The Members of the Cruise Lines International Association, in an effort to address increasing demands for a codified list of rights for cruise passengers, published a Bill of Passenger Rights “dedicated to the comfort and care of all passengers on oceangoing cruises throughout the world.”
To fulfill their commitment, member cruise lines agreed to adopt the following set of passenger rights:
1.) The right to disembark a docked ship if essential provisions such as food, water, restroom facilities and access to medical care cannot adequately be provided onboard, subject only to the Master’s concern for passenger safety and security and customs and immigration requirements of the port.
2.) The right to a full refund for a trip that is canceled due to mechanical failures, or a partial refund for voyages that are terminated early due to those failures.
3.) The right to have available on board ships operating beyond rivers or coastal waters full-time, professional emergency medical attention, as needed until shore side medical care becomes available.
4.) The right to timely information updates as to any adjustments in the itinerary of the ship in the event of a mechanical failure or emergency, as well as timely updates of the status of efforts to address mechanical failures.
5.) The right to a ship crew that is properly trained in emergency and evacuation procedures.
6.) The right to an emergency power source in the case of a main generator failure.
7.) The right to transportation to the ship’s scheduled port of disembarkation or the passenger’s home city in the event a cruise is terminated early due to mechanical failures.
8. ) The right to lodging if disembarkation and an overnight stay in an unscheduled port are required when a cruise is terminated early due to mechanical failures.
9.) The right to have included on each cruise line’s website a toll-free phone line that can be used for questions or information concerning any aspect of shipboard operations.
10.) The right to have this Cruise Industry Passenger Bill of Rights published on each line’s website.
Please note that the CLIA Passenger Bill of Rights is relevant to Passengers from the USA and Canada only.
Why is a Passenger Bill of Rights Needed?
Throughout 2012 and 2013, a series of high profile events, including the Costa Concordia tragedy and the Carnival Cruise Line’s infamous ‘poop cruise‘ led to public outrage at the way in which the large cruise lines were running their operations, seemingly with more of an emphasis on profits and less on customer safety and protection.
Leading the charge for change within the cruise line industry was New York Senator Charles Schumer who called on the cruise industry to “adopt a bill of rights guaranteeing passengers certain protections while aboard their ships.”
This was a change that was a long time in coming as cruise industry experts, passengers and cruise ship injury law firms realized that certain aspects of cruise travel were becoming increasing less safe and the passengers on those vessels were less protected, both by the cruise lines and by the legal rights offered to them.
Should I Worry About Cruising?
The reality is that, worldwide, well over 20 million people a year travel without incident and thoroughly enjoy their vacations.
It’s important to remember that if you and your family adhere to the rules and regulations set by the cruise line, use common sense and avoid potential hazards (like leaving children unattended in pools), the chance of injury and accident is vastly reduced.
However, accidents do happen. And whether they’re just the result of ‘sheer accident’ or are brought upon by the negligence of the cruise line or it’s crew members, injured passengers will need the legal counsel of cruise injury attorneys.
What If I Need an Attorney?
If you are confused about your rights – or have been injured on a cruise vacation and need to speak with a lawyer – you should not hesitate to reach out to a law firm. Our firm, Waks and Barnett, P.A. provides free consultations for any questions you might have. You can contact our office at 1-800-905-2891.
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is the world’s largest cruise industry trade association with representation in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australasia.
There are currently 63 Member Cruise Lines worldwide. See below for a breakout of those cruise lines.
Global Cruise Line Members
American Cruise Lines
Azamara Club Cruises
Carnival Cruise Lines
Costa Cruise Lines
Disney Cruise Line
Holland America Line
Norwegian Cruise Line
Paul Gauguin Cruises
Pearl Seas Cruises
Regent Seven Seas
Royal Caribbean International
Seabourn Cruise Line
SeaDream Yacht Club
Tauck River Cruises
Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
Regional Cruise Line Members
Amadeus by Luftner
American Queen Steamboat Co.
Compagnie du Ponant
Croisieres de France
CroisiEurope River Cruises
Cruise & Maritime Voyages
Fred Olsen Cruise Lines
Hapag Lloyd Cruises
Hebridean Island Cruises
Orion Expedition Cruises /Lindblad
P&O Cruises Australia
P&O Cruises UK
Phoenix Reisen Cruises
St. Helena Line
The River Cruise Line
Un Cruise Adventures
Venice Simplon Orient Express (Belmond)
Voyages of Discovery
Voyages to Antiquity