A poll by Cruise Critic, a leading cruising website targeted to consumers, that attracted 6,985 responses shows that almost one in five respondents never buy travel insurance.
“What they said: We received nearly 7,000 responses in four days, with just over half — 52 percent — claiming to “never travel without” insurance. About 27 percent responded that they “sometimes” purchase insurance and almost 19 percent said they “never buy it.” Less than 1 percent of responders didn’t know what travel insurance is,” Cruise Critic said.
“What it all means: An overwhelming number of respondents seem fully aware that travel insurance is a necessity most if not all of the time. This leads us to wonder if the 19 percent of respondents who don’t purchase insurance are aware of its benefits, but still choose not to take out a policy — or if they don’t fully realize how it can help,” the report said.
In the UK, cruise lines state that having a travel insurance is a condition of booking and insurance details must be provided to the line prior to sailing.
MSC Cruises has announced that PortMiami will be its exclusive homeport for its Caribbean sailings as of fall 2013 pending approval by the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners later this month.
MSC is the fastest growing cruise line operating a fleet of eleven cruise ships with its newest ship, the MSC Divina, scheduled to launch May 2012 featuring its ship-within-a-ship concept – the MSC Yacht Club.
Beginning in fall 2013, MSC Cruises, which now homeports out of Port Everglades, will join the PortMiami cruise line-up. The initial term of the agreement is for three years.
"We are very excited to join the impressive roster of cruise lines operating out of PortMiami and look forward to sharing MSC Cruises' unique style of Mediterranean elegance, international cuisine and white-gloved service with more and more guests," said Richard E. Sasso, President and CEO of MSC Cruises (USA), Inc.
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez applauded the new business agreement and extended a warm welcome to Miami's new upscale Mediterranean cruise brand.
"MSC brings another prestigious cruise brand to PortMiami's distinctive line-up of ships," Gimenez said. We are eager to welcome MSC to our Port.
PortMiami Director Bill Johnson said the new MSC service will strengthen Miami's offerings of luxury cruise brands. PortMiami, known worldwide as the Cruise Capital of the World, handled more than four million passengers in fiscal year 2011, more than any other cruise port in the world.
To celebrate Pacific Pearl’s first year of service with P&O Cruises, the cruise line is offering cruise-lovers the chance to own a piece of the superliner’s history the company said in a statement.
"Pacific Pearl’s official Port of Call Chart, detailing all the ports she visited during 2011, is currently being auctioned on eBay, with all proceeds going to P&O Cruises’ charities – Make-A-Wish, Cathy Freeman Foundation and Lifeline."
“Since Pacific Pearl joined our fleet in December 2010, she has fast become a favourite among Australian cruisers and we expect to see lots of bids for this gem of memorabilia,” Jenny Lourey, Senior Vice President of Carnival Australia, which operates P&O Cruises,
Lewis S. “Mike” Eidson, partner at the nationally recognised trial law firm Colson Hicks Eidson and former president of the American Association for Justice – the world’s largest association of trial lawyers – believes punitive damages will be appropriate for the Costa Concordia accident which resulted in loss of life and countless injuries to thousands of passengers in an unexplainable and completely avoidable accident.
“In addition to loss of use of the vessel and potential criminal charges, Carnival will face enormous costs associated with personal injury and negligence lawsuits” The cruise ship is operated by Costa Cruise Lines, Inc. and its subsidiary, Costa Crociere S.p.A., located in Hollywood, Florida. Both companies sail under the banner of their owner Carnival Cruise Lines, the largest cruise company in the world, which is located in Miami-Dade County. According to Eidson, all three corporations could be liable for the passengers’ damages and for violation of laws and industry regulations.
“At this time we know of 6 dead and 29 unaccounted for. There are serious physical and psychological injuries to the thousands of passengers who were fortunate enough to escape with their lives,” says Eidson. The Costa Concordia ran aground on Friday after hitting rocks off the coast of Italy with more than 4,200 passengers and crew on board. Costa Chairman and CEO Pier Luigi Foschi blamed human error stating, “The captain did not follow the authorized route that is used by Costa ships.” The Captain, Mr. Schettino, told Italian television he was not to blame for the ship, built in 2006, crashing into the rocks. “I don’t know if it was detected or not, but on the nautical chart, it was marked just as water…“
In addition to loss of use of the vessel and potential criminal charges, Carnival will face enormous costs associated with personal injury and negligence lawsuits,” says Eidson. “Lawyers and safety investigators will examine issues like safety procedures and negligence such as failing to perform the safety drill, policy failures that allowed a captain to abandon ship before the passengers, and lack or failure of a warning system to notify the crew they were off course, which could have prevented such a foreseeable accident from occurring. In addition, they will examine the fundamental question of how Carnival and Costa would employ a captain who would knowingly sail their ship into such dangerous conditions and allegedly tamper with the ship’s safety detection equipment.”
“Airplanes have ground proximity warning devices that emit an audible warning but pilots must listen and take action. Why wasn’t the crew monitoring their course? Who was controlling this vessel with 4,200 lives on board? This is preposterous with today’s technology. This is not the era of the Titanic when you couldn’t see an iceberg. Passengers feared for their lives and many are still unaccounted for,” says Eidson.
In a career that spans 25 years, Eidson has handled numerous cruise ship and aviation disasters, involving the operation of cruise ships, cases involving off shore accidents, and medical malpractice matters aboard vessels. He has handled accidents occurring throughout the Caribbean, Cabo San Lucas Mexico, Alaska, among others.
“Carnival may try to isolate and place total blame for the accident on the captain to minimize punitive damages, which could be in the millions of dollars, to protect their industry, and their position of leadership in the industry,” says Eidson. The cases could be litigated in Miami, the home base of Carnival Cruise Lines and Costa Cruise Lines, even though the accident occurred in Italy. Eidson also warned passengers that their ticket may contain a venue selection provision and a short one year statute of limitations in which to bring a claim for their losses. Also, most such tickets require passengers to make a claim for their losses within six months of the incident.