Royal Caribbean Cruises is facing at least two lawsuits filed by passengers who claim its Anthem of the Seas vessel dangerously set sail into a storm this month.
The lawsuits say the cruise giant knew, or should have known a fierce storm had been forecast for the region into which the Anthem would be sailing.
The ship, which was carrying 4,500 passengers and 1,600 crew, departed New Jersey on 6 February for a seven-night cruise to the Bahamas but returned four days later after experiencing high winds and 30-foot waves off the North Carolina coast a day after its departure.
In its defence, Royal Caribbean said the storm was more severe than expected, and also offered passengers full refunds, and discounts on a future cruise.
However, a lawyer for one of the lawsuits (a proposed class action) Michael Winkleman told Reuters “a refund and a future cruise credit is insulting for what the passengers went through”.
“Royal Caribbean showed an absolute lack of respect for the lives of its passengers,” he said.
Delaware resident Bruce Simpson, who claims to have suffered a concussion and other injuries when he was thrown 18 feet into a door during the storm, filed the other lawsuit.
Both lawsuits seek unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.