fact that cruiselines often settle all kinds of cases.

At some point, the lines are going to get like some other companies and say "no more, you want money then sue us." That is the only way to get rid of the notion that an industry is an "easy target".

They are not just asking for $15K. The "over $15K" allows it to be heard in supreme court rather than small claims court. The plaintiff has not specified an amount they are seeking because they are probably seeking to settle.

The cruiseline may or may not settle. Depends on what the cost analysis shows when comparing settling one case but leaving yourself open to any number of future cases or . . . fight this one tooth and nail despite the cost to maintain the status quo that the cruiseline is not responsible.

These cruise companies may produce warm and fuzzy commercials and act like they are the nicest people in the world . . . but. . . in reality, they are corporate sharks set up to turn a profit and know how to play dirty, stinking, rotten, low ball.

The Disney Corporation, McDonalds, Carnival, American Express, Royal Caribbean, Coca Cola, Pepsi, Pizza Hut, all of these companies are known to inspire a sense of warm and cuddly customer service. O.K. Now mess with one and see what you get.

Angelgal May 11th, 2007 06:12 PM

I am a big time cruiser and the cruiselines have been getting some bad publicity in the news lately. I hear people say they don't want to cruise because they are afraid of falling overboard or have someone throw them overboard.
If this case makes the news and the news like the story..... it will start to make big headlines against the cruiselines because some young man fell overboard. People who have never cruised will most likely be on the jury and if I was on the jury I would say it was an accident and the cruiseline should pay for this accident. It is very clear that the young man didn't mean to jump if they have a video of the accident.
If I was the lawyer I would have stated that if the rail had been higher the young man would not have had the experience of falling overboard.

I feel sorry for the parents who lost their son due to an accident on the ship. People go cruising thinking they are going to be safe. People who hear about people falling overboard have becomed frightened of cruising.

I am not afraid of cruising at all. But some people are because the news media makes it look bad for the cruiselines. They always take the side of the cruisers I have noticed. It makes good news.

Once the parents show up on the Oprah show.... people will feel sorry for the parents.

IBCRUZIN' May 11th, 2007 08:37 PM

It all depends on whether the cruiseline wants to fight this lawsuit or just write a check and have it go away.

If they want to fight, they will dig into this young man's life and find every instance that he has ever been under the influence or has done something irresponsible.

Most lawsuits like this are not designed to go to court. It is highly unlikely that the parent's attorneys can stand up to what the cruiseline's fleet of high priced, high powered attorneys will throw at them. A properly worded "Request for the Production of Documents" will bankrupt the attorney and the parents. A few "Requests for Interrogatories" will cost the parents thousands and thousands of dollars. Then everyone will have to be deposed. At each deposition the attorneys for the parents must be present. More $$$$.

Then the cruiseline's attorney will ask that their legal fees be paid by the plaintiff if the plaintiff loses. That can very well amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars. If the cruiseline does not settle quickly, the family has to be willing to risk losing everything they have to proceed with this lawsuit. Most people bail.

More than likely the parent's attorney is hoping to shake a few bucks loose from the money tree that is the cruiseline. However, these companies are notorious for not writing checks nearly as fast as most people think they do, especially for a case of negligence. And, when they do write checks, it is not the big $$ payday that people envision. The young man snuck the liquor on board. The cruiseline will probably dig their heels in and fight this one.

There was the case a year or so ago about the lady who accidentially took her junkie boyfriend's illegal drugs and died of an overdose. Her parents also tried to sue. I think that lawsuit died a quick but expensive death.

dfhawk60 May 11th, 2007 08:58 PM

I don’t get the question.

Ok lets put big brother to work here. Why stop at the bar. Why not track how much people eat and/or drink. Drink too much water, get a fine, Eat too much food, get a fine. Spend too much time in the sun, get a fine. Track how many cigarettes someone smokes, how much time they spend in the pool, casino, sleeping, dancing. Who gets to decide how much is too much?

