Friday, March 30, 2012

Carnival Triumph Ordered Arrested

Latest update - 6pm (EDT), March 31, 2012 - is below

A Texas judge has ordered Carnival Triumph arrested when it returns to Galveston on Saturday (March 31, 2012).

The federal order is in connection with a $10 million lawsuit filed against Carnival Corp by the family of a German who died aboard Costa Concordia.

The order was issued on Friday by a federal judge in Texas, and as of now, the ship will be held when it turns around in Galveston on Saturday. The order says Carnival may offload passengers and cargo, and the ship will be allowed to move to a different pier if necessary.

The order says the ship will be held until a "prompt hearing" can be held when Carnival can argue why it should not be held until the suit is resolved.

Carnival has not yet commented. No doubt, the line is working to get a hearing on Saturday or to get a judge in a higher court to overturn the order.

If Carnival doesn't prevail, Saturday's sailing will have to be canceled.

UPDATE: March 31, 10am eastern time

Unconfirmed reports say passengers arriving for today's sailing are being told the situation is a matter of "miscommunication," and preparations are being made for today's sailing.

Carnival has just issued a statement which says that the company is "working through appropriate legal channels to resolve [the situation]."

Carnival says they are "optimistic that the issues regarding Carnival Triumph will be resolved and the ship will depart on its scheduled voyage later today."

UPDATE: March 31, 11am eastern time

Passengers arriving at the terminal for embarkation are now being given a letter explaining the situation. Carnival is still proceeding in anticipation that the ship will be allowed to sail today. Passengers wishing to cancel, at this point, are being assessed the normal financial penalty.

UPDATE: March 31, 144pm eastern time

Carnival confirms they are proceeding normally with their embarkation process aboard Carnival Triumph, and passengers are boarding, and they are still working to have the ship released. They say they are still optimistic that the ship will be able to sail today.

Legal sources tell us the first big hurdle is going to be getting someone in the federal system to work on the weekend, especially when it's not a life or death matter. We have no confirmation that has happened yet.

UPDATE: March 31, 226pm eastern time

The attorney for the plaintiff said in an interview with Bloomberg today, "If Carnival posts a $10 million security bond, then everything can be done by agreement on the phone today.”

Of course, that may not be Carnival's first choice of actions, but the obstacle of getting the judge to hear the motions today also still exists.

UPDATE: March 31, 515pm eastern time

Carnival source tells CND agreement has been reached, and Carnival Triumph will be released and sailing "soon." Scheduled sailing time was 5pm ET.

Still awaiting official statement and confirmation when the ship sails.

UPDATE: March 31, 542pm eastern time

Webcam confirms Carnival Triumph is untied and leaving the pier.

UPDATE: March 31, 6pm eastern time

Carnival has issued a statement saying, "The mater involving Carnival Triumph has been resolved, and the ship has just departed." They said the ship will follow it's normal itinerary.

There was no information on HOW they resolved the issue, however.