Here’s Why a Cruise Line Keeps Taking Passengers to the Bahamas Against Their Will

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Multiple Crystal Cruises cruise ships have been diverted to the Bahamas in recent days to avoid US ports – which carry hundreds of passengers – to avoid paying millions in damages after a federal district judge issued a warrant for one of the cruise ships in the United States. business. ships.

Key facts

The Crystal Serenity was due to make a stop in the Caribbean on January 30 before docking in Aruba Miami Herald reports, but the ship’s stops were canceled and passengers were informed that the ship had been denied entry to Aruba.

The ship instead docked in Bimini, Bahamas, where Crystal Cruises’ parent company Genting Group owns a resort and marina, the Herald notes — and passengers were returned to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Monday night, according to the Associated Press.

The ship was carrying about 400 passengers and departed on January 17 for what should have been a journey of more than 100 days Herald reports, but Crystal Cruises announced on January 21 that it would suspend sailings until the end of April due to Genting’s financial problems.

The Serenity was the second of Crystal’s ships to avoid US ports, after the Crystal Symphony docked in the Bahamas instead of Miami last week and took passengers to Florida.

Passengers were kept on board for a day longer than intended, with the AP reporting that a passenger said on Facebook that they “[felt]

we have been kidnapped by luxurious pirates!”

The ships are avoiding entering U.S. waters because a U.S. district judge issued a warrant for the Symphony’s arrest on Jan. 20 in response to a lawsuit over failure to pay the Symphony and Serenity’s fuel bills.

Crucial Quote

“It’s a colossal mess,” Crystal Serenity passenger Nancy Plencner told the Herald. “Everyone is in an uproar. We’ve spent most of this cruise making itineraries, changing plans, losing more money on non-refundable airline tickets, and making cruise deposits on other lines.”

key background

Crystal Cruises’ troubles were set in motion by parent company Genting Hong Kong Ltd., which filed a petition with the Bermuda Supreme Court on Jan. 18, saying it was running out of money by the end of the month. The filing came after its German shipyard subsidiary MV Werften filed for bankruptcy a week earlier, and Bloomberg notes that the cruise operator’s problems were related to the cruise industry’s losses during the Covid-19 pandemic. Fuel company Peninsula Petroleum then sued Crystal Cruises in federal court in South Florida on Jan. 19 for breach of contract, seeking more than $2.1 million in damages from Crystal Cruises, including $1.2 million in unpaid fees from the Crystal Symphony. The warrant for arrest orders US Marshall to seize the Symphony and its “boats, equipment, clothing and furniture, engines and accessories” and detain the ship until the petroleum company agrees to release it.

Tangent

Crystal Cruises’ problems come as the cruise industry has faced new problems from the ommicron coronavirus variant, which has sparked a spate of new outbreaks on ships. As a result, some cruise lines were forced to cancel sailings, causing the beleaguered industry to decline further just months after cruises were allowed to sail again in the summer.

Read further

‘A Colossal Mess’: Embattled Crystal Cruises Leads Second Ship to Bahamas, Sends Passengers to Fort Lauderdale (Miami Herald)

Cruise passengers stayed on board an extra day after judge issued arrest warrant for ship (Forbes)

Billionaire Behind Troubled Crystal Cruises Continues Bigger Casino Bets (Forbes)

Billionaire Lim Kok Thay’s Genting HK Files To Liquidate Cruise Ship Operator With Cash (Forbes)

Second cruise ship remains in Bahamas over lawsuit (Associated Press)

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