Options? Why not just figure that 10% of the passengers will drink like this and increase the crew by that number. That’s a extra 30 crew members (and about 10 cabins) who’s only job is to follow these people who can not control themselves around at a cost to every other passenger. but what happens when the % does not cover the passengers who wants to drink?? I guess someone will just have to “control? themselves until its their turn. How about placing bars on all the balconies?, armed guards on all the open decks?. Raise all the rails to 6 foot? How about keeping the ships in port?, that would make a great trip!

Sounds like I am being ridiculous, its easy to forget, how many people gave their life so that we can enjoy the life we have, only to start giving up that hard earned freedom. We have terrorist, unhappy kids in school, and now because a few people drink too much.

I don’t get the question because in my mind it should not have been asked!!

Paul Motter May 12th, 2007 06:44 AM

I dont RCI displays a "warm & fuzzy" imagew as much McDonalds or a lot of other companies do. It is more "lets get out there" action oriented. But a corporatwe branding image and what kind of people they are when it comes to situations like this are two completely different issues anyway.

They point is, personal responsibility. If a person gets drunk and drives a car and kills someone, a single bartender may be liable (on land), but so is the driver odf the car. The people who sue are the final victims.

In this case, they admitted he snuck the booze on board, and he got too drunbk and he leaned too far over the railing.

We were talking at dinner - if the railings on any ship were so dangerous all kinds of people would fall over, including toddlers and just clumsy people. NO - everyone who "accidentially" falls off the ship is drunk.

That means they are obviously doing something STUPID at the time they fell, beyond the normal use of the railings. For what reason, I couldn't tell you.

From what I heard tonight, the railings are actually about 3 inches taller than regulation rails for hotel balconies. So you really have to be over the line.

Angelgal May 12th, 2007 11:23 AM

My common sense tells me the reason drunk people fall overboard is because they are trying not to vomit on the deck. They have been taught to run to the bathroom to vomit. But on the ship they run outside to vomit in the ocean. They don't realize what a dangerous thing they are doing by hanging over the rail on the deck because they are top heavy.
If the ships create higher rails then it will save the drunk people's lives.
It will also save the lives of people who get sea sick all of a sudden and want to go vomit on the ocean.
I once saw a lady say she was sea sick and asked someone where the restroom was..... I don't know if she got there on time. I notice that some decks don't even have public restrooms on some ships. A lot of the restrooms are hidden too.

Mean Dean May 12th, 2007 04:07 PM

A couple more thoughts......

No to the idea of higher railings. I'm all for natural selection -- let the idiots weed themselves out.

As far as the family, why not sue the bartender who served him his last drink? I mean, the cruise line corporate employees didn't serve him the drink. It could be that the cruise line has deeper pockets, though........

"It's too bad that our dipstick son did something stupid again, but maybe there are a few bucks in it for us."

It's always about money, isn't it.........

Dean

DougR. May 13th, 2007 10:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Angelgal
My common sense tells me the reason drunk people fall overboard is because they are trying not to vomit on the deck. They have been taught to run to the bathroom to vomit. But on the ship they run outside to vomit in the ocean. They don't realize what a dangerous thing they are doing by hanging over the rail on the deck because they are top heavy.
If the ships create higher rails then it will save the drunk people's lives.
It will also save the lives of people who get sea sick all of a sudden and want to go vomit on the ocean.
I once saw a lady say she was sea sick and asked someone where the restroom was..... I don't know if she got there on time. I notice that some decks don't even have public restrooms on some ships. A lot of the restrooms are hidden too.

How far do you want us to go to save drunken morons from themselves? Encase the entire ship in a wire cage??? Lets get real here. The railings are high enough. It is a matter of personal responsibility. (I can hear Oprah gasp !! LOL )

IBCRUZIN' May 13th, 2007 01:29 PM

In every tourist venue there are stories of people (mostly young) who believe that common sense and rules of moderation are meant for everyone but them. This often times leads to tragic tragic ends.

