Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Applause Please: Seabourn's New Ships are the Seabourn Encore and Seabourn Ovation

Today Seabourn announced not only the names of its two new 604 guest luxury cruise ships (Seabourn Encore and Seabourn Ovation) but some of the changes to the well known venues.

Before getting to those changes I want to pause and note the Seabourn difference.  There is no "most luxurious", no bluster or hype.  Seabourn is not about having the largest suite, the most expensive suite or treating its luxury clientele differently because some choose to spend more than others on their accommodation.

Because on Seabourn you are a special guest because you are who you are; not how much you spend, Seabourn focuses on "class" and understated elegance describing its new ships as follows:
Although the architecture of Seabourn Encore is not radically different from Seabourn’s other three ships, [Adam T. Tihany’s (one of the world's preeminent designers)] vision is present throughout the ship. There is a new softness and a curvaceous elegance to his designs that reflect a noticeably bespoke aesthetic. The vessel exudes ultra-luxury with design elements often found in private yachts. Nautical visual elements are employed with an exceptional intelligence and sophistication. And, true to his vision, Tihany has enriched the entire ship with an impressive array of unexpected surprises and subtle transformations for guests to continually discover and delight in --- but those, as he so wisely says, are not meant to be described, but rather to be discovered.
While I can tell you that the suites will, for the most part, remain consistent with those on the Seabourn Odyssey, Seabourn Sojourn and Seabourn Quest (with some tweaks), the dining venues and public spaces will see from subtle changes to fully re-imagined spaces.

While the Seabourn Encore's pool deck and Patio Grill will be, in many respects, quite similar to the Seabourn Odyssey-class ships

Seabourn Encore Pool Deck and Patio Grill
The adjoining Patio Bar is being upscaled and made more inviting:

Seabourn Encore Patio Bar
Meanwhile the feel of Seabourn Square has evolved into a far more nautical and relaxed, yet elegant, space...and, ironically, is more rounded than angular:

Seabourn Square on the Seabourn Encore
The two most popular dining venues are also receiving some pretty exciting innovative designs while improving flow of both guests and service staff:

Seabourn Encore's The Restaurant 

The Colonnade on the Seabourn Encore
Did you notice that Seabourn has not released a rendering of the Seabourn Encore herself?  I did.

Seabourn has created a microsite (special small website) for the Seabourn Encore where you can explore not only the ship, but the Seabourn Experience, by clicking here.  The microsite is set up so that content can, and will, be added regularly.  So be sure to check back from time to time.

Interested in the Seabourn Encore's Maiden Season?  Sales will open soon with voyages exploring the exotic coasts of Arabia & India, the gilded temples and tropical isles of Southeast Asia and the awe-inspiring natural splendors and vivacious cities of Australia and New Zealand.

Please give Goldring Travel a call at 877-2GO-LUXURY or email me at eric@goldringtravel.com



Tuesday, January 27, 2015

James Walker, Esquire, Walker & McNeil & Cruise Law News - No Ethics, Deceptions and My Final Word


You know you have nailed someone when they revert to childish, dishonest and unethical behavior. Jim Walker, Walker & McNeill and Cruise Law News has engaged in all of those things when dealing with me...which to me seems to be Attorney Walker's curious method of trying to churn up business.

And now it is time for me to make one final comment...and then ignore James Walker, Esquire, who I perceive as the lowest of the low in the legal world.  Yes, I know he will write something else, but really:  Who cares?

Mr. Walker's temper tantrum started when I called him out on a couple of recent articles he wrote regarding the perception that he files frivolous lawsuits.  Rather than defend himself and his conduct he decided to engage in an effort to assassinate my character. That alone stands testament to his inability to defend his actions and the frivolous perception the world has of him and his conduct.

His tactics are not permitted in court (ex. the issue is his conduct; not me), which Walker knows, and are not dissimilar to a person who physically attacks someone claiming an insult is justification; which it never is, as a matter of law.  But if you decide you want him to represent you, you have to make your own evaluation and decision.

