Taking a cruise can be a dream vacation for your family, but for some, that dream can soon turn into a nightmare if an injury or death occurs to a child. Serious accidents and injuries 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.  We recently did a blog on tips to avoid child injuries on your next cruise.

Among the most common accident sites on cruise ships are falls on stairs and steps. When the vacation of a lifetime turns into a nightmare due to a slip and fall, or a sexual assault, our firm holds cruise lines accountable by obtaining compensation for the injured victim and their family.

Here is Part III of our special section on Cruise Ship Passenger Safety Tips for Children and Families.

Swimming Pool Accidents and Drownings 

Pools and water slides on cruise ships are one of the biggest attractions for families, but they come with their own set of inherent risks. The risk of drowning goes up when children are around water. Our firm has handled tragic cases involving children harmed while in a pool on a cruise ship, some of these resulting in the child’s drowning. Many cruise lines do not post lifeguards at their pools, and essentially state you are swimming “at your own risk.” Cruise lines, including Carnival, require children under the age of 13 swim with parental supervision. However, it only takes a moment of looking away from your child for tragedy to strike. It is for this reason that we always encourage cruise ship passengers to exercise extreme caution when enjoying the pools on the ship. Never leave your child unattended by the pool.

Slips and Falls 

Slips and falls are a common occurrence on cruise ships. With the ship’s movement, water on deck and obstacles on board, it can be easy for a child to slip and fall.  When around the pool area, have them wear water shoes with plenty of tread. The recent incident involving an eight-year-old girl who fell two stories from an interior deck on the Carnival Glory while the ship was docked at Port Miami also brought to light the safety issues regarding children being too close to the railings separating the decks. It is extremely important that parents be aware of where their children are if they are near the railings and make sure that they never, under any circumstance, climb on the railings. 

Medical Malpractice

If a child is injured or becomes sick while on the ship, he or she will need to see the doctor onboard. Many of the ships have doctors who are trained in dealing with emergency medical situations, but some do not. International maritime law only requires a crew member have sufficient medical training, but this does not mean the ship is an at-sea hospital. Sometimes all that the injured passenger can receive is the most basic treatment, such as first-aid, stitches or IV fluids. If a child is injured on the ship, it is important they see an experienced doctor as soon as you arrive home for a second opinion.  Small medical issues can turn into major ones if not treated properly and timely. Recently, a passenger aboard a Norwegian Cruise Ship nearly lost his leg due to medical negligence by the shipboard medical staff.

Sexual Assaults

The issue of sexual assaults has come to light after reports of pre-teen and teen children being attacked and sexually assaulted on cruise ships. One such incident involved a 12-year-old Utah girl and another passenger, who was 18-years-old at the time.  Set up a buddy system for your older children and have them regularly check in with you if they are going to be exploring some of the ship on their own. It is important to set parameters on where teens can go on the ship, how long they can be gone, how late they can be out, and to carefully explain the risks of trusting strangers too much or going out alone.

Aronfeld Trial Lawyers has successfully represented child passengers and their families from around the world who have been injured and assaulted on cruise ships. We have obtained millions of dollars in compensation for these passengers when cruise lines put their profits ahead of passenger safety.


If you or your child has been injured on your cruise, 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. 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.