When Creditor Comes Calling, Cruise Ship Flees to Bahamas

One passenger says they felt like they were 'abducted by luxurious pirates'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 24, 2022 1:31 AM CST
Updated Jan 24, 2022 6:10 AM CST
Cruise Ship Passengers Felt Like They Were 'Abducted by Luxurious Pirates'
The cruise liner Crystal Symphony leaves the harbor in Charleston, S.C. on May, 21, 2013.   (AP Photo/Bruce Smith, File)

(Newser) – Passengers aboard the Crystal Symphony cruise ship were supposed to dock in Miami on Saturday. Instead, they ended up in the Bahamas after the US issued an arrest warrant for the ship, meaning it would be seized upon arrival, WSVN Miami reports. The ship, owned by Crystal Cruises, changed course and sailed to Bimini after a US judge said a US marshal could board the ship and take it over due to a lawsuit over millions of dollars in unpaid fuel. "We all feel we were abducted by luxurious pirates," one passenger posted to Facebook. Another tells Local 10 passengers were "scared" not knowing what was going to happen. They were ultimately ferried to Fort Lauderdale from Bimini on Sunday, a trip that was reportedly not fun due to inclement weather.

Days prior to the diversion, Crystal Cruises' owner, Genting Hong Kong, filed for bankruptcy and the ultra-luxury cruise line suspended all voyages. Peninsula Petroleum says Crystal Cruises and Star Cruises, a sister line, owe it $4.6 million in unpaid fuel bills dating to last year. "Peninsula has not been paid for the maritime necessities provided to the vessel, and therefore proceeds to arrest it," the company says of the Crystal Symphony in its complaint. That ship alone is allegedly responsible for more than $1 million of the costs. Workers aboard the ship say many of them don't know when they'll get off, one of them tells the AP. (Read more cruise ships stories.)

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