What Every Cruise Ship Passenger Needs to Know

The average person about to embark on a dream cruise ship vacation never thinks about the things that can go wrong. Fortunately, in the vast majority of cruises things go right which is why cruise ship vacations are growing at a phenomenal pace. For the cases when something goes awry, it is important to note these tips from an experienced cruise injury lawyer.

Things to Keep in Mind

  1. The ticket: You will receive a multi-page ticket with extremely small print that virtually no one ever reads. Read it. Some very important rights are affected by this ticket. If you become sick or injured due to the fault of the shipping company a lawsuit must be filed within one year or you are out of luck. Many people, including many lawyers, miss this provision in the ticket. After one year, you are out of luck. There are a few exceptions which only apply in rare instances.
  2. Applicable law. On the cruise ship, don’t think that you are in the United States. Look at the flag of the vessel. If it is Bahamian, you are in the Bahamas. If it is Panamanian you are in Panama. There are certain exceptions to this, but not many.
  3. Medical care. Just because the doctor wears a nice uniform and works in the ship’s hospital, don’t assume he really knows what he is doing. If you have a medical condition research the standards of the shipping company that you are sailing with. Some are better than others. If you have a heart condition, you don’t want to be on a ship that uses psychiatrists, as an example, as a ships doctor.
  4. Crimes. These occur on ships just like anywhere else. Be aware that the same crimes that occur on land can occur on a ship. Be tuned into this so that you do not become a victim. The same goes for your children. Make sure that they are never alone and under supervision. Sexual assaults against children occur even at a young age. Both boys and girls. Don’t just open your cabin door without knowing who is there. Don’t leave your cabin unlocked. Don’t take your safety for granted.
  5. If something does go wrong, do not think the shipping company is motivated solely to help you. Their first instinct is to protect themselves. They will gather evidence to use against you many times. You can protect yourself by taking photographs. Get the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of all possible witnesses. Call your attorney from the high seas if necessary. Ask your attorney to find you an experienced cruise injury lawyer immediately to get advice on what you should do.
  6. Where to file suit. The cruise line ticket can specify where suit has to be filed. Most of the large cruise lines specify Miami, Dade County, Florida. If suit is filed in the wrong location and one year has gone by, you could be thrown out of court and it will be too late to file in the correct location.

These are just a few matters to keep in the back of your mind. Hopefully, you will not have to worry about any of these things. However, it is better to be aware of your rights than to stick your head in the sand.

Bon Voyage.