Convicted Felon Carnival Cruise Line Violates Probation

Our lead trial lawyer Brett Rivkind has an international reputation for dedication and excellence. His hard work and success have been recognized extensively through awards and special recognitions.

List of Endorsements

Many people do not know that Carnival Cruise Lines, the largest cruise ship company in the world, is actually a convicted felon. In 2016, the Miami-based Carnival Corporation pled guilty to 7 felony charges in relation to an eight yearlong conspiracy of illegally dumping oil and covering up the illegal activity. Carnival paid a $40 million fine as a result, which was the largest ever criminal penalty assessed for the deliberate violation of vessel pollution laws. In addition to this fine, Carnival was placed on 5 years of probation. Keep reading from our Carnival cruise ship accident lawyers.

Carnival Cruise Line Continues to Break the Law

Carnival, which reported a profit of $3.2 billion in the year 2018, has been found to still have ships that are illegally discharging sewage, gray water, oil, and food waste in the year after they were convicted of illegal dumping and lying to authorities. The massive cruise line has also been found to have burned heavy fuel oil imports and waters close to the shores around the world, which are all illegal.

The continued illegal behavior on the part of Carnival has been the subject of proceedings in the Federal District Court in the Southern District of Florida. The federal court judge handling the matter, apparently very upset at the actions of this billion-dollar corporation, has released a 205-page report of the monitoring and overseeing of Carnival’s environmental compliance during its probation. The report and subsequent court filings have revealed that Carnival continues to violate environmental laws during its 2nd year on probation.

A Washington D.C. law firm partner was appointed to inspect the company during its probation. In June of 2018, they submitted their first annual report to the court. Although previously confidential, it was published just last week “so the public can see what this criminal defendant is doing”, as stated by Judge Patricia Seitz, the federal court judge handling the matter.

Environmental Law Violations: High-Risk Repeat Offender

It is also interesting to note that the 2016 criminal conviction of Carnival was not the first time for this billion-dollar corporation. In 1998, Holland American line, which is a subsidiary of Carnival, also pled guilty to illegally dumping oil, paid a $2 million fine, and was placed on probation for five years. In 2002, Carnival pled guilty to falsifying records to cover up illegal oil waste discharges on six of its ships, resulting in an $18 million fine and 5 years of probation. In 2005, when Princess Cruise line began committing crimes that led to the 2016 conviction, the company was still on probation from its violations in 2002.

Judge Seitz summed it up: “We call you high-risk defendants when you have this number of repeat offenses.” She added, “The defendant is a criminal. It is a recidivist criminal.”

More than Carnival: Other Convict Cruise Lines

Other cruise lines have also been convicted of similar types of crimes in the past. In 1999 Royal Caribbean cruises, another large cruise ship company based in Miami, paid a $9 million fine after they pled guilty to federal crimes relating to rigging its ships to bypass pollution control equipment and covering up dumps of toxic wastewater. In 2002, Norwegian Cruise line pled guilty to falsifying records to cover up oil dumps and paid a $1 million fine.

The continued pattern of repeated violations by Carnival and other cruise ship companies demonstrates how difficult it is for the authorities to hold cruise ship companies accountable. There are 105 ships, more than 120,000 employees and millions of guests and dozens of countries. There have been other reports of numerous violations by other cruise ship companies.

Judge Seitz at the hearing said she regretted she was unable to send the executives to jail. There is a hearing set in June and she has requested that Carnival executives be present to answer questions. She has also threatened to temporarily block the cruise ship company from docking any of its 105 cruise ships at U.S. ports, withholding that decision until after the next hearing in June.

Rivkind Law: A Cruise Ship Accident Law Firm That Cares

We will keep you informed of this very important matter. As a Florida boat accident law firm handling nothing but maritime cases since 1983, I have always wondered why cruise ship companies avoid stringent regulations and laws, and in fact, enjoy a very favorable treatment under our current laws.

For many years there were no mandatory reporting requirements for crimes that happen on cruise ships, allowing the cruise ship companies to self-police themselves. I testified during Congressional Hearings addressing cruise ship safety and security, and the committee members during the hearings were quite surprised to learn that there were no mandatory reporting requirements. The hearings prompted more hearings and eventually, the passing of the 2010 Cruise Ship Vessel Security and Safety Act signed into law by President Obama.

Although the cruise ship companies spend millions lobbying Congress each year and bring in a lot of revenues to our states in the United States, they must be accountable to the laws of our country and held accountable for its actions. Contact our cruise ship accident lawyers today.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Boat Injury Lawyer


Brett Rivkind is a lawyer that not only cares but also a lawyer that makes a difference. Whether its speaking in congress to help promote safety awareness in legislation or representing clients in court seeking compensation for their injuries, Brett Rivkind is passionate about his dedication toward both promoting safety at sea and helping clients in need who have been harmed at sea.

Learn more   >>

Boating Accident Lawyer Miami


Jury verdict obtained by Brett Rivkind selected to hall of fame of jury verdicts. This case is believed to be a record verdict of this particular type of case.

Learn more   >>

Best Florida Boat Accident Lawyer
Jones Act Injury
Maritime Injury Lawyer
Florida Boat Accident Attorney
Boating Accident Lawyer
Boat Accident Attorney
Best Maritime Injury Lawyer
FL Boating Accident Attorneyf

Real Case Results

  • $6.3 MillionBack Injury
  • $2.9 MillionCruise Ship Injury
  • $2.7 MillionCrewmember Injury
  • $2.1 MillionSlip & Fall
  • $1.2 MillionCruise Ship Injury
  • $1 MillionSeaman Back Injury
  • $980,000Cruise Ship Injury
  • $610,000Workplace Injury
  • $375,000Shoulder Injury

Real Client Testimonials

“My only regret is that I did not turn to Brett Rivkind for help sooner.”

“After struggling for more than a year to get the cruise line to take responsibility for a series of medical blunders on board that nearly killed me, I got offered a settlement within weeks of turning to acclaimed Maritime Attorney Brett Rivkind for help”

Chris, a Crew Member on a Cruise Shiptop maritime lawyer
Read More Testimonials   >>

Get A Free Case Evaluation


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Call Today
Free Consultation

We serve clients nationally and internationally including, but not limited to, those in the following localities: Miami-Dade County including Coral Gables, Cutler Bay, Doral, Hialeah, Homestead, Kendall West, Miami, Tamiami, The Hammocks, and Westchester; Orange County including Orlando and Winter Park; Osceola County including Kissimmee, Poinciana, and St. Cloud; Palm Beach County including Belle Glade, Lake Worth, and West Palm Beach; and Broward County including Cooper City, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Miramar, Pembroke Pines, Sunrise, and Weston.


Best Florida Boat Accident Lawyer