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Cruise Ship on the Run
News Bytes 01/25/2022 16 Comments

Passengers expecting to dock in Miami last week got a surprise from their captain: an extra day of cruising. But the bonus wasn’t pleasant. The ship’s officers were trying to avoid an arrest warrant by U.S. Marshals.

Crystal Symphony had been on a two-week cruise. Instead of docking as planned on Saturday, the vessel turned around and sailed to the Bahamas.

The watery flight came after a U.S. judge ordered the vessel seized as part of a lawsuit. The grievance against the ship’s owners was over unpaid fuel debts. In maritime practice, a U.S. Marshal boards a vessel and takes charge of it once it enters U.S. waters.

Cruise trackers show the ship docked in the Bahamian island of Bimini. The Bahamas doesn’t enforce U.S. arrest warrants.

“We all feel we were abducted by luxurious pirates!” passenger Stephen Heard Fales posted on Facebook.

It was not immediately clear how many passengers were aboard. One news outlet reported 300 cruisers. Another reported 700. According to the company website, the vessel can carry up to 848 passengers.

A ferry transported some passengers to Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale on Sunday. The ferry ride was apparently “uncomfortable due to inclement weather,” according to a statement from a Crystal Cruises spokesperson. The company says guests were also taken to local airports but wouldn’t comment on the lawsuit. According to comments on social media, some passengers seem to have been left to figure out their own ways home.

Passengers and entertainers were posting on social media that they were surprised to find out about the legal case. One guest shared a letter on Facebook from Crystal Cruises Management saying the change in itinerary was due to “non-technical operational issues.”

Elio Pace, a musician who has toured off and on with the ship since 2013, says about 30 to 50 crew members disembarked because their contracts ended. Other crew members don’t know when they’ll get off or if they’ll remain employed.

“This is a human story. This is about people and their jobs,” Pace says.

Peninsula Petroleum Far East filed the lawsuit in a Miami federal court. The petroleum company brought the suit against the ship under a maritime procedure that allows actions against vessels for unpaid debts. The complaint says Crystal Symphony was chartered or managed by Crystal Cruises and Star Cruises, which are both sued for breach of contract. They allegedly owe $4.6 million for fuel.

Crystal Cruises announced earlier this week that it was suspending operations through late April.

“Suspending operations will provide Crystal’s management team with an opportunity to evaluate the current state of business and examine various options moving forward,” the company said in a statement last week.

Besides Crystal Symphony, the line has two other ships currently cruising. Their voyages are supposed to end on January 30 in Aruba and on February 4 in Argentina. Passengers aboard those ships may be wondering where in the world they’ll actually land.

If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. — Psalm 139:9-10

(The cruise liner Crystal Symphony sails in Charleston, S.C., waters. AP/Bruce Smith)

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Most recent comments

I shall read the article in a

I shall read the article in a moment :)

Firstly, @Riley, I swear the post today has made my day! We just got your card & letter like 1 and a half minutes ago!! That is like one of the most beautiful Christmas cards I've ever seen! It's so lovely seeing you in the picture!! How beautiful you guys are!! Thank you so much!
(I can't believe you sent it on the 22nd and it's only just arrived today? I guess post was busy this year!)

2nd Comment

Wow that must be really frustrating for those passengers. I know I would be annoyed.
@Mirela: Wait you just got it?! Wow I thought you would have had it for a couple weeks by now! Do my letters normally take that long? Yours tend to come pretty quickly! Thanks for your Christmas card too! Thank you for the compliments. You're welcome! Now I need a picture of y'all. ;) ;) :)

This is ridiculous!

What do they think they're going to do? Head to the Bahamas and then where? If they're already in debt for fuel, how much fuel do you think they have on board? This kind of behavior from a company, an established cruise company at that, is very unprofessional. Shape up, Crystal Cruises!


I mean, I feel kinda sorry for the passengers who had to figure out how to get home themselves, but this is otherwise pretty funny! I can imagine a private ship running from the authorities, but for some reason it's just silly when it's a cruise! XD
@Mirela & Riley- That is so cool that y'all have gotten in touch! I'm sure the USPS is to blame. They have very poor accountability anyway, and yeah, the holidays are really busy!


Cruise ship with several hundred passengers
Guilty of: Fuel Shoplifting (which just sounds wrong)


This is about the funniest article ever! It reminds me of a Lego video

Yeah, imagine that. A U.S.

Yeah, imagine that. A U.S. Marshal in a rowboat handing out wanted posters.

Fisherman: "Come again?"
Marshal: "We're looking for a cruise ship."
Fisherman: *snickers* "What, yeh lost it or somethin'?"
Marshal: "No, it ran away."
Fisherman: "Oh, gotcha, a boat the size of a town ran off and gave yeh the slip."
Marshal: "Not exactly. Anyway, it was last seen at the Bahamas. If you see it heading this way, give us a call. Don't try to follow them, they're wanted by the law and may be dangerous."
Fisherman: "Yeah, I ain't tanglin' with no gasoline thieves. Stealin' that stuff is dangerous nowadays. Murderers, whatever, but gasoline thieves? That there's a crime so desperate, they just might blow themselves up!"
Marshal: *rows away and chuckles to himself* "Maybe, if they had enough gas to do anything but start a small cooking fire..."

how fast can a ship that size go ?

seems a little big to be running lol

Man that is like an action movie right there!

That would be freaky.

if i had to be held hostage

this would be the way to go

all the poor passengers!

all the poor pasengers. I would be teirafied!

i think its funny!

I agree with Addie L exept I think it might be kind of fun with maybe get a few extra free days on the ship??? unless you need to get somewhere or back to work or something


This feels really random!

The poor passengers!!!

The poor passengers!!!


THIS IS NUTS BUT IT IS PROBABLY THE FUNNIEST THING IVE EVER READ ON HERE: Captain over speakers: " Attention passengers, due to some difficulties we will be delaying our vacation. Please enjoy yourselves! Next stop the Bahamas! " First mate: " Uh, Captain? We have a slight problem." " What could be wrong? This is great! I have always wanted to run from the authorites! " * First Mate has a shocked expression* " Well we wont be running long." " Why? " " We just run out of gas sir." " NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! " XD XD XD XD XD XD XD XD XD

@Lydia P

Hahaha! This is probably the funniest too. Except for the Friday Funnies.

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