I live in NYC and in the last year or so there has been not less than 4 stories of young people (women mostly) who chose to abandon common sense and rules of moderation and have ended up extremely dead. Always killed in an unspeakable manner. I truly feel for the grief of the family but the fault of winding up in that situation belongs to the deceased person -- not the cruiseline, not the hotel, not the bar, not the restaurant -- the person who did not survive their own bad decisions.

One young girl years ago was on a thrill ride (I think 6 Flags) and when the harness came down, purposely sat forward so that she was not strapped in. Guess what happened to her when the ride when upside down. Yup, gone!!!

The 16 year old girl who goes to NYC for an underaged night of partying and drinking. Ignored all kinds of warnings and admonishments, decided to stagger the dark dark streets of NYC at the pre-dawn hour. Got kidnapped and then got dead.

College student bar hopping in NYC. At 3:30a.m. her companion calls it a night. This young lady refused to go home and continued to bar hop alone. At the last bar made a scene about leaving at closing time. Bouncer offered her a ride in his van. Got horribly dead.

And who can forget Natalie Holloway? Who's fault was that? I would start with the young Ms. Holloway. I am sure her chaperones had strong rules against drinking. However, that rule among others, did not apply to the Ms. Holloway. Fish food.

Too often we do not hold people responsible for their actions, especially if they don't survive. But if not them whose fault is it?

MaryLou May 14th, 2007 12:36 PM

I cannot see how this is the cruiseline's fault. It is a very sad story and I feel badly for the family, but I do not think the cruiseline should be sued.

Rev22:17 May 14th, 2007 09:31 PM

Dean,

Quote:

Originally Posted by You
I think the ship's bars being able to communicate with each other and flag a passenger's card is a good idea.

I agree.

Quote:

Originally Posted by You
I have no problem with security personnel escorting a drunken passenger back to his cabin, and making sure he stays there for awhile.

With about 75% of all cabins now having balconies, how would escorting a drunken passenger back to his (or her) cabin change things? Balcony rails are about the same as rails on the promenades and other open decks.

Norm.

Rev22:17 May 14th, 2007 09:35 PM

Paul,

Quote:

Originally Posted by You
So what do you think about this? Is Royal Caribbean at fault? If so, what should they have done?

If you ask me, (and I have owned a bar and do know about bartender's responsibility, etc) they should have more security and when someone is "cut off" at one bar they should have a way to flag his card for other bars so he cannot get more drinks. HOWEVER: that should be the extent of it because...

1. There is no law against being drunk on a ship.

2. If a person chooses to get stinking drunk, that does not mean they become the cruise lines responsibility, because that would mean you have to confine the passenger somehow, and how are you going to do that? you can lock them up or post a guard on their cabin door, that is "kidnapping"

3. Even if his card had been flagged, other people could have bought drinks for him, or he could have walked around stealing other people's drinks (it happens, believe me), or he could have smuggled his own booze on board - whivh the family franjly admitted.

So - here is a family whose son smuggled booze onto a cruise ship he gets stinking drunks and bypasses the safety railings that always work as long as someone does not lean over them. And theyt sue the cruise line.

STINKING LAWYERS SEEKING OUT DEEP POCKETS - are making it more expensive and more restrictive for the rest of us to cruise.

Perhaps we all should band together and bring a class action against the lawyers who filed this suit on behalf of the family for its adverse impact on our cruise experience. Nothing like hitting somebody with a taste of their own medicine....

Norm.

Rev22:17 May 14th, 2007 09:39 PM

Angelgal,

Quote:

Originally Posted by You
I have seen many cruisers drink as much as they can and they get stinking drunk. I wonder why they bother to go cruising and spend lots of money to cruise when they can just stay home and get stinking drunk.

What drinkers like about cruising is they don't have to drink& drive home so they are free to drink all they want.

The major mistake they make is thinking they can just run up to the ship's rail to vomit onto the ocean. People don't realize that they are top heavy and that is why they fall overboard. The rail is high enough that they have to put their bellies over the rail in order to vomit and that is why they fall.

