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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Carnival Cruise Death and Disaster

The reputation of Carnival Cruise is, to put it mildly, not doing so well these days.

I happened to arrive back in the U.S. from a cruise myself - with Norwegian, thank God - the same day that the folks were towed back from the Carnival Triumph.

And, now, there has been a death on the Carnival Miracle which does 7-day cruises to the Bahamas out of NYC.

In an initial statement from the company, they emphasized that no one served alcohol to Seth Younes, an 18-year-old senior at Saratoga Springs High School. This, of course, leads one to believe that alcohol very well may have been to blame in the untimely death on Feb. 26.

A Saratogian newspaper employee just told me today that the initial autopsy was inconclusive for the cause of death and a toxicology report will take a few weeks.

From Emily Donohue: "Well from talking to an attorney who has dealt with cruise ship safety and other cases similar to this, it seems like alcohol is pretty easy for underage people to come by on cruise ships. The companies have strict written policies against serving underage people, but enforcement is a different thing entirely. That said, the ME's office and the FBI didn't give any indication either way. The only person that mentioned alcohol officially was the cruise ship spokesperson who swears he wasn't served... so take that for what it's worth. We've heard nothing about him having any underlying health issues either. It's such a sad story, I hope we get an official cause of death soon and his friends and family aren't stuck in the limbo of 'inconclusive autopsy' for too long."

My thoughts are that he more than likely did purchase drinks on the ship (which can be easily investigated). He was 18, which is the legal age to drink in many countries. Due to Carnival catering to other nations, they likely allow drinking for those 18 and over - or at least that was the policy on the Norwegian Gem (which also goes out of NYC to the Caribbean). On my recent cruise, there were people from all over the world and there were signs at the bars which stated that, once in international water, the bartenders would be allowed to serve just wine and beer to those 18 and older. But I have no idea what Carnival's actual alcohol policy is.

Also, as an observation from my recent trip, people got plastered. Some to a fun level but others to an obnoxious point. The cruise ship may leave too much leeway on this to make sure that their passengers have a good time.

In any case, stricter regulations will no doubt be put into place for all cruise ships because of this tragedy (#RIPSeth) and because of the #Triumph.


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