Cruise lines urged to adopt passenger “Bill of Rights”

Cruise ships have come under fire in the media lately in light of a series of mishaps on cruise ships. First, the Costa Concordia disaster grabbed headlines. And, more recently, a Carnival cruise ship was stranded in the Gulf of Mexico after a fire wiped out the ship’s power.

In light of this trend, a United States Senator has drafted a “Bill of Rights” for cruise passengers. However, it is not a legislative proposal per se. He is encouraging cruise lines to voluntarily adopt the proposal.

The “rights” spelled out in the proposal include:

  • the right to disembark a docked ship if there are not enough provisions onboard
  • the right to a full refund if a trip is canceled because of mechanical failure
  • the right to full-time medical attention if a health crisis arises onboard
  • the right to real-time updates about travel plans and the ship’s mechanical status
  • the right to a properly trained ship crew
  • the right to backup power if power fails on the ship

Injury claims arising from mishaps at sea can be difficult because there are a number of different laws and regulations that can apply in the situation. Many states have their own laws governing maritime safety and compliance and there are also federal regulations and industry standards in place. And if the injury occurs in the course of your employment, workers’ compensation laws may also come into play.

For this reason – and many others – it is important to speak with someone experienced in maritime injury law if you are involved in an accident at sea. He or she can work with you to review your situation, protect your rights and help you focus on recovery.

Source: Law & Daily Life, “Senator Wants ‘Cruise Ship Passenger Bill of Rights,” Andrew Lu, March 19, 2013

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