Sun, 28 May 2023

MIAMI, Florida: A cruise ship with hundreds of passengers and crew onboard has been diverted to the Bahamas from its scheduled stop in Miami after a warrant was issued due to unpaid fuel bills.

After a 14-day Caribbean voyage, the Crystal Symphony was due to return to Miami on January 22, but instead sailed to Bimini, the Bahamas.

Had the ship docked in Miami, a warrant would have allowed for the ship to be seized to repay a $1.2 million unpaid fuel bill owed by its operator, Genting Hong Kong Ltd, reported Bloomberg.

An earlier lawsuit was filed by Peninsula Petroleum Far East against Crystal Cruises and Star Cruises Limited, which led to the warrant, stated USA Today.

In a tweet to travel agent Mundy Cruising, a passenger wrote, "Can you help me change my flight to Heathrow from Miami, as we are stuck on Crystal Symphony, which has changed route and is now heading for Bahamas instead of Miami."

Musician Elio Pace, who was performing aboard the ship, told the Daily Mail, "Every one of these people are trying to reschedule their flights, but there is no panic, there are no tantrums going on."
However, in an interview with USA Today, he said he hopes to be compensated for the additional time he has spent onboard.

According to the Daily Mail, passengers had to wait overnight to be transported by ferry to Fort Lauderdale after the diversion.

Meanwhile, Genting Hong Kong has since filed for provisional liquidation, after reporting a $1.7 billion loss in May, reports Bloomberg.

The COVID-19 pandemic closed cruise companies for nearly two years.

Earlier this month, staff and passengers on Norwegian Getaway and Royal Caribbean ships described their difficult quarantine experiences after contracting the virus aboard ship.

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