If you picture yourself on a cruise ship, drinking a tropical cocktail in the sunshine, you’re not alone. Most vacationers have the same idyllic image in mind when it comes to cruising. While it’s a popular way to vacation, there are some facts you should know before you board a ship.
You might have familiarized yourself with the amenities on the vessel, and cruise customs, and packed up your essentials, but you should also be prepared for the darker side of a cruise.
Cruise brochures will never show you that the ship comes equipped with a morgue or let you know that you could face the danger of being overrun by pirates. Emergency systems on cruise ships are there for the reason that this mode of transport isn’t as safe as they’d like you to believe.
While aboard the ship, you could receive an announcement about a change to the itinerary. This could be due to inclement weather, security issues, or civil unrest in the port of call on your cruise. A recent cruise to the Bahamas in December 2023 was rerouted to Boston due to nasty weather. This left many passengers upset about the change of plans since many of them had boarded the cruise seeking a tropical experience.
When you buy your cruise tickets, the fine print in the contract states that a cruise ship can deviate from its course for any reason. Even worse, they are not obligated to compensate you for any mid-cruise changes to your itinerary.
Even before COVID erupted, cruise ships were notorious for the spread of illnesses. In this contained environment, you can be subjected to all sorts of germs like norovirus, E. coli, respiratory diseases, and more. Food poisoning is another common occurrence when food for buffets is not properly stored.
The crew must maintain the ship to keep it safe and prevent injuries to passengers. When the crew is understaffed or lacks training, they might overlook hazards such as faulty stairs, dimly lit corridors, and other dangers that could leave you seriously injured on your vacation.
Fires on ships, running aground, and other events that make the news are much more common than you may realize. While there are some highly publicized problems, many more stay under the radar and are kept quiet. Another frightening occurrence is the chance of falling overboard. There are hundreds of cases of missing passengers that have remained unsolved.
Since cruise ships are self-contained, you may wonder what happens with all the waste from garbage, discarded food, and toilets. Unfortunately, there is only one place for all this stuff to go, and that’s into the ocean where it destroys sensitive ecosystems.
Cruise ships generate tons of garbage and solid waste, leaking toxic chemicals into the waterways. They also use more fuel than any other mode of transportation on the planet. While touting themselves as luxury getaways, they leave behind pollution in some of the world’s most beautiful places.
While these facts may cause you to reconsider your cruise plans, the allure of indulging in luxury at sea may be far too great. However, if you wind up injured or ill while aboard a cruise ship due to negligence, you may be able to sue. An attorney who specializes in maritime law can serve as your advocate to help you fight for compensation.