For a long time the word Cuba was a whisper on the lips of travelers and cruise lines from the United States. It is a beautiful island steeped in a fascinating history, but due to embargos and political disagreement, a forbidden destination for Americans. The recent approval to travel to Cuba from the United States changed all of this. Cuba is now accessible, and located only 90 miles off the coast of Florida, an obvious destination for cruise companies sailing from Miami and beyond.
Filing a Claim for a Cuba Cruise Injury
Filing a claim for a Cuba cruise injury is complex process that requires the help of an experienced maritime injury attorney, and in most cases one located in Miami, FL, as most of the cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Carnival, Celebrity, MSC, etc. are headquartered here in Miami. Hidden in the fine print of your passenger ticket is the requirement for all claims against these cruise lines to be filed in Federal Court in Miami, FL.
Restrictions still exist for Americans wanting to visit Cuba, but a time of open travel between the countries is closer than ever. Many cruise lines have already added the ports of Havana, Cienfuegos, and Santiago de Cuba to their cruise itineraries.
A handful of cruise lines, including Royal Caribbean and Carnival, have already sailed from the United States to Cuba with travelers participating in approved, special volunteer activities onboard. These special volunteer activities can fall in 12 different categories, the most used being the people-to-people exchange the focuses on culture exchange between United States citizens and Cuban citizens.
Then, as of December 2016 three cruise lines were approved to take tourists to Havana. Despite the new presidency adding some uncertainty to whether open travel to Cuba will over the next few years, these cruise companies, Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian all have plans to begin tourism specific cruises in the near future.
Even though participation in a special volunteer activity or special approved travel to Cuba can make passengers feel like they are traveling under the guise of the United States government. Yet the time aboard the Royal Caribbean or Carnival cruise ship is still governed and regulated by the cruise line.
No matter what immigration scheme was used to obtain approval for travel, by purchasing a ticket on the cruise line and boarding the ship, passengers are agreeing to terms specified by the cruise company. This includes specified information and agreement regarding accident, injuries, and recovery for negligence by the cruise operator.
In many instances, the contract terms supplied by the cruise companies disfavor passengers, particularly passengers who are injured aboard a cruise ship. This is the same for passengers bound for Cuba. When the cruise company is liable for an injury, even if the injury occurred in one of Cuba’s ports, the passenger must file his or her case in the United States Federal Court in the Southern District of Florida. A lawsuit anywhere else will be removed to this jurisdiction by the cruise company or dismissed.
It can be confusing for United States and foreign nationals to be injured aboard a cruise ship in Cuba and forced to file a claim in Miami, Florida. This is particularly true if the passenger has no previous connections to southern Florida. A qualified maritime lawyer can fill the gaps in knowledge, information, and legal procedures that a cruise passenger can find confusing.
Aronfeld Trial Lawyers offers a free initial consultation for passengers injured aboard cruise ships. This confidential conversation allows our legal team to assess your claim and provide basic information on liability and recovery for personal injury. To begin discussing your particular accident or injury aboard a cruise ship call our office at 1-866-597-4529 or email us at [email protected].