Apparently a while ago, the US Customs and Boarder Protection would not let the Bimini Superfast sail on evening gambling cruises roundtrip out of Miami. Seatrade is reporting that Resorts World Bimini are now taking them to court. Resorts World Bimini is seeking injunctive relief in a US District Court for the District of Columbia.
The CBP officials are stating that these gambling cruises cannot lawfully operate since all crew onboard the ferry hold D1 visas. With these cruises-to-nowhere the ship is not entering a foreign port (something it does on its regualy ferry service). Thusly, she is in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952. According to the CBP, if they wish to continue these cruises to nowhere, then the entire crew would have to be replaced with US Citizens.
Now its not all on the CBP. When she arrived back from her last gambling cruise, she did not submit a manifest or arrange for a CBP inspection upon return. Resorts World claim that they don’t need to since she’s not ‘arriving back’ in the US because she never left it. Of course she did sail international waters to permit the gambling.
CBP counters that by Resorts World saying she never left the US, thus engaging in gambling and using a foreign crew on a foreign flagged vessel, is in-and-of-itself a violation.
This is getting ugly fast.
…and you wonder why A) the american maritime infrastructure is a mess and B) no one wants to engage in it.