Judge Threatens to Block Carnival Cruise Ships from Accessing US Ports

Block Carnival Cruise ShipsUpdated: 11:37 AM ET, Fri April 12, 2019

A federal judge in the US has threatened to keep ships from the Carnival cruise lines out of American ports to punish the company’s potential violations of the terms of its probation.

The company has been on probation as part of a 2017 settlement in which Carnival agreed to pay the full amount of $40 million for discarding oil illegally into the ocean from the Princess Cruises ships and not telling the truth to US authorities. Carnival owns the Princess Cruise line.

US District Judge Patricia Seitz said on Wednesday that she’d decide in a hearing on June what action to take against the cruise line.

Carnival started its five-year probation period back in 2017 and agreed to full inspections by third-party auditors.

According to filings  reported by the Miami Herald, the cruise line “sought to avoid unfavorable findings by preparing ships in advance of court-ordered audits, falsified records, dumped plastic garbage into the ocean and illegally discharged gray water into Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska.”

In a statement, Roger Frizzell, the Carnival spokesman said the company had heard the judge’s concerns.

“We … will do our utmost to ensure we meet all expectations … and continue to strive to be best in class on environmental compliance,” he said. “Our environmental responsibility has been and remains a top priority for the company. Our aspiration is to leave the places we touch even better than when we first arrived. This is in the best interest of our guests, our company and the oceans upon which we travel. We look forward to clarifying any issues and demonstrating our commitment.”