The Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line’s Grand Celebration is likely heading to the beakers in India based on a report today from Cruise Industry News. The cruise news journal stated that the old cruise ship “is likely heading to the end of her cruise career as the ship is rumored to have been sold for scrap and is currently sailing toward India.” Tracking services show the ship sailing through the Bahamas into the Atlantic.
The cruise line has been embroiled in a labor dispute with its crew members involving allegations that it did not pay its crew for many months, liedto them and retaliated against them.
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line has forced crew to work without wages during the pandemic on its Grand Celebration ship in Palm Beach, according to 2 crew members and a lawsuit filed in federal court today.
"That's essentially slavery," said lawyer.https://t.co/8CLo0XZvmq
— Taylor Dolven (@taydolven) August 4, 2020
The Miami Herald reported in October that crew members have reached a settlement of the lawsuit which claims that they were forced to work for five months without pay.
.@BPCruiseLine crew members have endured five months of unpaid labor and retaliation for raising concerns about the conditions on the company's Florida-based ships.
Now they may finally get paid after the company settled a class-action lawsuit Friday.https://t.co/ZJEi9ugMLW
— Taylor Dolven (@taydolven) August 25, 2020
But ten days ago, a federal district court judge here in Miami ruled that the proposed $875,000 settlement agreement between the cruise line and its estimated 275 crew members was “wholly inadequate,” and instructed the lawyers for the crew and the cruise line to keep negotiating. The Miami Herald quoted a lawyer for Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line as saying that the company was struggling to stay afloat, and that “bankruptcy is a possibility.”
The cruise line is also many months in arrears in paying dockage fees of $50,000 per month to the Port of Palm Beach. The cruise line reneged on its previously negotiated settlement with the Port to pay $142,000 in dockage fees. Since that time the cruise line has incurred additional dockage fees of $50,000 per month for October and November.
It looks like Bahamas Paradise may have decided to cut its loses and sell the cruise ship for scrap metal if the report from the cruise journal is correct.
A number of other cruise ships have ended up in scrap yards in Turkey and India and are being dismantled for scrap metal sales after the Covid-19 pandemic all but destroyed the cruise industry. We previously wrote about the Carnival Fantasy, Carnival Inspiration, Carnival Imagination, Monarch of the Seas and Sovereign of the Seas, which are in the ship “graveyard” in the port city of Izmir, Turkey.
We last reported on the Grand Celebration in August after a concerned citizen sent me a photo of the cruise ship, once operated by Carnival, Costa and Ibero cruise lines, spewing thick black smoke from its orange painted funnel over the port. I wrote about the incident in an article titled Grand Celebration Pollutes Even During “No Sail” Period.
The Bahamas Paradise website now hosts only a skimpy one-page site. It does not look like the cruise line will survive. Last October, it announced that instead of returning to Grand Bahama Island using the Grand Celebration, it planned to use the Grand Classica commencing on December 18, 2020. Considering its financial problems, this may be wishful thinking.
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Photo credit: Top Miami Herald; bottom – anonymous.