Holiday Cruises: Know Your Rights as a Passenger

Cruise ships are vacations taken by many to get away from the stresses of everyday life.  The holiday season is a popular time of year for cruises as people want to leave the cold winter weather and head for the warmth of the Carribean and other tropical destinations.  Cruise ships will transport you from Charleston and other ports to just about anywhere in the world.  These floating vacations offer everything from casinos and five-star dining to night clubs, broadway shows and state-of-the-art spas.  However, just because you are in paradise does not mean that you are free from the dangers that you face on land. 

Cruise ships will offer you an-you-can-eat buffet as well as countless hazards including, but not limited to, the following: (1) assault by crew members or other passengers, (2) sexual assualt, (3) food poisoning, (4) slip and falls, (5) boating injuries, (6) fire damage, (7) medical malpractice and (8) various other illnesses.   

Miller|Conway wants cruise ship passengers to understand that cruise ships more than three miles out to sea are subject to maritime law and must strictly adhere to certain regulations designed to protect the safety, security and health of its passengers.  If you are injured aboard a cruise ship, please alert an appropriate crew member and see a staff doctor immediately.  Ensure that you request and receive a copy of the incident report and all medical records.

Please note that limitations as to passenger’s rights under maritime law.  In many cases, the ship’s liability is limited to a short time period following a cruise.   Because the law of the sea is different from the land based laws that we typically encounter, it is wise to retain the services of a lawyer with experience in maritime law.  Miller|Conway has experience handling a broad spectrum of maritime matters ranging from international helicopter crashes to local sea-based personal injury and wrongful death cases.