Based in Doral, Florida, a few miles from the Port of Miami and the United States Federal Courthouse–where any cruise ship passenger accident claim has to be filed– lies the world headquarters of Carnival Cruise Lines, overseeing 24 vessels and nearly 25% of the world’s cruise-ship market.
Carnival is credited with creating the low-cost, Las Vegas-style “fun-ship” concept, where shorter cruises can take passengers on 3-4 day jaunts around the Caribbean. Its newest ship, the Carnival Breeze, set sail in 2012 and is home-ported in Miami. Carnival recently announced that it is building the “world’s largest cruise ship,” the Carnival Vista, that will set sail in 2016 with 4000 passengers.
In the last year since the Carnival Triumph disaster, much seemed to change over at the world’s largest and most profitable cruise line when a fire onboard the Triumph left it and its passengers and crew stranded in the Gulf of Mexico for days without power and working toilets.
One of the most important changes I have seen since the Triumph disaster is the new offer of full refunds to any passengers aboard Carnival ships who are dissatisfied with their experience. Provided the passengers register their Carnival refund/complaints within 24 hours of their departure, Carnival will not only refund the cost of the voyage but they will also throw in an additional 10%.
“The Carnival Great Vacation Guarantee™ is the greatest guarantee you’ll never need to use. If you’re not happy with any 3–8 day Carnival vacation you take to The Bahamas, the Caribbean, the Mexican Riviera, Canada/New England or Alaska, just let us know within 24 hours of your departure. We’ll refund 110% of your fare and our Guest Services will get you back to your home, free of charge. With no hassles and no questions asked.“
It sounds good until one reads the fine print. The Carnival refund offer extends only to U.S. and Canadian residents who also have passports that permit them to travel to Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, the Bahamas, and Bermuda, and the refunded trips must take place before April 30, 2015.
Carnival also offers to get unhappy passengers off their ships as fast as possible by allowing them to disembark and be flown home from any available port.
As a lawyer who sues Carnival and other cruise ship companies like RCCL, Celebrity, Disney, and Holland America, I strongly urge anyone who elects to obtain a refund to read any additional fine print very carefully. I have not had a chance to see the proposed refund, and I have not had a client who has elected the refund offer, but I suspect that the acceptance of the refund might impact their ability to pursue legal action. In other words, the offer is extended for only 24 hours, which would leave many potentially disgruntled passengers with little if any time to consult with an experienced Cruise Lawyer before weighing the option of accepting or rejecting it.
Therefore, I suggest if you have had a bad experience that results in a serious injury aboard a Carnival Cruise ship, you should consult with a lawyer as soon as possible. We proudly provide free initial no-fee/no-cost consultations via SKYPE, email, or Toll-Free at 1-866-597-4529.