So this time, Walker decided to drag up a 10+ year old matter (it was a single matter; not multiple ones has he incompetently claims) where I defended a former client against misrepresentations by a judge to his new counsel.  The matter resulted in the most minor of consequence and has had zero effect on my practice, my life or my representation of clients in the decade plus since...or my reputation in the courts or with clients.  It is just another example of Walker's dishonest and yellow practices and, frankly, is nothing more than a tiresome attempt by Walker as in internet troll.

What Is On The Internet Never Goes Away:
Remember That!

In his latest article Walker claims he discovered the information in a matter of a few minutes...and that is exactly the point.  It is out there, unhidden, and means pretty much nothing...especially taken in context.

But James Walker's problem is that, just like my decade + old issue is out on the internet and will never go away, so are my articles calling him out along with the perceptions he admits are out there that Walker & McNeill brings frivolous lawsuits and claims against cruise lines.  But ironically, so are his curious attacks on me...which show him for who he is!

Put another way: The more this "attorney" tries to defame me (while not addressing the subject that started all this: his bringing frivolous claims) the more information is out there destroying his credibility.  Not exactly a "genius move"!  But if you decide you want him to represent you, you have to make your own evaluation and decision.

Back To The Business Of Luxury Travel!

Goldring Travel is a travel agency.  I write this blog almost entirely (if not entirely) as a travel agent and not as a lawyer or a legal blog.  Just sayin'.

My reputation and positive connections in the cruise industry (even when I call them out!), coupled with dozens and dozens of extremely loyal and satisfied clients, is beyond any legitimate question.  That is what matters when you are looking to book a vacation that exceeds your desires.  

Now, if you want to book your vacation with one of the top travel agents in the world, please give me a call at 877 -2GO-LUXURY or drop me an email at eric@goldringtravel.com. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Goldring Travel Experiences Azamara Club Cruises - Is it Amazing? Part I

I am about to answer the question that many people have...or should consider asking:

What is Azamara Club Cruises all about?

I will be cruising on the Azamara Quest on February 17, 2015 on a 14 night cruise from Bali, Indonesia to Kyoto, Japan in a Club Continent Suite at the invitation of Azamara Club Cruises.

Azamara Quest
Azamara Club Cruises is the upper premium product of Royal Caribbean (with Celebrity Cruises being its premium product) created out of two of the former Renaissance Cruise Line ships (with Oceania Cruises having four of others...expanding from its original three by just purchasing one from Princess):  The  Azamara Quest and the Azamara Journey.  These ships  have country club/library decor while accommodating 686 guests (with 407 crew) in staterooms that from small interior ones to some of the nicest, and best located, suites at sea.

Note:  For those of you wondering about the NCL-Regent-Oceania merger and if NCL will bring down the quality of Oceania (you know how I feel about Regent), there is a similar relationship here and there is not a hint of Azamara Club Cruises doing anything but constantly seeking to elevate its product and distinguish it from Royal Caribbean and Celebrity...while leveraging the guests' loyalty to the brands.  In fact, later this year Azamara Club Cruises is pouring millions into these ships with new suite furnishings (hard and soft) as well as updates and changes to many of the public spaces.

Azamara Cruises was rather awkwardly introduced a few years ago and it has worked hard since then to gain traction in the upper premium and near-luxury markets.  By the way, "Club" was added to the name to clarify the country club-like ambiance Azamara seeks to create.  While its prior marketing efforts I felt more confused than enlightened, Larry Pimental - who years ago worked for Seabourn Cruise Line - has brought some Seabourn-eque ideas to Azamara Club Cruises including what it calls "AzAmazing Evenings, which are a once-a-cruise complimentary unique shore excursion, and a semi-open bar policy (more on that later).  Also offered on some cruises are Nights & Cool Places evening shore excursion (a bonus with Azamara Club Cruises focusing on overnight stays) and Insider Access excursions that are more local and intimate.  As I travel I will talk more about these.


