When Hurricane Harvey tore through Texas, it turned many people’s lives upside down. The Houston area, in particular, was a dangerous place to be, which is why some passengers of a Royal Caribbean cruise have decided to file a class-action lawsuit. It turns out that while everyone else was fleeing the area or hunkering down in their homes for safety, passengers of a Liberty of the Seas cruise scheduled to leave August 27th were essentially told there was nothing to worry about. According to the lawsuit, “by failing to cancel the August 27th sailing of Liberty of the Seas out of storm-ravaged Galveston, Royal Caribbean put passengers in danger.”
The lawsuit itself was filed “on behalf of Canadian traveler Nikki McIntosh and other passengers who found themselves in the same boat as a result of the cruise line’s decision.” Though the suit has yet to mention a “specific monetary demand,” it is seeking enough to “cover lost wages, emotional suffering and other costs associated with the traumatic experience.”
But what exactly did the cruise line do or say that made passengers feel like their lives were put in danger? For starters, a day before the cruise was scheduled to depart, “Royal Caribbean’s meteorologist tweeted that the weather was looking favorable and that even as catastrophic flooding had already begun, passengers were being told the ship would still be departing on Sunday as scheduled,” according to the lawsuit.
Understandably, this concerned some of the passengers, given the state of things during the storm. As the lawsuit pointed out, “hundreds of flights were canceled and highways were flooded, impassable and deadly.” Despite the weather and concerns, however, many passengers found a way to Texas, primarily out of fear that “they would wind up losing the cost of their vacation.”
Unfortunately for the passengers that braved the weather and felt almost pressured to show up for the cruise, Royal Caribbean eventually ended up canceling the cruise. The cruise line didn’t give passengers much notice about the cancellation, either. Waiting until the day of the cruise, Royal Caribbean finally admitted that it was too dangerous to sail and emailed passengers with the news that the trip was canceled, effectively trapping the passengers who had traveled to the area after being told a day earlier that the cruise was still going to depart.
Many parts of the lawsuit expressed the frustration of the passengers who listened to the cruise line and showed up for their trip. According to the suit:
“Had the cruise been canceled a day or two earlier, just like Carnival did, then these passengers would not have been trapped in the path of Hurricane Harvey and subjected to 5-6 days of terror, hardship, and inconvenience. The conduct of [Royal Caribbean]…is so outrageous in character, and so extreme in degree, as to go beyond all possible bounds of decency.”