Port of San Diego
Cruise Accident Attorney

Port of San Diego – Cruise Accident Attorney

San Diego is the eighth biggest city in the United States. It shares its borders with Mexico, has a natural deep-water harbor, and has a long history of association with the United States Navy and Marine Corps. The Port of San Diego is a seaport located in downtown San Diego. It is one of the busiest ports in the United States. The port’s main facility for cruises is located at B Street Pier along North Harbor Dr. Currently it has three cruise ship berths. Currently, there is a $1.35 billion project to build a hotel, and convention center adjacent to the cruise ship port.

Before the pandemic, the port of San Diego was the third busiest cruise ship port in California and was the homeport for a number of ships from Holland America, Celebrity Cruises, and Disney Cruises. Both Disney and Carnival, frequently sail out of the port of San Diego for cruises to Mexico as well as those that travel through the Panama Canal and end up on the East Coast in Port Everglades, Florida. It is expected that the port of San Diego will have nearly 100 cruise calls with over 300,000 passengers this year. The port of San Diego is also a safe harbor during unforeseen storms along Mexican cruise routes. In 2018 the largest cruise ship to ever dock at the port of San Diego was the Norwegians Bliss, which had to dock with 4500 passengers due to a storm. 


San Diego also has several shore excursions that are offered to cruise ship passengers such as a visit to the world-famous San Diego Zoo, the Platinum Balboa Park, downtown Segway tours, the San Diego harbor speed boat adventure, and more.


Shore excursions can be a fun and efficient way to explore and enjoy different cruise ship ports around the world. Our law firm in Miami, Florida, focuses on helping injured passengers and we frequently investigate claims where passengers have been injured on board a ship or while participating in shore excursions such as zip lining, segway tours, kayaking, ATV rides, and even rum factory tours.

The most important factor that we look at when investigating a potential case against a cruise line for shore excursion incidents is whether or not the passenger purchased the shore excursion directly through the cruise line. We have found that the cruise lines and excursion operators have a “joint venture” where they share revenue and profit from shore excursions that the cruise line sells. 

Whenever a cruise line sells a shore excursion or shore tour such as a zipline activity in Honduras, they require that the shore excursion operator maintain a liability insurance policy that also insures the cruise line. This is important because getting injured in a foreign country is more difficult for investigating and prosecuting a claim. As long as there is a viable liability policy, there is some hope that our injured clients can receive compensation for their pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages, loss of the enjoyment of the cruise, transportation expenses, and more.

If a passenger gets injured off the ship, in the terminal, or port while participating in a shore excursion or activity as simple as crossing the street or while riding a moped that was not rented through a cruise line excursion operator, there is little that can be done in the United States to recover damages for that injured passenger. However, if the excursion is purchased from the cruise line, there is often a way to hold the cruise line accountable for your injury if they failed to warn you of the dangers involved.   

Moreover, if the excursion operator is delayed for any reason such as traffic, an accident, flat tire, or other mechanical delays, the cruise ship will wait for you before it departs. In contrast, if you purchase the excursion from a private vendor in the port or some other online site and you’re delayed for some reason as simple as you lost track of time, the cruise ship will leave without you and it will be your responsibility either meet at another port which can be very expensive and complicated to do or you will have to simply fly home at your own expense.

The typical type of accidents that we have seen with shore excursions purchased through the cruise line include car and motor vehicle accidents, zipline failures, trips and falls down wet and steep staircases and uneven surfaces, speedboat injuries, JetSki injuries, and much more. If you’ve been injured on a shore excursion that you’ve purchased through a cruise line it’s important to consult as soon as possible with an experienced maritime cruise ship accident law firm.


Our firm in Miami has nearly 50 years of combined legal experience representing cruise ship passengers from around the world. It may surprise you that even if your cruise departs from the port of San Diego, the majority of major cruise lines such as Carnival and Royal Caribbean require that lawsuits against them be filed within one year of the date of the incident in Miami, Florida not in San Diego.

Our firm accepts these cases on a contingency basis, which means we do not get paid unless we are successful at collecting money for our clients. These cases are not easy to litigate or win. This is because in order to hold the cruise line accountable for negligence, one must first prove that the cruise line had some form of “notice” of the dangerous condition that caused the incident before the incident occurred. This may sound unfair but it is the current state of international maritime law. Therefore, simply because you were injured on a cruise out of San Diego does not mean that the cruise line is automatically legally responsible to compensate you.


We offer anyone who may have been injured while on a cruise an initial legal consultation free of charge by SKYPE, email, or telephone, toll-free at 1-866-597-4529. Our lawyers have a combined legal experience of nearly 50 years, holding cruise lines accountable for putting their profits ahead of your safety. Let our lawyers help you obtain the compensation you may be entitled to for lost wages, medical expenses, travel reimbursement, loss of the enjoyment of the cruise, and pain and suffering. Call us today. We are ready to help.


Our firm works with many types of cases, the most common being passengers who slip and fall on wet and slippery decks and other services around the cruise ship. Accidents can happen on stairs, coming in or out of a swimming pool or jacuzzi, on water slides, or while participating in some of the onboard activities such as ice-skating, rock climbing, zip-lining, and more. 

In order to prove that the fall was the cruise line’s fault and not the passengers, we frequently must board the cruise ship and perform a “Ship Inspection”. The ship inspections are often performed with the assistance of expert consultants in the fields of maritime engineering and architecture.