My cruise unequivocally shows that Azamara has some excellent and unique itineraries- with multiple overnight stays - and this cruise masterfully combines ways to enjoy both the natural and cultural history of Southeast Asia:

·         Benoa, Bali, Indonesia (overnight) - I will be taking an elephant ride through the forest
·         Komodo, Indonesia - I will be seeking out the Komodo dragons (world's largest lizards)
·         Sandakan, Malaysia - I will be spending time at the Orangutan Sanctuary
·         Puerto Princesa, Philippines
·         Manila, Philippines (overnight) - I will be spending time in the old city, Intramuros
·         Hualien, Taiwan
·         Okinawa, Japan
·         Kyoto (Osaka), Japan (two overnights) - Food, saki, architecture and history!

Interspersed are five sea days.

I will be sailing in a Club Continent Suite a 266 square foot accommodation which shares it space with everything from a 158 square foot inside staterooms, to 170-175 square foot oceanview and veranda staterooms up to the few 440-560 square foot Owner’s Suites. While the standard stateroom showers, built in the late 1980's are quite small and the bathrooms are plain, the suites provide a totally different experience with comfortable spaces, bathtubs and more upscale bathrooms.  I will give you more information on my suite once I am aboard.

Note:  For past guests, Azamara Club Cruises has a $398 per stateroom upgrade offer. You submit a request for an upgrade to the next category (oceanview to veranda, for example) and if available and you are chosen you get an upgrade.  Probably the best value (but with the least chance of getting it) is the upgrade from a Club Veranda to a Club Continent  Suite, as I will explain.

Azamara Quest - Club Continent Suite
The suites come with a variety of amenities not available in the standard staterooms which, in many ways, mirror Celebrity (though how things are executed we shall see) including a butler, high tea every afternoon and canapes in the evening, as well as room service that includes the restaurant menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Azamara also differentiates its dining experience based upon suite vs. non-suite.  Along with the other open-seating venues, there are three specialty restaurants:   Prime C (steakhouse) and Aqualina (Italian) and the Chef's Table (three different menus per cruise).  If you are in a suite Prime C and Aqualina are included in your fare, but if you are in a standard stateroom you are going to pay $25 per person per evening.  The Chef's Table is $95 per person.  Packages are available to reduce the per experience cost.

There is a semi-inclusive beverage experience for all guests, with an array of standard wines and spirits and a few beers included in your cruise fare.  If you are in a suite you also receive a variety of 375 ml bottles (Stolichnaya Vodka, Bacardi Gold Rum, Bombay Sapphire Gin, and Johnnie Walker Red Label Scotch) in your suite along with various mixers. There are various upgrade packages which afford you, at a cost to upgrade your water, wines, beers or spirits.  The liquor packages are Premium, Top Shelf and Ultimate at escalating per day prices.  

Another "must have" is internet.  Suite guests receive 235 complimentary minutes.  There are packages, which seem a bit pricey and, surprisingly, there is no "unlimited" package.

So why did I decide to take this, rather unique, cruise?  Was it the itinerary - which I really like?  Not really.  The first motivator is the five days at sea and the three overnight stays all within two weeks.  This cruise will truly let me see how Azamara Club Cruises performs and how the Azamara Quest functions with, obviously, an eye on the upper-premium luxury side of things.

One other thing I am interested in, which I cannot know until I speak to fellow passengers on board, is how and why they decided to overcome the extremely long (getting to Bali without overnighting and/or multiple plane changes is not so easy) and fairly expensive flights.  Clearly there are motivations here that I want to better understand as cruise lines from Seabourn to Windstar have attempted to keep a presence in Southeast Asia without overall success.

I am flying non-stop Newark to Hong Kong (16.5 hours), then Hong Kong to Singapore (4 hours), overnighting at the airport hotel and then a late morning Singapore to Benoa, Bali, Indonesia (3.5 hours) flight before embarking on the ship.)  Obviously that has little to do with Azamara Club Cruises as it sails all over the world, and this may be the most difficult cruise to get to, but it fascinates me.  (I guess that makes me a travel geek.)

Stay tuned as I am sure with this itinerary and so much time on the ship to really get into things, there will be a whole lot to write about.  I am very enthusiastic.

