Dear Cruise Ship Accident Lawyer,
I am thinking about taking our first cruise, but I am a little worried after reading your blogs and watching your videos. What advice can you give me so that I don’t become one of your clients?
Cruising First-Timer from Topeka
Dear First-Timer from Topeka,
Thank you for your email, my videos and blogs are meant to inform, not frighten cruise ship passengers, so please do not let them stop you or your family from having a wonderful time on your cruise. I do recommend a few things for you and other first-time cruise passengers to consider before taking your cruise.
1. Select the Safest Ship
In my opinion, assuming your cruise leaves from a United States Port, the newer the ship (built since 2010), the better–and safer. Since ships built after 2010 have to meet and ideally exceed requirements laid out by the ‘‘Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2010.” In addition, you should visit the Centers for Disease Control’s cruise ship inspection reports for your particular ship.
2. Attend Muster Drills–Listen and Learn
If an emergency occurs during your cruise, like a fire or power outage, you need to know where to report as well as where to find your assigned life jacket and life boat. It is important to know and understand what the different alarm codes mean. Take these drills seriously.
3. Be Your Child’s Parent and Lifeguard
After years of tragic child drownings on cruise ships, it is inexplicable and disturbing that most cruise lines refuse to assign lifeguards to their pools, despite having an abundance of waiters and bartenders in position to keep the alcohol flowing and cash registers ringing day and night.
4. Treat the Ship like it’s Times Square
I am the father of a 16-year-old daughter, and I understand both the parent’s and child’s desire to spend some time without the other. However, letting one’s teenager roam a cruise ship alone, at all hours day and night, is tantamount to allowing your daughter to roam the streets of a major international city–subject to the same risks. Sex crimes are reported commonly on cruise ships, and sadly many of the victims are teen agers.
5. Don’t Get Drunk
Cruise lines make most of their money from their bars, often pre-selling alcohol packages in advance of the cruise–meaning that passengers have already paid months ahead of the actual cruise for drinks they may or may not actually consume during their vacation. As a result, I suspect that many people end up drinking more than they otherwise would if they had to pay per serving at the time of consumption. For a detailed look at the prepaid alcohol packages available on the major cruise lines, click here.
Alcohol and cruises do not mix. Cruise ships often have bizarre architectural features like steep staircases, slippery surfaces, and raised thresholds, which people have to navigate while a ship rolls and pitches across an ocean. It is hard enough not to trip and fall under optimal conditions, but when one’s senses are distorted by excessive sun, alcohol, and long days in ports, the combination can often be a recipe for disaster. Accordingly, we strongly recommend consuming alcohol responsibly, especially when you are responsible for the wellbeing of other family members–like children, teenagers, and the elderly.
WHAT DO I DO IF I AM IN AN ACCIDENT ON A CRUISE SHIP?
If you are involved in an accident while aboard a cruise ship, you should know this: Not all slip and slips, trips, and falls or other incidents are actually viable claims simply because they occurred while you were on a cruise ship.
Cruise lines start investigating and defending incidents the minute they occur. They will try to take statements from the passenger, family members, crew, and other witnesses–even by trying to get a severely injured person to fill out a form while still receiving medical care. They often will use the forms to cross-examine and impugn the veracity of a passenger who files a claim later on.
Cruise lines also deploy very sophisticated CCTV systems that can capture almost everything that occurs on their ships from bow to stern. In addition to accessing that footage, getting the ship’s location data–showing the weather, wind, waves, and other information–is important to establish whether or not the stabilizers should have been extended or if the cruise ship was trying to save fuel and money by allowing the ship to become unnecessarily unstable, thereby increasing the potential for passengers to fall. Obtaining this data and other information is critical for our maritime accident lawyers to investigate and prosecute our client’s claims properly.
FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION AT 1-866-597-4529
If you have been injured on a cruise ship anywhere in the world, we offer free initial consultations via telephone at 1-866-597-4529 or by email at [email protected] or SKYPE. You can even contact us while you are still aboard the ship.