Unable to cancel their voyage despite warnings of a hurricane headed their way, passengers of a Royal Caribbean cruise, flying into Houston- Galveston to Cozumel (Aug. 27-Sept.3) paid for days of absolute terror. “The Liberty of the Seas” was to depart Galveston and the nearest airport was Houston where Harvey made landfall on August 25. According to CBS News, the lawsuit (20-page) in October in Florida by Nikki Cannon of Canada, alleges that RCL (Royal Caribbean) said the cruise would still depart but may have a short delay. Unlike Carnival; who rerouted their cruise liners to other ports, RCL kept the schedule for this particular cruise the same. It was later learned that the port at Galveston was closed on August 25 after The Weather Channel had declared the entire Texas coast a “cone of danger.”
To risk losing their money and RCL’s refusal to reschedule their vacation, hundreds of people were forced to endure days of terror travelling to the path of the Category 4 hurricane. On August 26, passengers were informed the cruise would still take place and to continue onto Houston; however, on August 27 the cruise was cancelled.
For 5 days, hundreds of passengers were taken hostage in Houston to endure one of the worst hurricane damaged (190 billion dollar) areas in America’s history. They were forced (in a place unfamiliar) to endure flooding, trauma, uncertainty, and loss of income.
According to the suit, “The company’s misconduct was predicated on a profit motive because, simply put,….cruise lines make no money when customers don’t sail.”
According to McIntosh’s attorney, Michael Winkleman, Royal Caribbean’s actions were inexcusable. “They knowingly placed families with small children directly in the path of one of the worst storms to hit the U.S. in centuries,” Winkelman, a maritime lawyer with law firm Lipcon Margulies Alsina & Winkleman, said in a press release.
A spokesperson for RCL could not be reached for comment.
Photo courtesy of royalcaribbean.com