Interested in an Azamara Club Cruise or want more information?  Please give me a call at (877) 2GO-LUXURY or email me at eric@goldringtravel.com.



Friday, January 23, 2015

"The Cruise Industry's Internet Travel Trolls " A Failed Rebuttal by Walker & O'Neill (An Internet Cruise Troll?)

[Postscript:  After I first wrote this article, Attorney Jim Walker, of Walker & McNeill posted his article attacking me on the Goldring Travel and my personal Facebook pages.  Being transparency I left them there.  However, Attorney Walker removed not only this article - which I consistently posted on his firm's (but not his personal) Facebook page - but the  negative comment from others (such as he is a charlatan.].  When you read this article consider if you want to have faith in the words of an attorney who is intentionally deceiving you.  But also consider if you want to use Goldring Travel as a travel agent that is transparent, tells you the truth and puts its clients first.]

Today Jim Walker, Esquire, of Walker & O'Neill posted an article in response to my article the other day:  The Law Firm of Walker & O'Neill - Trying to Defend Their Bringing Frivolous Cases Against Cruise Lines  which, to be sure, is a rather dishonest attempt to personally attack me rather than, as one would think a credible lawyer would do, respond substantively - as his article that started all this promised to do. Note:  In December I wrote an article:  Oceania Insignia - A Fire, Three Lives Lost, Quick Action By Oceania...and An Ambulance Chaser which also suggested Walker & McNeill were not exactly forthright and this, it would seem, also added fuel to Jim Walker, Esquire's fire.

As you will see, there is a reason:  I pretty much got it right.  In fact I got almost all of it right.

Attorney Jim Walker -
He posted my picture, so why not post his?!
What didn't I get right?  I had stated that Mr. Walker's firm had an app to contact them while on a cruise.  I was mistaken and apologize for the error.  The law firm that does have that shameless app is Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A.  You can find that app here.  Mr. Walker wrote:  "I agree that it's tacky, but it's not our idea."  My error probably arose out of the very similar colors and design of their web pages.  (Draw your own conclusions on that.)  Nonetheless I admit on those rare occasions when I get something  wrong.  But that is all I got wrong!

Now before going further I need to point out that in review Mr. Walker's experience I was a bit shocked that his web page about himself is filled with dozens and dozens media appearances; not any important cruise-related legal decisions he has been involved in. There is no doubt Mr. Walker is out there and he is connected with the media.  But that does not give him credibility...nor does it make up for the lack of it.  (How many talking heads do you believe?)

As for the rest of his article, I believe Mr. Walker got a bit too peeved when he opened the door to this very topic; He was the one that said there is a perception that he brings frivolous lawsuits.  I did not create this out of thin air or decide now was a great time to question a lawyer who regularly sues the cruise lines and posts articles with "shocking" headlines.  Mr. Walker, If you don't want to get into a discussion about your integrity, don't bring it into question! 

Why would Jim Walker do such a thing?  
Is there a legitimate reason? Or is he the "Internet Troll"? 

As much as Mr. Walker may not like what I have to say, for him to stoop the the lowest of the low by declaring I am an "Internet Troll" simply underscores my concerns about his integrity.

Anyone who actually regularly reads my blog, or who delves into it for researching something, finds it to be incredibly accurate and refreshing because I say what others will not say.  Mr. Walker - with about as false a premise as possible - claims:
Mr. Goldring fancies himself as a defender of the cruise industry. His website contains diatribes against others who criticize the cruise lines. He attacked the well respected consumer advocate and National Geographic ombudsman Christoper Elliott in an article entitled "Christopher Elliott Engages in Yellow Journalism on MSNBC; A Misleading Attack on the Cruise Industry." But his articles reveal him to be a buffoon.
Really?  I would suggest Mr. Walker actually doesn't have a clue about what writes...and I would never, that is "never", use him as my attorney.  I could give many examples of my not exactly sugar-coating my criticisms of the cruise industry or a particular cruise line, but the fact that on January 9, 2015 I provided links concerning what I perceived as a power play within the NCL-Prestige Cruise Holdings management to the following articles:
This, which is detailed more below, shows that Mr. Walker, the supposedly very qualified and knowledgeable attorney, has engaged in a practice that I warn many about:  Many attorneys work by picking out facts that support their desired conclusion rather than looking at all the facts and figuring out all of the conclusions that could exist.  Such a practice blinds attorneys and results in thousands and thousands of dollars being wasted on lawsuits that little to no merit.

