COMMENT ON CAMP CARNIVAL
The posting by Sheila is merely another in a series of similar incidents aboard a Carnival ship. In recent times I have read of two incidents like the one described. In
jargon what has transpired is known as "ejection" of passengers from the vessel at the first port available. Several years ago when I read about Carnival ejecting four passengers off the "Paradise" in Jamaica I researched the subject and wrote an article " Booting Passengers Off A Cruise Ship." The source of information was US Codes 46-Shipping and a few published court decisions. The following are but a few of what I learned about the subject at hand. I am not a lawyer nor attempting to dispense legal advise; the information dispensed is solely for educational purposes.
A passenger can be ejected off a vessel if he or she is endangering the safety of the vessel, crew, passengers or themselves. I have to wonder if these conditions prevailed in this incident. The carrier may eject from a vessel a passenger who persists in carrying on a business pursuit thereby being in violation of carrier's rules. This generally applies where the passenger is conducting a business pursuit that conflicts with businesses conducted aboard the ship.
The threat of ejecting a passenger can give rise to an action for damages even if the passenger is not ejected. Leaving a vessel in compliance to an officer's command is equivalent to an ejection and is not voluntary departure from the vessel so there can be damages for such action. There as a lawsuit where the Captain ordered a passenger to be confined to has cabin because he was habitually intoxicated; the court ruled the detention was unlawful. A lawsuit was filed in 2001 Pregen v. Carnival almost similar to the present complaint. The father and son were ejected from the Ectasy in the Bahamas as the result of a dispute over the son having been mistreated.
Passenger tickets often have clause permitting the cruise line to confine a passenger or eject a passengers off the ship. Section 183 of the U.S. Code 46is invariably part of the passenger ticket that represents an enforceable contract between the passenger and the cruise line. In this clause the passenger is informed when the cruise line must be notified of a claim; that any lawsuit must be filed within one year of any injury; that any lawsuit must be filed in the forum selected by the cruise line. The cruise line does not mention Section 183© that prohibits the cruise line to inserting in their passenger ticket any exculpatory or restrictive clauses that might be construed to be against public policy.
While there have been a number of incidents involving ejection where there is an indication a lawsuit has been filed, unfortunately there has been a lack of published decisions.
There is another aspect that might be considered with this incident. Abuse or physical assault of minors in care of a day care facility can be prosecuted as a crime. Under series of treaties the United States and shipping nations, the United States has extraterritorial jurisdiction over a criminal act against a U.S. citizen while aboard a foreign flagged cruise ship in international waters.