Cruise Industry ‘Passenger Bill of Rights’ Gets Early Test

The cruise ship injury attorneys at Farah & Farah recently reported that the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) announced that it has adopted a passenger “bill of rights” to protect passengers on cruise ships. Those protections include passengers receiving refunds and being flown back to the port of origin if a voyage is interrupted by a mechanical or power failure.

It didn’t take long for the bill to be tested.

Several days after CLIA announced the implementation of the passenger bill of rights, a fire broke out aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship, forcing the captain to cancel the voyage and sail the ship to Freeport, Bahamas.

The Grandeur of the Seas, which left from Baltimore, was several days into its planned 7-day voyage when a fire broke out in the stern of the ship. It took the crew a couple of hours to knock down the blaze. Royal Caribbean officials claim that the ship never lost power. Photographs taken of the ship show a substantial amount of smoke damage on several levels of the ship’s stern.

One passenger told the Palm Beach Post that several hundred passengers had to sleep on the deck while the fire was being fought and smoke billowed from the stern of the ship.

Miami-based Royal Caribbean announced that none of the 2,224 guests or 796 crewmembers were injured during the fire. The cruise company said that it was chartering 11 flights to fly the passengers back to Baltimore. As per the new passenger bill of rights, Royal Caribbean executives announced that passengers will receive a full refund of their fare and will also receive a certificate for a future cruise.

The maritime law attorneys at Farah & Farah are relieved to hear that there were no injuries reported during this ill-fated cruise. However, the scenario could have turned out much differently if the blaze had gotten completely out of control. One has to ask whether all safety precautions were followed to prevent the blaze in the first place.

If you have been injured during a cruise or have any questions regarding your legal rights following a cruise ship mishap, contact our knowledgeable and experienced legal representatives. We can answer your questions and discuss your legal options.