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Home » Ports » Florida judge threatens to stop Carnival ships from docking in the U.S.

Florida judge threatens to stop Carnival ships from docking in the U.S.

PortandTerminal.com, April 11, 2019

Miami, FL – The Associated Press reported today that a federal judge has threatened to temporarily block Carnival Corp. from docking its cruise ships at ports in the United States as punishment for a possible probation violation.

Micky Arison (L) Chairman, Carnival Cruise and Arnold Donald (R) CEO, Carnival Cruise

What’s the problem?

Photo: Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park

Miami-based Carnival has been on probation for two years as part of a $40 million settlement for illegally dumping oil into the ocean from its Princess Cruises ships and lying about the scheme, according to court filings.

Despite this, prosecutors say ships have dumped grey water into Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park, prepared ships in advance of court-ordered audits to avoid unfavourable findings, falsified records and dumped plastic garbage into the ocean. The company has acknowledged these incidents in court filings.

The five-year probation began in April 2017 and requires a third-party auditor to inspect ships belonging to Carnival and its subsidiaries. Carnival owns nine cruise brands and has 102 ships.

If I could, I would give all the members of the executive committee a visit to the detention center for a couple of days. It’s amazing how that helps people come to focus on reality

The court filings say that during 2017 Carnival had a program in place to prepare ships in advance of the audits to avoid negative findings. Seitz ordered the company to stop in December 2017, and it stopped. But federal prosecutors said the practice continued in 2018.

Prosecutors said internal emails shared among Carnival’s subsidiaries discussed the practice. An email from Carnival’s German-based cruise line AIDA Cruises said, “It would be really important to go onboard on August 12 for one week in order to have time to manage issues before the audits and avoid findings.”

They said a similar email from Carnival’s Seattle-based Holland America Line mentioned “prevent audit findings” as a goal in early 2018.

The court filings said the monitor found that Carnival and its subsidiaries repeatedly falsified records, as recently as September 2018, when an engineer on Holland America’s Westerdam ship falsified maintenance records to make it appear he had cleaned and tested equipment when he had not. The same ship, according to court filings, dumped 26,000 gallons of grey water into Glacier Bay National Park in September 2018.

Obviously they talk the talk, but they aren’t walking the walk.

Monitors also found that the Carnival Elation ship dumped plastic garbage overboard during an audit in December. The plastic wasn’t being separated from food, court filings said.

Other cruise lines have also been accused of dumping garbage directly into the ocean. In this photo, a maritime lawyer posted videos sent to him by a former employee of MSC Cruises showing what was described as a crew member dumping trash bags into the ocean

The judge on Wednesday mentioned a 45-minute presentation she received as a guest onboard Carnival Corp.’s ultra-luxury cruise line Seabourn about how plastic straws are damaging the marine environment.

“I was thinking to myself, ‘I’m impressed,”‘ she said. “Obviously they talk the talk, but they aren’t walking the walk.”

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