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Royal Caribbean Cruise Refusal to Cancel for Hurricane Harvey Class Action

When a category 4 hurricane is hitting Texas, putting homes underwater, causing evacuations, shutting down power, making food and water scarce, and killing over 70 people, do you (a) stay away, or (b) head for it, hoping to take a nice cruise out of Galveston? According to the complaint for this class action, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCCL) insisted its passengers do the second.

The class for this action is all passengers of the Liberty of the Seas who were subjected to traveling to the Galveston, Texas area during Hurricane Harvey.

Plaintiff Nikki McIntosh lives in Canada, but she had booked a cabin on a Royal Caribbean cruise leaving Galveston, Texas, just outside of Houston, on Sunday, August 27, 2017.

On Thursday, August 24, Harvey was a tropical storm in the Caribbean, but it rapidly intensified into a hurricane. On the same day, according to the complaint, RCCL informed passengers online, “At this time, Liberty of the Seas will keep her original schedule for Sunday’s turnaround in Galveston, Texas.” Those who did not show up would lose their entire fare.

On Friday, August 25, coastal residents were evacuating. By noon, the Port of Galveston was closed. Carnival Cruises rerouted two ships that had meant to land there the next day, the complaint says, and the National Hurricane Center put the entire Texas coastline in the storm’s “cone of danger.”

That day, Harvey made landfall at Rockport, Texas, as a category 4 hurricane with 130 mph winds that hurled a cargo trailer halfway through the city’s courthouse. According to the complaint, RCCL said, “At this time, Liberty of the Seas will keep her original schedule for Sunday’s turnaround in Galveston, Texas.”

On Saturday, August 26, as rain lashed Houston and the port of Galveston remained closed, the complaint says that RCCL’s chief meteorologist tweeted, “Weather looking favorable tonight and tomorrow….” and at 2 pm, RCCL posted, “Our intention is to keep with our original schedule…”

Highways became flooded and impassable; flights were cancelled; food and water were scarce; and entire neighborhoods were disappearing underwater. Presumably, out of town passengers like McIntosh were expected to fly in under these conditions. The complaint claims RCCL said, “Liberty of the Seas will arrive to the Port of Galveston later than originally scheduled. Because of this, boarding for your cruise will now take place on Monday, August 28…”

On Sunday, as what would become forty inches of rain still fell, the Port of Galveston remained closed. RCCL still held to the idea of a Monday departure, the complaint says, but finally conceded, “Guests who can’t sail with us due to being in an affected area will receive a 100% credit based on the cruise fare paid.”

Finally, on Monday, RCCL cancelled the cruise.

One wonders what the passengers who had made it into the area were now intended to do.

And plaintiff Nikki McIntosh? She filed this class action against RCCL, alleging negligence and infliction of emotional distress, in insisting passengers take such risks or lose their entire fare. 

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Royal Caribbean Cruise Refusal to Cancel for Hurricane Harvey Complaint

September 28, 2017

When a category 4 hurricane is hitting Texas, putting homes underwater, causing evacuations, shutting down power, making food and water scarce, and killing over 70 people, do you (a) stay away, or (b) head for it, hoping to take a nice cruise out of Galveston? According to the complaint for this class action, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCCL) insisted its passengers do the second. During the hurricane and the torrential rains that flooded the area, RCCL maintained that its ship Liberty of the Seas would sail out of Galveston, and that passengers had to be there or lose their entire fare.

rotal_carribiean_complaint.pdf

Case Event History

Royal Caribbean Cruise Refusal to Cancel for Hurricane Harvey Complaint

September 28, 2017

When a category 4 hurricane is hitting Texas, putting homes underwater, causing evacuations, shutting down power, making food and water scarce, and killing over 70 people, do you (a) stay away, or (b) head for it, hoping to take a nice cruise out of Galveston? According to the complaint for this class action, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCCL) insisted its passengers do the second. During the hurricane and the torrential rains that flooded the area, RCCL maintained that its ship Liberty of the Seas would sail out of Galveston, and that passengers had to be there or lose their entire fare.

rotal_carribiean_complaint.pdf
Tags: Refusal to Permit Cancellations, Vacations