A curiosity

Saw this article just now about Carnival Sunrise not being able to go to Bermuda because of bad weather.

The ship ended up just diverting to Charleston before heading back where it came from in NYC. It made me wonder, is the government understanding of things like weather when it come to the law about cruise ships touching a foreign port? Or did Carnival get fined or something for not going anywhere outside the US?

We will probably never know but it just got me thinking.


15 Answers

Good question! Hope we eventually get an answer.

Stay tuned.

My understanding of the the Passenger Act is a foreign flagged vessel may not charge a FARE to transport US citizens between US ports without a significant stop at a foreign nation. (In essence preventing passengers a direct line "ferry" style service between different US ports, while that voyage makes a profit.) So as long as Carnival refunded (or at least provided future cruise credit) the full amount of the cabin portion of the booking price, they are not running afoul of the law, and would not be subject to the federal fines this change could of incurred without a special governmental dispensation.

On the other hand if the cabin fare refund was not offered without outside prompting, but the cruise line proves the change to the itinerary caused by an Act of God/Nature enroute or that the planned foreign port was closed by the that nation's government, there are provisions under the law. In other words if the Bermudian officials closed the port for the entire time the ship was scheduled to be in port forcing the port to be skipped without enough notice to make an itinerary change to another foreign port, there is no need to offer even a discount off the price paid for the cruise (though doing so is just good customer service).

Disclaimer I'm not a lawyer or other legal professional, so this is not an absolute fact just my interpretation.

That makes sense, maryred!

I want to thank you both for giving me something to mess with on a dreary rainy morning. I spent an hour learning really important stuff about the "Passenger Vessel Services Act of 1886", and the "Jones Act of 1920", and an assortment of unintended consequences and how the US seems to be stuck with the unintended consequences. But, after I got a grip and came up for air, I did learn one interesting tidbit. Those "cruises to nowhere" that seemed to be so popular awhile back were stopped when some bureaucrat realized they were in violation of an assortment of clauses......moving on hehehehehe

In a case like this the cruise lines would usually make a quick stop in Canada in order to comply.

Yeh. they could stop in Vancouver say, b4 heading back to ny. I'd book it. hehehehehehe

LOL just a quick stop over there!

We were on this sailing. When we booked it several months back I was a little concerned about hurricane season. We wanted to stay in Manhattan for a few days anyway. We got there 3 days early had great weather in New York and had a wonderful time. Started to realize Bermuda would be affected but just went to have fun and hope for the best. We have sailed out of Charleston and its a lovely city, but it also was not Bermuda. Everyone on Lido deck cheered when the captain announced we would get 100% future cruise credit. I didn't buy the drink package because it doesn't work on day 1 in New York and we had two and a half days in Bermuda. When you just float around for six days drinks and spa visits can add up quick.

A classic example of making the best of a bad situation...good for you! enjoy the next cruise!

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