Princess Cruises Holland America Line Both Sue Port Excursion Partner

Princess Cruises and  Holland America Line filed a lawsuit against a partner in Turkey on February 28, 2017. The lawsuit complaint alleges the trading partner, Sea Song Tours (SST), overcharged the cruise lines. The lawsuit alleges four points:

  • 1. Breach of Contract
  • 2. Breach of Implied-in-Fact Contract
  • 3. Breach of the Implied Covenant of  Good Faith and Fair Dealing
  • 4. Unjust Enrichment/Restitution.

This  lawsuit also reveals some interesting facts, which novice cruise ship passengers might not know. The cruise lines are pimping out their passengers to vendors in countries where Western passengers are part of a multi-million dollar, marketing scheme.  It is being done in a geographic region that is unstable and currently under U.S. State Department warnings.

“Since approximately 2005, Defendant SST has contracted with the Plaintiffs on a yearly basis to operate a shopping concession at Turkish ports that are called upon by the Plaintiffs’ cruise ship vessels, and said agreements were referenced as that year’s Shopping Agreement.”

That shopping agreement included “Each year, the promises remained the same: the Plaintiffs contractually promised to extol the quality and uniqueness of Defendant SST’s wares to its cruise line passengers prior to mooring in Turkey, and in exchange, Defendant SST contractually promised to pay the Plaintiffs either a percentage of its shopping commissions upon meeting sales thresholds or Defendant SST paid the Plaintiff’s a guaranteed sum of money.

Princess Cruises Losing Millions of Dollars To Legal Issues

Cruise Bruise asked Princess Cruises Lawyer Jeffrey Maltzman, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of his client, if he had any comment on the litigation. Maltzman represented me a case a few years back and I agreed, if a case came up, to consult him before writing any articles about his client.  “If you would like to state anything about the case, I will be happy to include it.  Maltzman responded,  “I am not sure the lawsuit is really newsworthy.   It is simply a breach of contract claim alleging that SeaSong breached a business advertising contract with HAL.”

That is partially true; but, there is a much bigger “newsworthy” picture here. It is interesting to note, the lawsuit was filed by Maltzman,  three months after a December 1, 2016, FBI announcement, that Princess Cruises had been proven to be in violation of U. S. regulations.  A  federal judge “imposed a $40 million fine on Princess Cruise Lines for intentionally polluting the ocean and placed the Carnival Corporation subsidiary on probation for five years.”

That fine was imposed after Christopher Keays, 27. from, Scotland, a cruise ship junior engineer, notified authorities that the cruise line was illegally dumping prohibited items into the ocean. On April 19, 2017, Keays was awarded $1,000,000 as reward for blowing the whistle.

Turkey Cruise Line Port Calls Cancelled

Then, consider these facts impacting Princess Cruises. Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises,  Holland America, Cunard and P&O Cruises canceled calls in Turkey through at least the end of 2017. Our cruise ship schedule for Turkey shows both Princess Cruises and Holland America Line, who are both parties to the lawsuit,  still have Turkey calls scheduled in fall 2017. It is a huge money grab for those cruise lines as the case below illustrates. 

Then, more bad  news affecting Carnival Corp revenue came to light. On March 28, 2017, the U.S. State Department issued a formal Travel Warning for Turkey that cites increased threats from terrorist groups throughout the country.

“U.S. citizens should avoid travel to southeast Turkey and carefully consider the risks of travel to and throughout the country,” the State Department said in the warning. The agency noted that in late October it ordered the departure of family members of employees posted to the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul “based on security information indicating extremist groups are continuing aggressive efforts to attack U.S. citizens in areas of Istanbul where they reside or frequent.”

This is important, because just today, the India Times reported, ” Turkey’s talks with Russia about the purchase of the S-400 air missile defense system have reached a “final stage”. ” However, several news sources claim the April 3, 2017  St. Petersburg, Russia terror attack was financed from Turkey.

On the other hand, numerous Russian media sources reported  on April 19, 2017, saying that  “Turkey’s introduction of limitations on the supply of agricultural products from Russia, including wheat,  was a stab in the back”. The Mediterranean has gone from bad, to worst for cruise ship calls and their profitability, with Turkey right in the midst of the cruise industry safety and profitability issues.

Princess Cruises v.  Sea Song Tours Lawsuit Stated Facts

“Plaintiff HOLLAND AMERICA LINE, N.V., (hereafter “HAL”) is a limited liability corporation duly organized and operating under the laws of the State of Washington. HAL is a full-service cruise line entity headquartered at 450 Third Avenue West, Seattle, WA 98119, USA, and HAL’s fleet of 14 ships offers more than 500 annual cruises to 415 ports of call in 98 countries, territories, and/or dependencies, which includes ports of call in Turkey.