There are folks out there that assert I could not possibly be more critical of things withing the cruise industry!  Ask the cruise lines.  Seriously!

BTW, buffoon?  Would you use a lawyer who is so infantile in his argument that he stoops to calling someone who challenges him silly names?  Didn't think so!


Why would Jim Walker do such a thing?  
Is there a legitimate reason? Or is he the "Internet Troll"? 

Now, let's get to that article of mine he cites.  As you will see it shows  Mr. Walker is just dishonest and desires to mislead is that he, as some other lawyers do to my frustration, intentionally leaving out critical words in order to fraudulently garner support for his position as set forth in his brief...I mean article.

Mr. Walker needed to go back to a 2009 writing (yes it is a five year old article...he had to go that far back in my writing to find something, anything, to support his dishonest attack) which was titled: Opinion: "Revenge at Sea" - Christopher Elliott Engages in Yellow Journalism on MSNBC; A Misleading Attack on the Cruise Industry .

Mr. Walker stated the article's title was "Christopher Elliott Engages in Yellow Journalism on MSNBC; A Misleading Attack on the Cruise Industry." What good faith reason would there be for Mr. Walker to intentionally omit the beginning to the article:  "Opinion:  'Revenge at Sea':".

OK, let's face it Attorney Walker needed - that's right "needed" to lie to create an issue.  The context is entirely different when I am responding to an article about "Revenge at Sea" rather than some rather innocuous article.  That's right, dear Mr. Elliott wrote an article about "revenge" against cruise lines that is filled with unsupported and inaccurate assertions. Honestly, the suggestions Elliott makes, and I will be kind here, are from a naive and ill-informed person who spent the start of his article seeking donations to support his plight.  (Want to buy a miracle cure?  For only $9,99...")

Further, I feel sorry for those that followed may of his silly suggestions.  (Honestly:  You should take a moment to read my Opinion of Elliott's Revenge.  I must admit I had forgotten about it, but it is a darn good article. And, to be sure, after re-reading it, my first thought is that Christopher Elliott might well be Mr. Walker's friend.)

Why would Jim Walker do such a thing?  
Is there a legitimate reason? Or is he the "Internet Troll"? 

Now, I am not going to bore you with the legal inaccuracies and myopic views of the law espoused by Mr. Walker.  I have broken no ethics rules. I have not misstated the law.  I need not joust with silly assertions when I say that in many cases if you are more than 50% at fault you will receive nothing is inaccurate, when what I said was:
And then there is the issue of damages: Absent some serious bodily injury they would be minimal...and if you add your potential negligence - whether it be not holding a handrail or having a cocktail or being distracted so you tripped, etc. - that recovery will probably be drastically reduced or eliminated.  (In many instances if you are 50% or more at fault you receive nothing.) 
So there is Mr. Walker dishonestly taking my statement out of context...and, of course, failing to disclose that not every case dealing with a ship needs to be brought in admiralty and that the cost of bringing such suits in federal court (which has admiralty jurisdiction) can make little to no economic sense and that if it were not for the award of attorney's fees there are many cases that simply make no economic or personal sense for those "mildly" or "superficially" injured.

For example:  In a verdict just the other day (which I am pretty sure will be appealed) a seaman died of lung cancer, but had spent 15 years in Carnival ship engine and machine rooms where asbestos was present.  While such awards - if your attorney can make the connection - can happen, the award was reduced by 65% because he smoked cigarettes for over 20 years.  Apply that concept to a slip and fall case on a ship, take out Mr. Walker's "expenses" and then his "fee".  Tell me you think that makes economic sense.

