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Cruise Ship Crew Member Alarmed Over Mishandling of Coronavirus

By Orlando Personal Injury Attorney on April 15, 2020

Let’s travel back in time to just over a month ago on March 13th, 2020, when the Cruise Lines International Association, the world’s largest cruise industry trade association which represents more than 95% of the “global cruise capacity,” decided to suspend operations for thirty days due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This decision, although made with the best of intentions, ultimately stranded thousands of passengers and crew, some of which had already been exhibiting symptoms of the novel coronavirus.

According to the latest reports released from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are an estimated 80,000 cruise ship employees still marooned at sea and various ports throughout the world. A crew member from the Celebrity Infinity has spoken out this week about the growing concerns she encountered while working aboard the Miami-based luxury liner amidst the initial COVID-19 outbreak.

Employed as a television host and personality for the Port and Shopping Channel aired on the cruise ship’s in-house network, Julia Melim recently spoke with CNN about the shocking coronavirus mismanagement she witnessed while working aboard the Royal Caribbean-owned Celebrity Infinity. In her statement to the press, she alleges that even though workers were informed of their potential exposure to COVID-19 during a trip in early March, it wasn’t until many days later that the cruise ship took any actual precautions. The letter from the ship’s senior onboard physician Dr. Tamyan Joseph, dated March 23rd, included details on how to twice-daily monitor your temperature, as well as proper hand-washing & social distancing procedures. It did not, however, mention anything about the typically-mandated fourteen-day quarantine, nor did it suggest the benefits of a self-imposed isolation.

To make matters worse, Melim stated that it was still business as usual aboard the Celebrity Infinity, even after the memo. “We had like (sic) crew parties, we had live music, we had concerts, movie nights, theater performances,” she said. This type of behavior and obvious disregard for coronavirus safety continued to occur up until March 28th, when cruise ship officials finally issued a ship-wide quarantine.

The Celebrity Infinity is currently resting in Port Miami, where it has been waiting for permission to dock from local authorities. CNN has contacted Royal Caribbean in reference to when the crew will be able to disembark, but has yet to hear a response from them.


James O. Cunningham

James O. CunninghamSince 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.

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