Avid cruisegoers know that the peak time to head to the Bahamas is from December to February. People travel there from colder climates everywhere to kiss the snow goodbye and bask in temperatures that typically range from the low 60s to the high 70s – warm enough for sandals and shorts, but cool enough that they don’t have to worry about baking in the sun.
Unfortunately, everything during this time period fills up so quickly that you often need to book months in advance just to get there. Because of this, people may be excited to hear that a new cruise line will be offering more trips to the Bahamas this February out of the Port of Palm Beach. Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line will offer two-night cruises to Grand Bahama every other day in February, offering those who just have to get to the Bahamas this winter quite a few more opportunities to get there.
But before anyone out there rushes to try to book through this new cruise line, there are a couple of things that you should know. First off, it’s not a new cruise line at all, but an old one that has been renamed. And following this trend, the ship they plan to use isn’t new, either – it’s an old Carnival ship that has been around for almost three decades!
Why Is What’s Old Becoming New Again?
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line used to be Celebration Cruise Line, a company with one route and one ship. They offered the same trip to the Bahamas on their smaller Bahamas Celebration cruise ship until late October. So, why is a cruise line both changing its and buying an old ship from one of their competitors? Did they simply want to upgrade to a bigger ship?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. Back on October 31, while leaving the Bahamas, the cruise line’s previous ship got into an accident – it hit something underwater that ripped open a hole in the ship and grounded it. Since it was their only ship, they were forced to cancel already-scheduled trips. This one accident effectively stopped the cruise line from operating entirely over the last few months. Technically, that cruise line is still defunct, but the newly formed Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line is owned and operated by most of the same people.
The fact that the company changed their name and purchased an old ship from a rival company doesn’t necessarily mean that any kind of deception is going on – cruise lines have been known to do this type of thing in the past. However, anyone booking a trip on this “new” cruise line in their “new” ship deserves to know what they are really getting.
Despite the fact that officials from the new company say it’s in fantastic shape, the ship itself has been with three different cruise lines in the past decade after more than 20 years with Carnival. This poses two potential problems:
- That the age of the ship may cause issues that simply haven’t been discovered yet.
- That any problems that do exist may not have been caught because the ship has been moved around so much.
Beyond this, there’s the issue that the people associated with the cruise line aren’t used to working with a larger ship and the simple fact that they’re new to it in general – whenever you start working on a new ship, you need time to discover the nuances of how to operate it.
Problems That Can Arise When a Crew Isn’t Familiar with a Ship
Fires. There are a shockingly high number of fires on cruises every year. Most of them don’t end up seriously harming the ship or hurting crew members or passengers, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. But here’s the scary thing – most of those fires happen when crew are already quite familiar with the inner workings of the ship they’re on. Put a new crew on a new ship and there’s a learning curve.
Cleanliness. If a crew doesn’t really know a ship that well, it’s a lot easier for them to forget to clean certain objects or areas – either as often as then need to be cleaned or at all – because they aren’t used to doing so. Additionally, the cruise line may not know how to staff adequately since every ship is different and there’s some trial and error involved. If they err on the side of hiring fewer people, there just might not be enough man power to do the job right. Ships that aren’t cleaned properly contribute to accidents and illnesses – including things like norovirus.
Crashes. Just as fires are often caused by mechanical problems that can be exacerbated when the crew isn’t as familiar with the ship, crashes may be more likely to happen when a captain doesn’t know his ship as well as he should. This is particularly important to note in this case because of how the cruise line’s previous ship ended up.
If you’re considering a cruise this winter – no matter which line you’re going with or where you’re headed – make sure that you know your rights and how to fight back if you are harmed because of something the cruise line does or neglects to do. By holding them responsible, you can get the compensation you need and make sure no one else suffers like you did.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of The Law Office of Andrew Winston. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, is AV Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, and was recently voted by his peers as a Florida “SuperLawyer”—an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state—and to Florida Trend’s “Legal Elite.”