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Brett Rivkind
Brett Rivkind
Attorney • (305) 374-0565

Irene Causes Cruise Ship Companies to Leave Passengers in Puerto Rico


U.S.A. Today Travel reported that Carnival Cruise Lines left 300 passengers in San Juan, Puerto Rico, while Royal Caribbean left 145 passengers in San Juan, because the cruise ships had to leave port due to the approaching hurricane.

What did the cruise ship companies do for the passengers they left at port? Carnival Cruise Lines appears to have done the correct thing. It is reported that Carnival Cruise Lines put all the passengers up in hotels and offered to fly them to the next port. However, Royal Caribbean, left most of the passengers stranded in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The article reports that Royal Caribbean only provided accommodations for 15 of the 145 passengers, accommodating only those who had purchased airfare through the cruise line.

In the evening following the ships’ departure, Irene impacted the island, causing 800,000 homes to lose power.

The article reports that Carnival provided hotel rooms for two nights to the passengers that they had to leave behind, as well as an offer to fly them to Barbados, which was the next port. Many of the passengers did not have passports and could not continue with the cruise ship after it departed because of the fact that the next port was in a foreign country.

As for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, the 130 passengers who were not offered accommodations had to find their own hotels, and if they wanted to continue with the cruise they had purchased, they had to pay for their own transportation to the next port, which was Aruba.

Cruising during hurricane season is a risk to all passengers. In the almost 30 years I’ve been handling maritime cases, it has been a rare occasion when a cruise ship company has outright cancelled the complete cruise due to a hurricane. Instead, the cruise ship companies like to keep the passenger ticket revenue coming in, and therefore instead of cancelling cruises, the cruise ship companies try to keep a close eye on the storms and alter their itineraries in response. Often times, this results in cancellation of scheduled ports, abrupt changes in the itinerary, which passengers often don’t like, as well as encountering extremely rough seas which not only can cause serious injuries, but can ruin an anticipated relaxing cruise.

Our firm continues to be safety advocates for passengers and crewmembers harmed at sea.


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  1. Kathy Morrell says:
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    I do believe that the cruise line will come through and possibly give them a very good discount for another cruise.

  2. Kathy Morrell says:
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    I do believe that the cruise line will come through and possibly give them a very good discount for another cruise.