Plaintiff PRINCESS CRUISE LINES, LTD., (hereafter “PCL”) is a limited liability corporation duly organized and operating under the laws of the State of California. PCL is a full-service cruise line entity headquartered in Bermuda with its Principal Place of Business in California at 24305 Town Center Drive, Santa Clarita, CA 91355, USA, and PCL’s fleet of 17 ships taking more than one million passengers to more than 300 annual ports of call on six continents, which also includes ports of call in Turkey.

HAL & PCL (hereafter collectively “the Plaintiffs” and/or “HAL & PCL”) are both wholly owned subsidiaries of the Carnival Corporation & PLC, the largest cruise line company in the world, which is headquartered at 3655 N.W. 87 Avenue, Miami, Florida 33178, USA.

Defendant ORIENT DENIZCILIK TURIZM SANCYI VE TICARET, A.S., d/b/a SEA SONG TOURS, (hereafter “Defendant SST” and/or “SST”) is Turkish corporate entity of an unknown type duly organized and operated under the laws of Turkey. Defendant SST is a Turkish travel agency that is headquartered at Binbirdirek Mah. Peykhane Caddesi No: 33, 34122 Fatih/Istanbul, Turkey.

Since approximately 2005, Defendant SST has contracted with the Plaintiffs on a yearly basis to operate a shopping concession at Turkish ports that are called upon by the Plaintiffs’ cruise ship vessels, and said agreements were referenced as that year’s “Shopping Agreement.”

Each Shopping Agreement was more or less identical in that the Plaintiffs contractually promised to extol the quality and uniqueness of Defendant SST’s wares to its cruise line passengers prior to mooring in Turkey, and in exchange, Defendant SST contractually promised to pay the Plaintiffs either a percentage of its shopping commissions upon meeting sales thresholds or Defendant SST paid the Plaintiff’s a guaranteed sum of money.

Each year, the Plaintiffs offered a Shopping Agreement to Defendant SST, and Defendant SST either accepted said agreement expressly or impliedly by conduct.

Each year, the promises remained the same: the Plaintiffs contractually promised to extol the quality and uniqueness of Defendant SST’s wares to its cruise line passengers prior to mooring in Turkey, and in exchange, Defendant SST contractually promised to pay the Plaintiffs either a percentage of its shopping commissions upon meeting sales thresholds or Defendant SST paid the Plaintiff’s a guaranteed sum of money.

Each year, the Plaintiffs did all of the significant things that the contract required it to do, which included, but was not limited to, the following acts:

Distributed promotional materials to each cruise line passenger’s cabin that contained merchant descriptions and maps for Defendant SST’s merchants;

Recommended Defendant SST’s merchants in all communications with the Plaintiffs’ cruise line passengers regarding Turkish ports of call;

Played Defendant SST’s “shopping video” that encouraged the Plaintiffs’ cruise line passengers’ patronage at Defendant SST’s merchants stores in Turkey;

Allowed time for “shopping stops” at Defendant SST’s merchants in Turkish ports of call after the Plaintiffs’ cruise line passengers’ shore excursions in Turkey;

Abstained from the promotion of other Turkish port merchants whose goods were similar to Defendant SST’s merchants to the Plaintiffs’ cruise line passengers; and

Permitted Defendant SST to tell the Plaintiffs which Turkish port merchants Plaintiffs could send its cruise line passenger customers to under the shopping agreements.

If that year’s contract was not contemporaneously signed, the Plaintiffs and Defendant SST understood that a contract impliedly governed their conduct due to a history of prior dealings.

Here, the parties to each year’s shopping agreement never recanted or reneged on their contractual duties to perform at any point in time. The Plaintiffs always upheld its contractual promises to Defendant SST and directed their cruise line passengers to SST’s merchants, and the net commissions and/or a guaranteed payment owed to the Plaintiffs under that year’s shopping agreement was always paid by Defendant SST.

For example, in 2013, that year’s Shopping Agreement was not signed by until October 14, 2013, and at that time approximately eighty percent of the Plaintiffs’ cruises to Turkey had already occurred. Yet, Defendant SST paid the Plaintiffs as though an express contract bound the parties for the entirety of 2013.

