Friday, September 11, 2009

Friday update on testimony in Antigua taxi fare scuffle trial

Updated Sept 12, 10am
Testimony resumed on Friday in Aruba in the case of six American tourists off Carnival Victory who got into a dispute one week ago with a taxi driver over the fare he was trying to charge them. When taken to a police station, a brawl with the police ensued, resulting in the Americans' arrests.

From Friday's testimony it now is clear this was no little pushing and shoving match. The AP report says, "Prosecutors presented as evidence dozens of pictures showing the officers' injuries, including one of a bite wound that required stitches."

According to the more detailed account in the Antigua Sun, the abuse of the police officers was also extremely verbal, according to the officers' testimony. It also reveals that some of the Americans just wanted to pay the extra taxi fare and be done with it, and it was only some of the Americans who were so belligerent.

The trial will continue on Monday.

Antigua trade assns want laws to prevent repeat of taxi incident

The Antigua Sun is reporting that local trade associations are moving to distance themselves from the incident which happened there last week where six American tourists off Carnival Victory were involved in a brawl over a taxi fare and arrested for fighting with police officers.

The incident, by the way, is still not resolved for the cruise passengers. The court proceedings are in recess until Friday.

Customs Steps Up Drug Checks

The Miami Herald reports that US Customs & Border Protection has instituted a zero-tolerance for cruise passengers in connection with marijuana possession. Over the Labor Day weekend the new policy resulted in six arrests in Miami and five at Ft. Lauderdale.

Disney in Vancouver

The Vancouver Sun is reporting that Disney Cruise Lines will announce today that they will be sailing a program of cruises from Vancouver to Alaska with Disney Magic.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

We know there was a fight

The court proceedings began yesterday (Sept 9) in Antigua for the six Americans accused of fighting with police officers. In our earlier entry, we reported the fight ensued when the six, who were ashore from Carnival Victory last Friday, refused to pay an additional $50 taxi fare the driver said was due, and he took them to a police station.

The Antigua Sun carries an account of Wednesday's proceedings. What we know from all accounts in yesterday's testimony seems to be that there was a fight and the "enthusiasm" with which the participants fought. The court is now in recess until Friday.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

How fast Norovirus Can Spread

A BBC article shows just how easy it is for norovirus to spread through a cruise ship.

According to the article, one passenger boarded Fred Olsen's Balmoral on Saturday, and she was detected at that point to have norovirus. She was confined to her cabin by the medical staff. The woman did not stay in her cabin as she was requested to do, and now, by Tuesday, 91 passengers have the virus.

Kind of makes you sick, doesn't it?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

New Port Could Sink Venice

A new port proposed for Venice could hasten the sinking of the island city according to an article in the London Telegraph, which attributes the information to the Royal Institute of British Architects. The culprit, according to article, is the additional dredging that will be needed to accommodate the large ships. The article calls Venice one of the world's busiest cruise ports, citing the rise in cruise traffic from 200 cruise ship calls in 2000 to 510 in 2005.

SS United States Memorabilia Collection Donated

A collection of memorabilia from the SS United States that has filled a Nags Head (NC) restaurant has been donated to the Mariners' Museum in Newport News (VA). The museum already has a propeller and other artifacts from the classic liner, according to WVEC in Newport News, but this will significantly expand the collection. Video accompanies the text story on the WVEC website.

It would have been cheaper to pay the taxi fare

Six Carnival Victory passengers were left behind at Antigua last Friday when they were arrested due to a dispute with a taxi driver, according to the Associated Press. The three couples had paid $50 for a tour by taxi which ended at a local beach. When they found out they had to pay another $50 taxi fare to get back to the ship, they allegedly became unruly, and instead of taking them to the pier, the driver took them to the police station, where, according to the police, they scuffled with police officers.

The six were charged with malicious damage, assault and wounding the police officers. They were released on Monday after paying a bail of $5,000, pending their arraignment on Wednesday.

Let's see. Attorney's fees. Hotel on Antigua for six for three nights, several hundred dollars. Extra air fare home for six, several thousand dollars. Bail for six, $30,000. Three nights in an Antigua jail, priceless.

It would have been cheaper to pay the extra $50 taxi fare.

Update: We can always count on a more colorful report from the New York Post. The Antigua Sun adds some more details and commentary.

Update: The court proceedings began on Wednesday. Updated story on Cruiseblogger.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

A Quick Tour of Meyer Werft

This video gives viewers a quick tour of the Meyer shipyard at Papenburg, Germany (map) on the occasion of the keel laying for Disney Magic last week.