TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Caribbean cruise ship that was scheduled to dock in Miami is currently in the Bahamas to avoid being seized by the U.S. Marshals for unpaid debts.
According to the Associated Press, passengers aboard the Crystal Symphony were all ferried to Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale as Crystal Cruises said it is suspending operations.
A lawsuit filed in a Miami federal court by Peninsula Petroleum Far East, 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 unpaid fuel costs.
The ship was scheduled to dock in Miami Saturday, but a federal judge issued an arrest warrant for the ship. The warrant would allow a U.S. Marshal to board and take control of the vessel once it enters U.S. waters.
Passengers and entertainers said on social media they were surprised to find out about the legal case.
“We all feel we were abducted by luxurious pirates!” passenger Stephen Heard Fales posted on Facebook.
“Those people had to be devastated because they knew their jobs were now ending,” Tina Oakes said.
Crystal declined to comment to NBC on the lawsuit, writing “this end to the cruise was not the conclusion to our guests’ vacation we originally planned for. Crystal’s guests are among the most passionate and loyal in the cruise industry and we thank them for their patience and understanding during this challenging time.”
Crystal said they will suspend operations until at least the end of april. Two of its ships are scheduled to end their voyages over the next couple of weeks, neither will be landing in U.S. ports.