Passengers who were booked to travel on a Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL) - Get Report trip out of Galveston in late August are suing the cruise line, alleging it pressured customers to travel as Hurricane Harvey was about to ravage the Houston area, CBS reported.
Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas was scheduled to travel from Galveston to Cozumel, Mexico, from Aug. 27 through Sept. 3. Harvey hit Houston, which is the city nearest to the port of Galveston, on Aug. 25. The suit alleges that Royal Caribbean made it seem like the trip would depart as scheduled despite the strong storm.
The complainants said they were pressured to travel or risk losing the ability to get a refund on their tickets. "Consequently, hundreds of passengers were subjected to days of danger, terror and trauma as a result of being forced to travel into the path of a category four hurricane," the 20-page suit stated.
The suit said the alleged misconduct was on a "profit motive" because cruise operators "make no money when passengers don't sail."
Royal Caribbean said on Saturday, Aug. 26, that Harvey would delay the ship's departure one day to Aug. 28 from Aug. 27. But the voyage was later canceled on Aug. 27, the suit said.
The same day Harvey hit, Royal Caribbean competitor Carnival Corp. (CCL) - Get Report rerouted two of its ships set to arrive the next day. "Simply put, had the cruise been cancelled a day or two earlier, just like Carnival did, then these passengers would not have been trapped in the path of Hurricane Harvey," the suit read.
Royal Caribbean shares traded higher 1.57% to $123.58 midday Thursday.
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