Is safety a top priority for cruise lines?


A recent article from Cruise Industry News in their Spring 2013 editorial called Safety First offers some interesting insight into the safety concerns of large cruise ships.

Most importantly – are cruise lines sacrificing safety and proper maintenance of their ships for larger, entertainment focused boats and higher revenue numbers?

And what is the end results for passengers who rely on these large ocean going vessels with their personal safety, even if that’s a secondary thought when they book their cruise vacations?

Click here to read about cruise line incidents from 2013 and previous years.

While cruise ship’s crew may say that safety of passengers is their top priority, that message is at odds with the cruise lines’ message that creating a fun cruising atmosphere for its passengers is the top priority. And certainly, generating a healthy profit from their operations is the driving priority.

Here is the article from Cruise Industry News:

This year had hardly gotten underway before we again were reminded how important safety at sea is. Ships’ officers have told us repeatedly that their first priority is safety – for passengers, crew and ship.

Yet, five crew members were killed in a lifeboat drill accident on the Thomson Majesty in February. On the very same day, the Carnival Triumph suffered a crippling engine room fire, setting her adrift in the Mexican Gulf and subject to live 24-hour news coverage as she was towed back to port.

In addition, we still have the Costa Concordia incident of last year fresh in mind, as well as several less catastrophic, but nevertheless noteworthy incidents.

With a bigger fleet, these incidents are still few and far between in the big picture, but they raise questions:

  • Is the focus on cost reduction impacting maintenance procedures and crewing?
  • Is going from 30-month to 60-month drydock intervals such a good idea?

One thing is for sure, the media coverage can be counted on to be intense, influencing public perception as well as politicians looking for scapegoats and potential tax revenue sources.

Do you have questions about how cruise ship safety procedures may have contributed to an injury you sustained on a cruise?

Please call Waks and Barnett for a free consultation. (800) 905-2891.