Can we trust the cruise lines’ new passenger bill of rights?

Maybe it was the string of customer-service disasters, starting with the Costa Concordia tragedy last year and leading up to the recent Carnival Triumph “poop” cruise, on which passengers were left adrift in the Gulf of Mexico for five days without working toilets. Maybe it was the threat of government regulation from Sen. Charles Schumer (D.-N.Y.), a vocal critic of the cruise industry, that made it move. Then again, maybe we should just take the cruise industry at its word on its decision, announced just before the Memorial Day holiday, to introduce a passenger “bill of rights.”

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Prosecutors in hot pursuit of Costa Concordia officers

An Italian judge began hearing a request Monday to send the former captain of the Costa Concordia and five other ship’s officers to trial over the accident which sank the liner with the loss of 32 lives in January 2012. Prosecutors are seeking to have the 52-year-old captain, Francesco Schettino, tried on charges including manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning ship.Both Schettino and the ship’s owners Costa Cruises were heavily criticised over both the accident and the chaotic night-time evacuation of more than 4,000 passengers and crew. Costa paid 1 million euros ($1.31 million) to settle potential criminal charges although the payment did not affect civil lawsuits.

Prosecutors pursue trial for Costa Concordia officers Chicago Tribune
Italy court decides who should stand trial BBC News
owner asks court in Italy to consider it a victim of tragedy South China Morning Post
Costa Concordia wreck removal AFP
Costa Concordia indictment hearings open/a> Euronews
Italy court weighs Costa request to join case as injured party Washington Post

Crippled cruise ship secured to Ala. terminal after breaking loose; shipyard

MOBILE, Ala. – The crippled cruise ship whose sewage-filled breakdown in the Gulf of Mexico subjected thousands to horrendous conditions tore loose Wednesday from the dock where it’s being repaired, lumbered downriver and crunched into a cargo ship. Tug boats maneuver around the Carnival cruise ship Triumph as she rests against a dock on the east side of the Mobile River after becoming dislodged from its mooring at BAE Shipyard during high winds Wednesday.Wind gusts near hurricane strength shoved the 900-foot Carnival Triumph free from its mooring in downtown Mobile, Ala., where the ship was brought in a five-day ordeal that began when an engine fire stranded it off of Mexico in February. Hours later, four tug boats used several mooring lines to secure the ship to the cruise terminal.A 20-foot gash about 2 to 3 feet wide was visible about halfway up the hull from the water and it wrapped partway around the stern. Underneath the gashed area, two levels of railing were dangling and broken. Electric cables that had been plugged in on shore were dangling from the port — or left — side of the ship. Carnival said damage, though, was limited.

Crippled cruise ship secured to Ala. terminal after breaking loose; shipyard worker missing Star tribune
Crippled cruise ship secured to Ala. terminal after breaking loose Washington Post
Cursed Carnival cruise liner secure after breaking free from dock WAFB
Carnival cruise ship Triumph breaks free from moorings, crew jump for lives NEWS.com.au
Carnival defends safety record in letter to senator USA Today

What to do if your cruise ship becomes disabled

What to do if your cruise ship becomes disabled
Fox News
This is the third Carnival ship in less than two months to experience difficulties at sea. In February, the Carnival Triumph was crippled by an onboard fire in the Gulf of Mexico, leaving passengers stranded for days while the ship was towed back to land.

What to do if your cruise ship becomes disabled
Great Land ship leaves Port of Tacoma, ‘served the community well’ News Tribune
Fourth Carnival ship faces problems NBC News
Carnival lowers financial outlook after Triumph, ‘Fun Ship’ ship issues Miami Herald
Turning Carnival’s ship around Washington Post

Costa Concordia’s Captain’s Culpability in Crash and Deaths Weighed by Judge

Daily Beast
Francesco Schettino, the erstwhile captain of the Costa Concordia—the ill-fated cruise ship that still lies in a heap off the Tuscan island of Giglio—faced his accusers and a handful of passengers in a closed-door preliminary hearing in Grosseto. Schettino was the captain of the Costa Concordia when it crashed into an outcropping off Giglio last Jan. 13. Thirty-two people died. Few dispute that Francesco Schettino was responsible for wrecking the Costa Concordia. The tougher question for a judge bringing charges is who is most responsible for the botched evacuation and 32 deaths, Barbie Latza Nadeau reports.
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Costa Concordia cruise lawsuits ‘unlikely’ to stay in US

Washington Post
11, 2012 – Hundreds of the passengers from the stricken Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia and up to 1,000 businesses on the island where it ran aground are pressing ahead with U.S. lawsuits against Miami-based Carnival Corp. (/Associated Press) 

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Italian court postpones hearing in crash of Costa Concordia to examine evidence

Washington Post
GROSETTO, Italy — An Italian court has postponed a preliminary hearing seeking to determine charges against those responsible for the Costa Concordia shipwreck that killed 32 crew and passengers. The court said Saturday it has adjourned the hearing

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Costa Concordia disaster spawns shipwreck tourism for Italian island

msnbc.com (blog)
GIGLIO, Italy – Six months after it capsized off Italy’s Giglio island, the Costa Concordia still lies on its side – a monument to what prosecutors say was reckless navigation. The 122000-ton, 1000 foot long cruise liner, which hit a rock and partially sank on January 13, claiming the lives of 32 people including two Americans, has become part of Giglio’s skyline. For locals it has become an eyesore that stops them enjoying the view of the Tuscan shore. But for tourists it represents a perfect photo opportunity for their summer albums.

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90 people still missing after boat carrying 200 capsizes off Indonesia

Washington Post 
CANBERRA, Australia — Ships and aircraft were searching Friday for scores of men missing  fishing boatcarrying about 200 suspected asylum seekers bound for Australia capsized  in heavy seas south of Indonesia.

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Performers suing for $200M following Costa Concordia wreck

Fox News
Four performers who entertained passengers on the doomed Costa Concordia are suing the luxury liner’s owners and operators for $200 million. The musicians and dancers — all from Hungary — accuse Carnival Corp. and the Italian Costa Crociere SpA cruise line of “gross negligence” in the deadly Jan. 13 crash off the coast of Italy.

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