Crew Members Sue Royal Caribbean, Saying Cruise Line Threw Parties Instead of Social Distancing

The members are suing the company, alleging an "alarming lack of caution."

A cruise ship employee is suing Royal Caribbean after he said the company did nothing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on their docked ship, but instead threw parties and offered buffet-style meals.

Mykola Molchun said days after the Centers for Disease Control suspended cruise ship operations to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, crew members aboard Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of Seas were treated to a St. Patrick’s Day party.  Some crew members, though, thought the move was highly questionable and called it "an alarming lack of caution" according a lawsuit filed against the company.

“This ship is something special,” Molchun told “I never met a lot of idiots, I'm sorry for this word, in my life.”

Molchun, who works in the ship’s casino, is one of several employees who are alleging the company failed to take precautions to protect employees from contracting the coronavirus. 

“In my opinions, management of this ship should put people straight in isolation without any ... party or this stuff. And they continue[d] to make a lot of events, parties," he said.

Molchun currently remains aboard the docked cruise ship as he waits to return home to Ukraine.

An attorney representing Molchun, Michael Winkleman, said when the “entire universe” was taking steps to protect themselves from the coronavirus, staff on the ships were doing the exact opposite.

“…They were throwing parties,” Winkleman said. “And they were requiring them to participate in crew drills. They were having buffet food service. So no surprise, coronavirus spread like wildfire on these ships.”

Some Royal Caribbean ships still remain docked and unable to allow passengers off due to the pandemic, but the company said it’s already helped 12,000 people return home and is working with local governments to help many more people in the coming weeks. 

“We are working with governments and health authorities around the world on our plans, and we very much appreciate our crews’ patience, understanding and good spirit,” the company said in a statement. 

Regarding the lawsuit, the company said they do not comment on pending litigation.