Crystal Symphony | A cruise ship with hundreds of passengers that was supposed to dock in Miami sailed to the Bahamas instead after a U.S. judge granted an order to seize the vessel as part of a lawsuit over unpaid fuel, AP reports.
A cruise ship that was supposed to dock in Miami sailed to the Bahamas instead after a U.S. judge granted an order to seize the vessel as part of a lawsuit over unpaid fuel.
Cruise trackers show Crystal Symphony currently docked in the Bahamian island of Bimini.
Passengers were taken by ferry to Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale on Sunday.
“We all feel we were abducted by luxurious pirates!” passenger Stephen Heard Fales posted on Facebook
It was unclear how many passengers were aboard, with one news outlet reporting 300 and another, 700. According to the company website, the vessel can carry up to 848 passengers.
A federal judge in Miami issued an arrest warrant for the ship on Thursday, a maritime practice where a U.S. Marshal goes aboard the vessel and takes charge of it once it enters U.S. waters.
Passengers and entertainers said on social media they were surprised to find out about the legal case. One guest posted a letter on Facebook from Crystal Cruises Management that said the change in itinerary was due to “non-technical operational issues.”
The lawsuit was filed in a Miami federal court by Peninsula Petroleum Far East against the ship under a maritime procedure that allows actions against vessels for unpaid fuel bills.
The complaint says Crystal Symphony was chartered or managed by Crystal Cruises and Star Cruises, which are both sued for breach of contract for owing $4.6 million in fuel.
The warrant enabled authorities to take custody of the ship had it docked in the Miami area.
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