Federal judge threatens to block Carnival cruise ships from docking in US: report

A federal judge is reportedly threatening to temporarily block Carnival cruise ships from docking at U.S. ports over possible probation violations.

The Tampa Bay Times reports U.S. District Judge Patricia Seitz on Wednesday said Carnival may have violated probation imposed two years ago for illegally dumping oil and lying to authorities.

The cruise ship company reached a $40 million settlement and agreed to five years of probation, which began in April of 2017, according to the Times.

But court filings reviewed by the newspaper show prosecutors allege the cruise ship line dumped plastic, sewage and human waste into Alaska's Glacier Bay National Park while on probation.

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Prosecutors also claim the company falsified records, according to the newspaper. Carnival reportedly acknowledged the incidents in filings.

Seitz plans to make a decision on blocking the company from U.S. ports in June, according to the Times, though she had strong words Wednesday for Carnival executives.

“The people at the top are treating this as a gnat,” Seitz said. “If I could, I would give all the members of the executive committee a visit to the detention center for a couple of days. It’s amazing how that helps people come to focus on reality.”

Carnival currently owns nine cruise brands with a total of 102 ships. Its chief communications officer, Roger Frizzell, in a statement to The Associated Press said “our environmental responsibility has been and continues to be a top priority for the company.”

"Our environmental responsibility has been and continues to be a top priority for the company. Our aspiration is to leave the places we touch even better than when we first arrived," Roger Frizzell, Carnival's chief communications officer, told The Hill in a statement. "This is in the best interest of our guests, our company and the oceans upon which we travel. It appears there were some mischaracterizations made by others to the court. We intend to fully address the issues raised at today’s court conference."

—Updated at 3:18 p.m.