A federal judge in Miami, Florida, will be ruling in June whether Carnival Cruise ships will be allowed to dock in U.S. ports because of alleged probation violations of the cruise line for dumping oil and garbage into the ocean. The cruise line has been on probation for two years as part of a record $40 million settlement for these violations.
U.S. District Judge Patricia Seitz, Senior United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, said she will make a final decision on the company’s future at a June hearing, according to a story in the Miami Herald. (“Federal judge threatens to temporarily block Carnival ships from docking at U.S. ports,” by Taylor Dolven, April 10, 2019.)
The Miami Herald reported that Princess Cruise ships had been illegally dumping garbage and other debris into the ocean for eight years and then lying about the scheme to U.S. authorities. “While on probation, according to court filings, Carnival Corp, and its subsidiary cruise lines have sought to avoid unfavorable findings by preparing ships in advance of court-ordered audits, falsified records, dumped plastic garbage into the ocean and illegally discharged gray water into Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska,” the Miami Herald reported.
Judge Seitz said at the April 10, 2019 hearing that she wanted Carnival Chairman Micky Arison and President Donald Arnold to attend the upcoming June 24 hearing. She even went so far as to calling Carnival Corporation a “criminal defendant” and threatened to send the “members of Carnival’s executive committee” to a “detention center for a couple of days” for violation of the terms of its probation for environmental crimes.
Carnival’s five-year probation began in April 2017. Its terms require a third-party auditor to inspect the company’s 102 ships operated by its nine brands.
A story in Cruise Law News lists the cruise line’s specific violations that led to the action before Judge Seitz.