Carnival Cruise Lines will be setting sail after all for Cuba with US passengers, regardless of where they were born, following the reversal of an earlier decision that would have prohibited Cuban-born Americans from cruising to Havana on a US-based cruise ship.
Cuba now will allow all US passengers to cruise to Cuba. This reversal results from mounting pressure from the United States government, civil rights lawsuits, protesters, and the media, who were collectively astonished and offended by Carnival Cruise Lines' discriminatory and offensive decision to cooperate with the Cuban government's prohibition against Cuban-born US citizens from cruising to Cuba as either passengers or crew.
The uproar began when Carnival agreed to follow Cuba's discriminatory law, opting for corporate profits by being the first US-based cruise line to sail to Cuba in over 50 years. This debacle was certainly the first public misstep and most colossal PR mistake Carnival has made since CEO Arnold Donald took over a few years ago. Initially Donald had announced that Carnival would delay cruises until the issue was resolved.
We strongly believe that Cuba needs Carnival--its ships, infrastructure, and most importantly the potential billions of passenger dollars--far more than Carnival needs Cuba.
Fortunately it appears that Cuba's reversal will now lift its ban on Cuban-born US citizens, and Carnival's Fathom is back on schedule to depart for Havana from Miami May 1. Our maritime law firm is based in Miami, which has a huge Cuban population, and we have received a dozen inquiries on behalf of Cuban-born Americans wanting to sue Carnival for discrimination. My classmate from the University of Miami School of Law, Tucker Ronzetti, has already filed suit and in Federal Court in Miami, and we applaud him for this.
Our cruise ship blog has reported for years how excited we are by the prospect of American-based cruise lines carrying passengers to Cuba, and candidly, we were hoping to be among the first passengers to experience Cuba--legally.
However, when Carnival--which maintains its corporate headquarters just a few miles from our law office--decided it would cooperate with Cuba to discriminate against US citizens (or anyone for that matter), we announced that we would not travel to Cuba until all Americans are permitted to go. With this news, our cruise ship accident lawyers are looking forward to booking our cruise as soon as possible and reporting on the experience. Stay tuned to this blog for the latest in cruise ship news and information.