A cruise vacation can be a relaxing and memorable experience for the entire family, and the amenities for kids have become endless onboard the major cruise lines. However, just like on land serious accidents can happen to children at sea when the proper precautions are not taken, or the cruise line is negligent in caring for its minor passengers. As parents, there are a number of things you can do to help ensure your child’s safety on your next cruise.
Find a Cruise Line that Caters to Children
Most of the major cruise lines are aware that families plan cruise vacations and need options that are kid-friendly. For this reason, many of them create an experience that is specifically catered to families. The Royal Caribbean Cruise Line’s (RCCL) Symphony of the Seas offers passengers a wide range of activities, dining and other amenities that promise to make it the most exciting ship at sea. For example, the Symphony of the Seas features onboard laser tag games, popular Broadway musicals, an ice-skating show called Steal Some Time, and a one of a kind multimedia show called Flight. The ship will also have the spectacular RCCL water slides found on its sister ships, including three water slides, the sheer-drop 10-story Ultimate Abyss and multiple FlowRiders artificial surfing machines, rock climbing and ice skating.
These cruises not only have kid-friendly activities and meals, but the accommodations and off-shore excursions are kept with children in mind, as well, which means they tend to be on the safer and less risky side. Some of the major cruise lines, such as Carnival Cruise Line, Disney Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International and Norwegian Cruise Line offer family-friendly packages. It helps to do some research into what options are out there, looking into what the ship’s accommodations and excursions offer for children.
Does the Cruise Offer a Kids’ Club?
One way to know if the cruise is one that is more family and kid-friendly is to see if they offer a Kids’ Club. Kids’ Clubs allow parents to drop their children off temporarily in a dedicated youth facility that is staffed by professional kids’ counselors, broken down into age-appropriate groups. Each group normally offers activities that are suited to that specific age group, ranging from toddler to teenager. Carnival, Disney, and Royal Caribbean are a few of the major cruise lines that offer some of the better Kids’ Clubs. Do some research into what is offered and read the reviews of other passengers who have used them. We recommend you look into where the Kids’ Club is stationed on the ship, what kinds of activities are planned for your child, and find out the qualifications of the counselors.
Start with Shorter Itineraries
If this is the first time the family has been away at sea, it may be best to start with a shorter voyage, to test the waters. The last thing that a family wants to do is get the children on the ship, head out to sea, only to find out that the children do not handle being on the water well. Start small with a three- to five-night cruise in a location like the Bahamas or the Caribbean. If the child does not handle the cruise well, the trip is only for a few days and ports are closer together in the event the family needs to disembark sooner than planned.
Be Aware of the Limitations for Younger Children
If you are a family with younger children, keep the age of your children in mind when planning the cruise. The minimum age for any child to be on a cruise voyage is six months to a year old. Many cruise lines require that children be fully potty-trained to access certain areas of the ship, such as pools and water parks. Look into what types of areas the ship has for children of a younger age and see what the limitation are. Make sure the trip that is selected is tailored more towards that age group, and of course, make sure your child is old enough to board the ship.
The Importance of Cabin Selection
If the family is large and cannot necessarily afford a suite, many cruise lines offer connecting or adjoining cabins so that families can remain close together. If the children are old enough, having them in an adjoining room can be advisable, but keep safety in mind when making that decision. At least one adult should always be staying in the room with children. Many rooms are tailored towards family and allow for a separate seating area for the adults after children go to bed. One factor to keep in mind is that most cabins come with shower stalls instead of bath tubs.
Do Not Schedule Too Much
It can be tempting to want to do everything available on the ship, but when you have children, the last thing you want to do is over extend yourself. It’s supposed to be a vacation, right? When planning your cruise, make sure to include built-in rest and relaxation time for the family. If your child is still taking naps, do not schedule the family for an all-day excursion.
When making plans for excursions, if you have small children in tow, we recommend that you be cautious about heading out on your own and going off the beaten path. Aronfeld Trial Lawyers has represented clients who have been injured during off-shore excursions, and research and planning is key when making plans for what to do off-shore or at port. Ask the cruise staff for recommendations or consider staying onboard the ship if the offered excursions for that day do not seem family-friendly.
WAS YOUR CHILD INJURED ON A CRUISE SHIP OR CRUISE SHIP EXCURSION? SPEAK TO A CRUISE SHIP ACCIDENT LAWYER TODAY: 1-866-597-4529.
The attorneys at Aronfeld Trial Lawyers have decades of experience representing families whose children have been injured while on a cruise ship. This is oftentimes due to unsafe conditions on the ship or a crew member’s negligence. If you or your child has been injured on a wet and slippery deck, down a poorly lit staircase or steep gangway, in port on an excursion, or on a tender boat- it is important that you speak as soon as possible with a lawyer who specializes in personal injury claims against cruise lines, especially those involving younger passengers. Most cruise lines, including Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Norwegian, MSC, Disney, Holland America, Princess, Costa, Regents Seven Seas and Oceania require that claims against them be pursued in a very specific place under very strict deadlines. Failure to comply with each individual cruise lines deadlines can result in a complete loss of any and all legal rights.
Aronfeld Trial Lawyers is a personal injury firm located in Miami, Florida since 1991. We have fought hard to hold cruise lines accountable when they put their profits ahead of passenger safety. We are available 24/7 and encourage you to contact us even if you are still on your cruise. The sooner we can begin our investigation and preservation of key evidence, such as the CCTV footage of your trip and fall, slip and fall, assault or other type of injury the more likely we will be able to understand and prove how the incident occurred. Remember, the cruise lines have the most aggressive and well-funded defense lawyers in the world- protecting their profits. You need an experienced legal advocate in your corner who will fight to obtain the compensation you deserve for lost wages, medical expenses, transportation reimbursement and pain and suffering. Call us today and speak with a cruise ship claims lawyer about your potential claim- toll free 1-866-597-4529, 305-441-0440, or by email. We are ready to help.