Attached hereto as Exhibit “B” to Plaintiffs’ Complaint is a true and correct copy of emails exchanged in February of 2014 between Defendant SEFER and Mark Barnard (Plaintiffs’ Onboard Revenue Manager) that related to Defendant SST’s payment of $316,734.56 net commissions due to the Plaintiffs under the 2013 Shopping Agreement.

Moreover in 2014, as was the case for the vast majority of the time under the 2013 Shopping Agreement, the Plaintiffs and Defendants acted in accordance with the existence of a binding written contract in 2014 when no signed writing controlled that year’s Shopping Agreement.

Attached hereto as Exhibit “C” to Plaintiffs’ Complaint is a true and correct copy of emails sent throughout 2014 from Sezai Ozdemir (Defendant SST’s Financial Controller) to Defendant SEFER and the Plaintiff’s employees relating to the juxtaposition of Defendant SST’s expected 2014 shopping sales with its actual 2014 shopping sales and a comparison of the net commissions to Defendant SST’s guaranteed payment amount of $631,000.00.

Attached hereto as Exhibit “D” to Plaintiffs’ Complaint is a true and correct copy of emails sent in November of 2014 from Defendant SEFER to Plaintiff’s employees regarding Defendant SST’s owing $790,229.29 under the 2014 shopping agreement to the Plaintiffs.”

Ouch!

 

The Russian Connection Cruise Ship Overboard Mystery

David Svyatetskiy, 22, a Russian-American cruise ship passenger who lived in Castle Rock, Colorado, was traveling with his family aboard Norwegian Cruise Lines’ Norwegian Escape, when he died aboard the cruise ship in the middle of night on the second night of the cruise.

The cause of death, depends on who you ask. Two government agencies, so far, are calling it a “suicide”.  Though, there is no word if the FBI are or will investigate. The family calls it an “accident” on their Gofundme  page. But, is there a third possibility?

Svyatetskiy spoke Russian as his first language, but also spoke fluent English as well. He was a graduate of Legend High School in Parker, Colorado. He then attended college at Colorado School of Mines, where he majored in Electrical Engineering. He was on track to graduate in 2018, with a goal of becoming an engineer. He reportedly was an excellent student, with a perfect 4.0 grade point average.

Questions remain, such as why would a Russian-American student with a 4.0 grade point average, quite suddenly would decide to take his own life in the middle of the night? If suicide was the intent, why not just jump into the sea, as many others have in the past? Instead, he falls to his death, landing several decks below.

 

Google warning notice on God Will Provide Russian church website, where credit card and banking information is given online by visitors.

Was a toxicology report performed in Miami when the cruise ship returned?Were there alcohol and/or drugs in the blood of this honor student?

If substance abuse  was a possibility, how would a student with a 4.0 GPA, suffer as his brother had with abuse,  and still excel in his studies?

If  he had a substance abuse problem, then why wasn’t he getting treatment, at the same treatment program his brother is affiliated with, the Russian church treatment program, God Will Provide,  as seen in the video below?

 

Recently, we posted an article titled, Cruise and Travel Excursion Selfies Photo Deaths and Injuries Extreme Daredevils. Could it be David Svyatetskiy, was a daredevil as well?

The article includes dozens of young people who died while filming extreme selfies. One of them was  Russian Andre Retrovesky, 17, who died on September, 24, 2015 .  Andrey Retrovesky, from Vologda, Russia, addicted to daredevil selfies, calling himself Drewsssick online, died during a selfie stunt. He climbed to the top of a nine-story building with a friend in an effort to capture a photo that would make him appear to be falling from the roof. The rope used to secure him snapped and he plunged to the ground.

See the video below, then read more about this puzzling case on Cruise Bruise.

Video: Only The Bible”: Rehab Center Offers Drug Addicts New Life With Christ

 

Arctic Cruise Ship Expedition Views Melting Away

2015 Arctic Sea Ice Maximum Annual Extent Is Lowest On Record

If you want to see the arctic by cruise ship, it may be melting before you eyes, current scientific models indicate. Capture the moment on your bucket list while there is still something to see.

The Arctic defined, “The Arctic consists of the Arctic Ocean, adjacent seas, and parts of Alaska (United States), Canada, Finland, Greenland (Denmark), Iceland, Norway, Russia, and Sweden. Land within the Arctic region has seasonally varying snow and ice cover, with predominantly treeless permafrost-containing tundra. Arctic seas contain seasonal sea ice in many places.”

