I found myself sitting in a dank and moldy conference room located in a town in Puebla, Mexico. I was there to take the deposition of a former Royal Caribbean Cruise Line employee who inadvertently caused an accident. That incident resulted in a serious brain injury to a nine-year-old passenger aboard the Monarch of the Seas cruise ship docked in Nassau, Bahamas..
When the Monarch of the Seas first set sail from France, it was one of the largest cruise ships in the world–able to carry nearly 3,000 passengers. In addition to an outdoor basketball court, where the accident happened, the ship’s facilities include a rock-climbing wall and two full-sized saltwater swimming pools. Just a few months after my client’s accident onboard the ship, it was sold to Pullmantur Cruises, a Spanish cruise line, and a subsidiary of Royal Caribbean.
WHO MANDATES CRUISE SHIP PASSENGER SAFETY?
The International Maritime Organization was created by the United Nations in 1948 to regulate safety at sea along with various organizations in each country with a port of call. This summer, the escalating wave of reported crimes aboard cruise ships finally caught the attention of Congress, when West Virginia Senator Jay Rockefeller introduced the Cruise Passenger Protection Act.
CRIMINALLY ASSAULTED ON A CRUISE?
According to a report released during the Senate’s Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee hearings, the number of alleged crimes cruise lines reported to the FBI since 2011 is 30 times higher than the number of crimes that the FBI is required to report publicly. Moreover, sex crimes committed against minors on board cruise ships are not publicly reported at all.
Another study prepared by Ross A. Klein, Ph. D., a Professor of Social Work at Memorial University in St. John’s Canada, analyzes the types of crimes, ranging from simple assault to death caused by the Cruise line and ship.
However, for the public trying to select the safest cruise line for this holiday season, that choice can be a daunting if not impossible task, as much of the most important safety information is not publically available That is, there is no way to find out what the real risks are before booking a cruise.
SUPPORT THE CRUISE SHIP PROTECTION ACT
We urge all our readers to support the passage of the proposed bill Cruise Passenger Protection Act (H.R. 2800 and S.1340) introduced by California’s District 6 Representative Doris Matsui by letting your elected representative know that this information is critically important to protect you and your family on your next cruise. You can find and contact your Senator and Representative by clicking here.
Our maritime Injury Law Firm in Miami is devoted to protecting the rights of passengers hurt on cruise ships around the world. Most cases are required to be filed here in the Southern District of Florida–even when the accident happens out at sea or, as in RCCL case, in Nassau.
We proudly provide free initial no-fee/no-cost consultations via SKYPE, email, or Toll-Free at 1-866-597-4529. Call us today.