The guy was old enough to drink and he should take his own responsibility on how much to drink..... but if he was an alcoholic then he had no control of his drinking and that is a problem he already had when he boarded the ship.

It was an accident because the guy didn't expect to fall. He was being nice in trying to vomit off the ship's deck. Instead he died trying not to make a mess on the deck. If I was RCL I would pay the $15,000 which is nothing compared to paying top gun lawyers to defend their company.

Maybe it is time for the cruise lines to built higher rails so people don't lean over it or sit on the rails. Plus.... when dangerous winds show up most ships will put yellow tape to close off certain sections of the decks because they are too windy and dangerous. Some people break the rules and still go into the restricted area not understanding they are putting their lives in danger. People are falling overboard or jumping overboard, or being thrown overboard. It's time for a protection rail to be installed to protect people from themselves.

The first thing every member in the U. S. Navy learns is that anybody who vomits over the side of the ship gets to go down the side and wash it off the side of the ship, regardless of rank. If you need to vomit, you vomit into a toilet, or into a trash can if you can't get to a toilet, or into any other receptacle that happens to be handy -- but NOT over the side.

Norm.

rjrhea May 15th, 2007 01:46 AM

I agree
 
I agree. Upon announcing my upcoming cruise, I could not believe how many of my friends and associates told me how dangerous cruising is - they have all heard of people falling over and/or dissappearing on a cruise. So its very true that the media hype's effect on the general population is that its risky and people are just randomly falling overboard left and right. These cases make headlines, true, but most likely those same people would be doing theirselves in no matter where they were partying. Responsible drinking is responsible drinking wherever you go. People fall over balconies from hotel rooms when intoxicated. They walk off the curb in front of oncoming cars when drunk. They drown in pools. They do all sorts of stupid things. No rule or policy can save the extremely intoxicated from theirselves. Hang the fault on the bartenders? Please!


Quote:

Originally Posted by Angelgal
I am a big time cruiser and the cruiselines have been getting some bad publicity in the news lately. I hear people say they don't want to cruise because they are afraid of falling overboard or have someone throw them overboard.
If this case makes the news and the news like the story..... it will start to make big headlines against the cruiselines because some young man fell overboard. People who have never cruised will most likely be on the jury and if I was on the jury I would say it was an accident and the cruiseline should pay for this accident. It is very clear that the young man didn't mean to jump if they have a video of the accident.
If I was the lawyer I would have stated that if the rail had been higher the young man would not have had the experience of falling overboard.

I feel sorry for the parents who lost their son due to an accident on the ship. People go cruising thinking they are going to be safe. People who hear about people falling overboard have becomed frightened of cruising.

I am not afraid of cruising at all. But some people are because the news media makes it look bad for the cruiselines. They always take the side of the cruisers I have noticed. It makes good news.

Once the parents show up on the Oprah show.... people will feel sorry for the parents.


Paul Motter May 26th, 2007 01:15 PM

I have spoken to Gary Bald, head of security at the FBI, and he tells me RCI does now have a system in place to turn off a card on an entire ship for alcohol abuse.

In fact, I have noticed stories about this very case have changed from originally saying the man went to a second bar where he was able to "purchase" alcohol to he went to a bar where he was able to "obtain" alcohol. (I am guessing through a friend).

You know, the kid had snuck liquor on board, and continued to drink even though the cruise line had cut him off. He had a drinking problem. Do you think this is the kind of family that blames someone else for all of their problems? Or do you think they were contacted by a Miami lawyer who specializes is suing the cruise lines?

I was on Liberty for the inaugural, and for three days the beer was free. I saw a guy ask a bartender for two beers unopened, and the bartender gave him a long look first and definitely hesitated. The man asking was for all intents sober and older looking, so the bartender went ahead, but I believe he was probably on the lookout for someone trying to get liquor for someone who had been shut off.

