A passenger is suing Royal Caribbean after he plummeted around 20 feet when he was trying out one of the line’s latest rides, the SkyPad aboard the newly-refurbished Mariner of the Seas.
Casey Holladay, told NBC Chicago about his fall and said: “We were really excited because we had seen a commercial that Royal Caribbean was promoting for this SkyPad.”
The new ride, which will be rolled out across the fleet, is promoted as a trampoline and bungee jump in one, and designed to appeal to a millennial audience.
Mr Holladay, who was on holiday with his girlfriend last month, was bouncing up and down on the ride – a kind of giant trampoline housed in its own orange pod – when he plummeted to the ground.
“I just felt the momentum release from my body and that I wasn’t being held by anything anymore,” he said. “When I hit (the ground) all I really remember is the hit and the noise and the fear.”
Mr Holladay’s girlfriend was recording the incident when it happened and after his fall, she rushed to where he was being treated on the ship’s deck.
Mr Holladay is now suing Royal Caribbean in federal court in Miami using maritime attorney Brett Rivkind. The lawsuit against the line says the operators gave him no warnings and failed to inspect and maintain the support ropes.
Royal Caribbean shortened the cruise and brought Mr Holladay back to Miami doctors performed several surgeries to repair his broken pelvis. He had also dislocated his shoulder and spent nine days in a South Florida hospital.
“He suffered very severe debilitating injuries. This is a life changing accident that never ever ever should have happened,” Mr Rivkind said.
“These are activities that were designed to be operated on land by experienced amusement park operators. They really do not have the experience to do a proper analysis of the safety risks of putting these types of activities on a cruise ship.”
In an email sent to NBC Chicago, Royal Caribbean wrote, “We operate all our ships safely, professionally and responsibly. We do not comment on pending litigation.”
Upon watching videos of the incidents, Mr Holladay told NBC Chicago he was upset after one of the crewmembers tried to prevent his friend from filming the events.
“100 percent – all staff should have been attending to me. They just had the most horrific incident around.”
Mr Rivkind also said, “The video shows there was a stronger interest in preventing other passengers from videotaping and preserving the evidence than paying attention to Casey. That’s appalling.”
Royal Caribbean spent $120 million transforming the Mariner of the Seas – which sailed in Australia and which will be cruising in Asia – as part of the $900 million “Royal Amplified” program to renovate and upgrade 10 ships in four years.