We take samples and test the floor surface to determine what is known as the “coefficient of friction” which determines how slippery the surface is when wet. Frequently, passengers slip and fall on surfaces that are unreasonably slippery when wet. Cruise lines have a responsibility to warn passengers of these dangerous conditions and to inspect, repair, and maintain their ships in a reasonably safe manner so that they are free from dangerous conditions such as defects in the stairs, unreasonably slippery surfaces, unmarked thresholds, and more.


In addition to slip and fall accidents on cruises, we also are familiar with the investigation and prosecution of claims where passengers are the victims of sexual assault and rape. These types of incidents can occur between passengers, crewmembers and passengers, as well as in foreign ports, and terminals.

For decades, the maritime attorneys at Aronfeld Trial Lawyers have argued against the cruise lines that they should be held responsible for passenger rape and sexual assault, for failing to warn of the known dangers of rape and sexual assault at sea. Hiring Aronfeld Trial Lawyers is the right decision when it comes to working with a law firm that has the experience, aggression, and passion to take your case as far as it needs to go against the major cruise line. We are experienced and ready to fight for your rights and we will keep fighting until your case is resolved.

In 2019 alone, there were 101 allegations on ships embarking and disembarking from the United States of sexual assault. However, this is only if the victim is a US citizen and the FBI has jurisdiction over the crime. If the victim is a foreign citizen such as an Italian, Jamaican, or Canadian, there is no FBI jurisdiction over that crime. If you were the victim of a sexual assault at sea you are entitled to receive confidential medical care from the ship’s medical personnel and or a visit to the nearest hospital while the ship is docked in a port.


Virtually every modern cruise ship has a medical center onboard that is staffed by emergency medical doctors and nurses. Unfortunately, these medical doctors are rarely licensed or trained in the United States but they do have a responsibility to comport with the emergency medical standards that are promulgated by the American College of Emergency Physicians.

One of the most important elements of maintaining a cruise ship Medical Center is the confidentiality of patient records. Patient records with an accident claim against cruise lines are vital evidence. In other words, what the injured passenger says and does in the medical center is often used against them.

Cruise ship medical centers are also required to maintain an “evidence-based formulary” with sufficient quantities of medications to assist passengers in the most typical medical emergencies that are found at sea: 
  • Gastrointestinal medicine such as antacid and proton pump inhibitors must be kept onboard 
  • Respiratory system medication such as bronchodilators, corticosteroids, antihistamines, and oxygen must be kept on board
  • Central nervous system medication such as medications to treat nausea and vertigo as well as psychosis and hypnotics must be kept on board.
  • Infectious disease medication such as penicillin and other types of antiviral and antimalarial drugs must be kept on board.
  • Endocrine medications for diabetes and thyroid also must be kept on board. 
  • OB/GYN medications for urinary tract disorders and vaginal conditions such as contraceptives must also be kept on board and much more. 

Cruise ship medical facilities also need to have basic x-ray imaging that includes an x-ray generator and processing system. These systems do not always work and we have had a number of cases where the x-ray machines have been “down “and they have been unable to diagnose and treat passengers who have been seriously injured with fractured legs, broken arms, broken hip, spinal injuries due to having inoperable x-ray machines.

Our cruise ship passenger injury law firm has had a number of cases where passengers were not disembarked from the ship due to a medical emergency. It is difficult and sometimes dangerous to disembark a passenger on the open sea but we have had cases where passengers were not disembarked while the ship was in port or the doctor failed to make an adequate transfer to a shoreside facility, which resulted in the passenger not getting the treatment that they needed and ultimately died.


A death that occurs on a cruise ship leaving from the United States, due to the carelessness or negligence caused by the cruise line is governed by the Death on the High Seas Act or “DOSHA.” This law limits the recovery that a family or survivor would have if a loved one were to die at sea on a cruise ship to just the funeral expenses and loss of income of the deceased.

Our law firm has represented many families of loved ones who have died as a result of cruise ship negligence either in the medical center or as a result of an accident while participating on an excursion.

If a family member has died on board a cruise it’s important to consult as soon as possible with an experienced cruise ship maritime lawyer. Please keep in mind that cruise lines require claims against them to be filed within one year of the date of the incident. Some cruise lines such as Norwegian also require that before filing the lawsuit that they receive specific written notice of the intent to file a lawsuit within 185 days of the incident. Our law firm provides free legal consultation confidentially by telephone, Skype, zoom, FaceTime.

We work strictly on a contingency fee basis which means that you do not owe us anything for our work unless we are successful in getting you your money. Call us today, we’re ready to help.

Miami-based Aronfeld Trial Lawyers was established by Board Certified Trial Lawyer, Spencer Aronfeld in 1991. The firm represents cases resulting in serious injuries in the areas of Defective Product Liability, Maritime Law, Automobile AccidentsPremises LiabilityCycling AccidentsSlip and Fall IncidentsWrongful DeathMedical and Dental Malpractice, Civil Rights Claims, Workplace InjuriesSexual Assault, and others. Every client receives the full benefit of our experience, our resources, and our commitment. The practice of personal injury law is our calling. We are a firm of high-profile, nationally recognized legal advocates who work for you, our client, never big business. All attorneys and staff members at the firm are bilingual speaking Spanish. To learn more, visit https://www.aronfeld.com/ or contact Aronfeld Trial Lawyers directly at (305) 441-0440.