By the way, that punitive damages case Jim Walker, Esquire cited:  He not only got the citation wrong, he wasn't even counsel on the case. Nonetheless, I would love him to identify one reported decision where punitive damages were awarded against a cruise line on that basis...even if it isn't his case.  Just one...and it is now seven years since that decision so there has been plenty of time for him to litigate same.

Grandstanding through inaccurate implication:  It is a terrible thing to do. 

Why would Jim Walker do such a thing?  
Is there a legitimate reason? Or is he the "Internet Troll"? 

But I close with the premise my first article posed:

Today I read their January 20, 2015 article which stated, in part:
Many people like to think that cases filed against cruise lines are frivolous, or silly, or filed just for the purpose of trying to get a free cruise and will result in higher cruise fares. Hardly.
Some of the cases which we file reveal the cruise industry at its absolute worst.
Guess what?  I am one of those people and have been taking aim at Walker & O'Neill as of late; not only because some of their claims are, to my mind, frivolous (and embarrassing to me as a law professional), but because they appear in my opinion to be bad faith efforts to cast cruise lines in a false and bad light.

And, I must point out, it is the third sentence that "reveals" (using their words) that they are the legal "industry at its absolute worst".

Why?  Because the statement should say "Our cases" or "Most of the Cases" or "Many of the cases" which they file reveal something.  Instead they use the word "Some".  How about "A few"?  Is that any different?

  • What about all those cases that they encourage you to bring to them that never make to an actual claim, no less a filed lawsuit,...because they lack merit?
  • What about all those cases they encourage you to bring to them that are summarily dismissed?
  • What about all those cases they encourage you to bring that result in little to nothing ever winding up in a client's pocket?
Mr. Walker:  You started the conversation.  Why don't you stop with the insults and answer the questions?  It is not my job to do your work.  Show us the cruise industry "at its worst".  Show us that there is not a plethora of frivolous or economically woeful claims.  

Show us.  Don't dishonestly attack me in an attempt to change the subject.

I look forward to your series of articles defending your practices.  That is how this whole thing started, right?

Now, who is the "Internet Troll"?  Jim Walker, Esquire, of Walker & McNeill, I do believe I have shown that if one has to pick between you and me you would be the one:  Hands Down.

And, again using the term "The Thing Speaks for Itself" in the layman's sense -as I wrote it originally (and, again, though this is not a negligence case), Mr. Walker I believe your conduct speaks for itself.

Note:  I apologize to Mr. Walker for any spelling or grammatical errors.  LOL.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Law Firm of Walker & O'Neill - Trying to Defend Their Bringing Frivolous Cases Against Cruise Lines

I receive a number of newsletters that distribute website articles relating to cruise line industry news. One website that posts regularly is the law firm of Walker & O'Neill; which specializes in making (or is that seeking?) claims against cruise lines.

As a maritime attorney myself, I read their articles (or is that advertisements) sort of like a moth being attracted to a light bulb:  I just can't help myself.  And invariably I read about possible claim after claim that I (and therefore they should or must) know are frivolous.  (Yes, on occasion they do handle a claim with merit.)


They even have an app which encourages you to make claims through their firm, regardless of the facts that you probably will not recover anything on the vast majority of the prospective  claims and that if you do recover the amount will be minimal.  And for that you get yourself fired up as you diminish or destroy the cruise vacation you spent thousands and thousands of dollars to enjoy yourself on.  (I do not consider that to be a service to you; quite the contrary.  I see it as an effort by that firm to transform your cruise into a possible payday for them...at your expense.  Hence, this article.)

Today I read their January 20, 2015 article which stated, in part:
Many people like to think that cases filed against cruise lines are frivolous, or silly, or filed just for the purpose of trying to get a free cruise and will result in higher cruise fares. Hardly.
Some of the cases which we file reveal the cruise industry at its absolute worst.
Guess what?  I am one of those people and have been taking aim at Walker & O'Neill as of late; not only because some of their claims are, to my mind, frivolous (and embarrassing to me as a law professional), but because they appear in my opinion to be bad faith efforts to cast cruise lines in a false and bad light.

And, I must point out, it is the third sentence that "reveals" (using their words) that they are the legal "industry at its absolute worst".