BornToCruise May 26th, 2007 03:55 PM

I understand how a cruiseline can shut off a person's card for alcohol abuse, but how can they police an entire ship and stop people from buying drinks for other passengers. What about the innoncent purchase of a man getting a drink for both him and his wife, or folks traveling together and only one goes to the bar for drinks for everybody? Happens all the time at bars on land, so why should at sea be any different. But, for some reason people pack their luggage and get on a ship but leave the most important thing on shore -- they've forgotten to pack common sense. It's a boat, yes a very large boat, but it's a boat that's on water, very deep water. So why would you hang over a railing (I guess they're like the people who lean over the edge at the Grand Canyon for that one great photo and end up falling in). Just because people are on vacation doesn't mean they should forget about personal safety. There's no need for a designated driver, so people tend to over indulge. Similar to IBCruzin (sorry IBC but after reading your posts I just had to look at your profile and see if you're in the legal field), I see lawsuits like this all the time (years back I was at a firm that represented one of the major cruiselines). The strangest ones I remember are: a man ran and jumped on a moving treadmill and sued the cruiseline because he fell; a very drunk woman in a lounge tripped over a very large speaker that she didn't see because she was very drunk and sued the cruiseline for having the speaker there; a very drunk woman was getting off a tender after a shore excursion and sued the cruiseline because she fell from being very drunk. Sad fact is that anybody can sue any entity for anything and the cruiselines will make nuisance settlement just to make it go away.

Delft May 26th, 2007 04:48 PM

If a person drinks them self silly and goes over board. well, thats just a shame. Such a stupid way to leave this wonderful world.

However, cruise lines, like bars have to watch a little as well what they serve. We were on NCL spirit, and they staff was very poor with drinking and the college kids, and continued to sell drinks to people barely able to sit let alone stand stand. Many complaints were made to the bar manager over this as the passengers sure suffered that night through the kids being very disorderly. I have a big mouth and I even told one bar guy, are you actually going to serve this kid more beer, can't you see he is fall down drunk?". He just laughed and waved me off. No one waves me off like that.........the bar manager heard from me quickly. It is an issue of health and safety both of which young people often ignore as they often dont have the maturity or wisdom to know they are not invincable.

In the end, several were thrown off the ship and extra security brought on the ship............and the kids were at fault, but ALSO the staff for serving to those that were drunk. ( NCL allows beer and wine to 18 and over with "parental permission letter") Because the particular cruise had so many problems the first few days, the bar staff changed quite abit the latter half of the cruise. In the first two days, we were constantly bombarded with " do you want a drink".......after the hullabalu and passengers thrown off and extra security brought on , the selling of drinks became less intence. Be clear, alot of money is made selling drinks, but with making money comes being responsable to who we sell to. Taking the card of some one over 21, watching the 18-19 yr old give the older kid the cash and HANDING the drink to the younger kid.......was not OK and for those who will say it is impossible..it was caught on video..........

RunningNorm May 26th, 2007 06:01 PM

This whole situation is a horrible tragedy, but, at the end of the day, it is each of our own responsibility to monitor our own safety as much as we are able.

There are always those things that are out of our control. (9-11, Va Tech...)

But, for the rest, we need to do our part as individuals. Royal Caribbean is no more responsible for this tragedy than the maker of the alcohol he was drinking.

This poor man is responsible for this tragic choice. He drank to excess and paid a huge penalty for it.

I pray that this age of frivolous lawsuits will fade away as did the Edsel and 8 Track tape. It is so frustrating.

I remember when I was five, I was running in the rain to get inside a grocery store and I did a header into a railing. Did my folks sue the store? No, I was admonished for running in the rain. At home on winter break from college a decade and much change ago, I was again running ( a lifelong theme) and I fell onto my left knee in a hole my neighbor had dug in his sidewalk. My knee was damaged, I have insurance, I admonished him to fix his sidewalk...but, I would not think of suing.

Stuff happens. It is not always a happy thing...but, that is life.

Cheers and happy cruising to all!


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