Common Problems on cruise ships that Require a Maritime Lawyer

February 21, 2017 in

Cruise season is just around the corner.  With cruises being a popular choice for spring break getaways, there are always things you need to be careful of when stepping aboard the floating hotels.  Regardless of the amount of fun they might be, there are plenty of reasons why you should contact a maritime lawyer before you step aboard.

After having gone to battle with the cruise lines over the years, I have distilled numerous issues that are common recurrent problems that cause people to be injured on a cruise.

Below is a shortlist:

  1. Injuries on excursions – these types of injuries happen when the passenger goes on a cruise-sponsored excursion. Activities such as parasailing,
    snorkeling, bus rides, and even shopping trips can become dangerous rather quickly. Oftentimes, the cruise line does not properly vet the excursion providers and may be on the hook for any injuries that they cause.
  2. Common tripping hazards – uneven walking surfaces, poorly marked changes in elevations and door rises are the main culprits of cruise line trips and falls. If the cruise line does not adequately warn of a dangerous tripping hazard, they can be found liable if it causes an injury.
  3. Common slipping hazards – dew on the deck, spilled liquids on the floor and even mildew growth are common slipping hazards on cruise lines. They have the duty to correct these dangerous conditions because they have the knowledge that they oftentimes occur. If these conditions exist and you are injured as a result, the cruise line should be the ones to pay for your injury.
  4. Assaults by crew/other passengers – these situations, unfortunately, occur quite often. The cruise lines oftentimes do not properly vet their own employees before allowing them close access to passengers. This sometimes causes unwanted assaults on passengers.   Other passengers can also inflict unwanted assaults.  If the cruise line does not adequately provide security against known unruly passengers, they may be liable for some of the injuries that these unruly passengers cause.
  5. Food-borne illnesses – cruises are floating cities with enormous mouths to feed. Food-borne illnesses such as noroviruses are extremely common amongst cruise passengers. When the cruise line is to blame for causing a norovirus outbreak, they may be liable to the passengers who get sick.

The best way to stay safe on a cruise is to be prepared and alert for situations that might arise.  Situations such as slip and falls, dealing with unruly people, as well as food-borne illnesses can happen anywhere and aren’t limited to a cruise ship.  Don’t think that just because you’re on a cruise that these situations won’t come up.  Talk to a maritime lawyer before you embark on your vacation so you can have a backup plan, and know exactly what to do if one of these unfortunate situations arises.