Why?  Because the statement should say "Our cases" or "Most of the Cases" or "Many of the cases" which they file reveal something.  Instead they use the word "Some".  How about "A few"?  Is that any different?

  • What about all those cases that they encourage you to bring to them that never make to an actual claim, no less a filed lawsuit,...because they lack merit?
  • What about all those cases they encourage you to bring to them that are summarily dismissed?
  • What about all those cases they encourage you to bring that result in little to nothing ever winding up in a client's pocket?

For example:  You fall down the stairs, trip on a threshold or slip by the pool.  In theory there might be some...and I mean a very modest amount of...merit to the stairs or carpeting or pool deck having a design defect, but the cruise lines (just like every hotel, restaurant, movie theater, etc.) have no obligation provide the best design, but one that is reasonable.  And then there is the issue of damages: Absent some serious bodily injury they would be minimal...and if you add your potential negligence - whether it be not holding a handrail or having a cocktail or being distracted so you tripped, etc. - that recovery will probably be drastically reduced or eliminated.  (In many instances if you are 50% or more at fault you receive nothing.)  And let's face it, with millions of passengers cruising every year and only a very limited number of successful claims made, practically your  chance of recovery is extremely small.

But the article goes on to give examples of some of those "worst" cases:
The cases include issues like the cruise line's mistreatment of female crew members who were sexually assaulted on so-called luxury cruise lines. Other cases involve the cruise lines' refusal to provide and/or delay in providing life-saving medical treatment to crew members diagnosed with cancer. 
While there is no question that there have been instances of sexual assaults not being handled correctly, that is not a cruise industry issue, but a global issue.  Without regard to whether they won or lost any such cases (they don't say) the fact of the matter is we have read about this problematic issue in the military, in hotels, at colleges and even in our neighborhoods.  Yes, there needs to be serious improvement and, fortunately, in the past decade there has been a good bit.  But to promote you law firm by implying this is somehow purely a cruise industry issue or they are somehow now at the forefront of this issue is, in my opinion, simply wrong.

The second case allegedly showing the cruise industry at its worse, is another example of a global issue, rather than a cruise industry one.  How many of you have watched television and seen attorneys advertising their services for people that have inhaled asbestos while working in various industries? The fact is asbestos is present in the engine rooms of many older ships (just like it is in many older factories and homes) and people can suffer from cancer through exposure to it.  The issue, which Walker & McNeill apparently left out of their above pitch is that many cruise ship workers had jobs before and/or after working on cruise ships so it is extremely difficult to determine if the worker's asbestos-related illness is actually associated with the cruise line.  

Think about it:  In some of the third world factories where asbestos is present the care to wrap or seal it simply is not present.  So does the cruise line just open its pockets to every worker who steps onboard who becomes ill or - as is the norm with land-based claims - does the worker need to establish the cause of his illness was the cruise lines?  And if the cruise lines did, would it not have to do the same for you, the passenger, because you took a cruise on one of its ships...after spending years in a factory that was riddled with freely exposed asbestos and the reality of it is there is a very low (or no) possibility you contracted it onboard?

The point is that while cruise lines are not infallible and do some things that might well expose them to liability, the reality is that in the vast...and I mean vast...majority of cases the cruise lines get it right.  And when they don't, as we have all seen, they work very hard to improve their practices to do it even better.  But, alas, there are some times when there is liability on the part of the cruise lines and they should be held accountable.

However, if Walker & McNeill feel it ethically appropriate to hawk their services by pulling out those very few cruise line cases without balancing them against all of the cases that have come through their door as a result of their advertising which they have either advised there was no claim or was a claim with no or little economic benefit or, heaven forbid, a claim which they lost in court (and there are many of those), I let you make your own determination as to whether you want to believe them, let them change the focus of your cruise vacation or, possibly, even use them.

But I leave you with this:

When a law firm feels compelled to defend itself against the perception it is bringing frivolous claims there must be a reason the perception exists.

There is a simple concept in the law that applies in a number of negligence cases:

Res ipsa loquitor. (The thing speaks for itself.)