Arctic Tundra in Summer

Arctic Tundra in Summer

According to a March 19, 2015 article published by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), 2015 Arctic Sea Ice Maximum Annual Extent Is Lowest On Record, “The sea ice cap of the Arctic appeared to reach its annual maximum winter extent on Feb. 25, according to data from the NASA-supported National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado, Boulder. At 5.61 million square miles (14.54 million square kilometers), this year’s maximum extent was the smallest on the satellite record and also one of the earliest.”

According to NSIDC,  “When weather outside gets unusually cold, people sometimes say that the weather is Arctic. Sometimes that is true, because the weather and climate in the Arctic can also have a strong effect on atmospheric conditions in the rest of the Northern Hemisphere, both for short-term weather and long-term climate. Weather and climate in the far north are very different than weather in the middle latitudes, where most people live, but it is not always bitterly cold.”

Cruise Lines with Arctic itineraries include Crystal Cruises, Silversea Cruises, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Polar Cruises, Fred Olsen Cruise Line and Quark Expeditions to name a few.  To discover if an Arctic cruise should be on your bucket list, browse our video playlist below.

You can track cruise ships in Alaska  or track cruise ships in Northern Europe

Video Playlist: Cruise Bruise Arctic Cruises

 

 

Herbariums – The Art and Science of Seaweed Collecting

Herbariums – The Art and Science of Seaweed Collecting

An herbarium is collection of dried plants for scientific study. Women seaweed hunters like Margaret Gatty, walked the beaches in Victorian England collecting specimens for their seaweed scrapbooks.

Margaret Gatty (1809-1873), a British children’s book author, became fascinated with marine biology and started collecting seaweeds in 1848 when she spent some months at England’s southeast coast town of Hastings.

She built up a large herbarium of her own collections, supplemented by local and foreign specimens sent to her by biological scientists, phycologists,  who  specialized in the study of algae and phytoplankton, a sub-discipline of botany.

By 1863, she had become quite an expert on seaweed, an unthinkable field of expertise for a woman back in the day. Margaret Gatty published a two-volume book on British seaweeds.

Seaweed Collectors Guide by John Cocks

Seaweed Collectors Guide by John Cocks

More than 8,825 specimens and 500 plates belonging to the Margaret Gatty herbarium have now been found in St Andrews University Herbarium (STA). Some 4,250 specimens in the collection are still mounted in the original albums, approximately 2,975 specimens were kept in folders or in unsorted stacks or packages.

Here in the U.S., The New York Botanical Garden is one of the top four herbariums in the world. The Steere Herbarium at the New York Botanical Garden has 7.3 million seaweed specimens. (see video)

One specimen was collected by Charles Darwin. Another was collected by Captain James Cook. Cook took an expedition voyage, commissioned by King George III,  aboard HMS Endeavour, from 1768 to 1771. The HMS Endeavour crossed the Atlantic and rounded Cape Horn, Africa.

Other notable herbariums are Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris, France; Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew , England; Komarov Botanical Institute in St. Petersburg, Russia and United States National Herbarium in Washington, DC.

Russia 2017 Cruises to Crimea

Russia 2017 Cruises to Crimea

Russia 2017 Cruises to Crimea

Cruise Bruise: Russia makes deal for $75 a day #cruise ship sailings from Sochi, Russia to Russia, Crimea and Turkey ports with plagued cruise history.

The discussions came after Putin ordered the Ministry to organize 2017 Crimea regular air and maritime traffic between Sochi, Russia and the Ukraine Crimea region. RMOT held preliminary talks with Sovfracht Group to launch regular passenger service to the seaports in the Crimea.

The history of Russian cruise ship travel has been  marked by disaster and controversy.

Read more on Cruise Bruise.

MV Lyubov Orlova Drifting Ghost Ship or Sunk?

Lyubov Orlova sailed into St. John’s, Newfoundland in Canada, was inspected and prevented from sailing with passengers for a booked cruise due to too many issues not passing inspection. Meanwhile, the crew was aboard while the ship was held in port and they were not being paid.

The situation with the Lyubov Orlova went on for two years while the Live Cruise Ship Tracker documented her anchored and not moving in Newfoundland, which we blogged several times. The ship was ultimately sold to Neptune International Shipping.

While being towed out of Canada, the line broke, and the rat infested ghost ship drifted in the northern Atlantic Ocean.

On my Youtube channel, you can see the pink diamond icon on October 11, 2010,  showing her still docked in Canada after she had been seized,  in my main page Youtube Video, as I flip through the pages of the web site in the making of the Cruise Bruise promo video and the full page of the Live Cruise Ship Tracker is shown among the other category pages, which were on Cruise Bruise at the time, before each category was given it’s own web site.

Read more on Cruise Ship Sinking