Cruise Ship Accident Leave Passengers Stranded for Weeks

Imagine you embark on the cruise vacation of a lifetime at the end of October. It’s an 11-day adventure that will include stops in St. Kitts, St. Lucia, Barbados, Antigua, and other places in the eastern Caribbean. As the itinerary indicates, this is a stunning holiday opportunity that includes some of the most beautiful destinations in the world.

As the ship departs from Manhattan’s West Side, what you can’t expect is your stop in Barbados will be a lengthy one. For three weeks, the cruise ship your aboard will stay docked in Bridgetown, Barbados because of technical failures and glitches, and you will be stranded in this island destination. The cruise line will provide you adequate accommodation, and even provide an option for passengers, who are medically and physically able to fly home, to return to New York via plane.

Yet, your dream cruise is cut short and a plethora of other inconveniences make this time on the island difficult and stressful. So, is a place to sleep for 21 nights and an extended holiday in Barbados enough compensation for this cruise ship accident? If you ask the passengers stuck aboard the Norwegian Gem, they’d probably say no.

What Happened Aboard the Norwegian Gem?

On Halloween 2017 the Norwegian Gem departed from New York, New York en route to several stops throughout the Caribbean. Just six days later on November 5th, the cruise ship experienced technical malfunctions that would take until November 17th to repair. This fact was presented to the approximate 2,300 passengers aboard the ship and three options offered by the cruise company.

The three options for returning to New York were: disembark in Barbados and catch a flight back to the U.S. on November 11th or 12th, leave the Norwegian Gem and return on a different cruise ship to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, or remain with the ship until it could return to New York three weeks later. While the majority of passengers opted for the more efficient choices, other passengers weren’t as lucky. Due to medical conditions, allergies, anxieties, and other reasons a number of passengers remained in Barbados while the ship was repaired.

Some passengers described the time in Barbados as stressful. One family expressed exasperation over family members being placed in different hotels on different parts of the island. Another mother found that it was unable to receive necessary medication for her son’s allergies or be placed in a hotel that could accommodate his specific needs. Another woman lost her job. These consequences were all expressed admit a mixture of relief and frustration when the Norwegian Gem finally returned to Manhattan on November 21st.

How to Compensate for a Mechanical Cruise Ship Accident?

When a cruise ship experiences mechanical failure, technical delays, or similar issues, it’s common for the cruise line to offer immediate compensation in the form of alternate accommodation, if available, or complimentary premium beverages or meals aboard the cruise ship. For instance, in the intervening weeks in Barbados, passengers aboard the Norwegian Gem were provided hotel rooms and free meals while on the island.

Typically, other compensation will include a discount or reduced price on a future cruise with the same cruise line. This was the offer made by Norwegian to the passengers aboard the Gem. In another instance back in 2013, passengers stranded aboard a Carnival’s Triumph in the Gulf of Mexico were reimbursed for the cost of their cruise, other expenses paid aboard the boat, provided a future cruise voucher, and written a check for $500. This was in exchange for five days stranded on a ship for five days, without a working toilet, sewage dripping from the ship’s walls, and a corresponding stench.

Are these offers of compensation enough for a particular cruise ship accident? That depends on the severity of inconvenience caused and the amount of harm to specific passengers. To discuss a cruise accident, delay, or other malfunction and the adequacy of the corresponding reimbursement or compensation offered by the cruise line, contact a qualified cruise accident attorney.

At Aronfeld Trial Lawyers in Miami, Florida, we discuss cruise ship accidents and their ramifications dissatisfied or confused passengers all the time. In fact, handling cases against the largest cruise lines forms a significant part of our personal injury practice. You can reach Aronfeld Trial Lawyers by calling 1-866-597-4529 or (305)-441-0440. Our Miami office can also be reached at