Making memories with your children and experiencing an unforgettable family vacation should be what your next cruise is all about.  Major cruise lines including, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line, Carnival Cruise Line, Disney Cruise Line and Princess Cruises heavily market to young families who are looking for the accommodations of a luxury resort, while experiencing endless excitement and adventures at sea.  These major cruise lines offer state-of-the-art ship design with an array of kid-friendly activities, such as wave pools, rock-climbing walls, laser tag, movie theatres, even ice-skating.

It is estimated that 27.2 Million passengers will board a cruise ship in 2018.  The demand for cruising has increased 20.5% in the last 5 years, according to a report by Cruise Lines International Association, Inc.

However, just like on land 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. Among the most common accident sites on cruise ships are stairs and steps. When the vacation of a lifetime turns into a nightmare due to a slip, trip and fall or a sexual assault onboard a cruise ship, our firm holds cruise lines accountable by obtaining compensation for injured passengers; these cases are especially tragic when these passengers are children. Aronfeld Trial Lawyers has successfully represented child passengers and their families from around the world who have been injured on cruise ships. We have obtained millions of dollars in compensation for these passengers when cruise lines put their profits ahead of passenger safety.

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

Closely Monitor Your Children on Deck

In 2017, an 8-year-old girl fell two stories from an interior deck while traveling with her family onboard the Carnival Glory. The little girl was waiting for the ship to disembark with her family at a railing with her younger brother when she fell. This tragic accident highlights the risk associated with children onboard cruise ship decks. The decks can be places that are fun for the family, but they can also be unsafe. Make sure your children keep a safe distance from the railing and are cautious on stairs.  Staircases are one of the most common places people slip, trip and fall on cruise ships. That is because cruise ship design often does not comply with the building codes and standards in place on land in terms of the dimensions with which steps, treads, risers, and banisters are engineered. For example, hotels and resorts in Florida must comply with the Florida Building Code as well as other regulations; cruise ships are not subject to similar regulations. Even if the railings are of proper height, falls can still happen when children get too curious while on or near a railing.
One of the most common accidents we see at Aronfeld Trial Lawyers involves cruise ship passengers who slip, trip or fall on a ship’s exterior or interior deck. Always use caution while on the ship’s deck and keep an eye on your children. 

Safety at the Pools and Water Parks

Some of the most popular attractions on a cruise ship are the pools and water parks. These features are perfect for families with children, but they also present their own set of risks.  Just like on land, the risk of drowning is imminent near and around water for young children. Do not trust the pool staff to keep an eye on your children. While they are responsible to an extent, so are you. If you have a young child, pick the pool attraction on the ship that is catered towards children of the same age.  Never leave your child unattended around water. 

Stranger Danger

As children get older, they may make friends on the ship. Children can be very trusting, and it is up to the adults to make sure that they are not overly trusting of others they may meet on the ship.  Do not allow your child to go in another person’s cabin or allow children you do not know into yours.  Advise your children not to open the door to strangers, even if the person knocking on the door says that they are a crew member.

Set Up a Buddy System

Today’s cruise ships are massive and can be intimidating, even for adults. Children should never be allowed to roam the ship alone. It is always best to have at least one companion with your child, such as a parent or older sibling. Also, parents should set a parameter of where their children can go on the ship. If the parents are worried about their older children wandering off onto the outside decks and falling, make it clear from the start that these areas are off-limits.

Set a Curfew 

It is like the old saying goes, “Nothing good happens after midnight.” If you have teenage children, this saying could not be more true. If you have older children and feel comfortable letting them have some independence on the ship, make sure and enforce a strict curfew. Also, make clear which areas of the ship are off-limits.


If you or your children have 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, especially those involving younger passengers. Most cruise lines, including CarnivalRoyal CaribbeanCelebrityNorwegianMSCDisneyHolland AmericaPrincess, 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 1-866-597-4529305-441-0440, or by email. We are ready to help.