It is an incontestable fact that spending a holiday vacation in an exotic destination is a perfect treat for any individual, much more if the travel is made on board a cruise liner. Sea travel has never been truly more fun and exciting since after 1980, when the cruising industry undertook improvements, which included construction of bigger cruise ships and the addition of more features and facilities that will make even the stay on the ship itself an experience worth repeating over and over.
While many cruise liners now can accommodate up to 3,000 passengers on a single travel, some have been designed big enough to house between 4,000 and 6,000 guests. And the facilities, well, depending on how big the ship is, some or all of the following may be enjoyed by the passengers:
- Tax and duty free shops
- Bars, pubs and nightclubs
- Hair and beauty salon
- Aqua healthspa fitness
- Gym, basketball courts, pool tables, ping pong tables, and other sports facilities
- Indoor and/or outdoor swimming pool with water slides
- Buffet restaurant
- Boot camp
- Internet and email access
- Medical centers staffed by registered nurses and doctors
But, while each passenger is guaranteed to have his or her share of fun and excitement, the question regarding safety while on board and during cruise ship excursions, continues to be a major issue. This safety issue can very well be considered as the major reason for the passing of the Cruise Vessel Safety and Security Act of 2010, also known as the Cruise Passenger Protection Act – to protect the millions of passengers (annually) who spend time out in the high seas on board cruise liners.
Cruise ship accidents can be due to natural or human reasons and these may happen on board or off it, specifically during shore excursions and related activities (outside of the ship’s premises), such as zip line, scuba diving, parasailing, jet skiing, shopping and dining on land, tours and visits to islands, archaeological explorations and others. When a passenger gets injured off board, however, he/she can be faced with a lot of complicated issues, such as where to file a complaint and the allotted time (statutory period) for filing the complaint – this is besides the complex issue of who should be the recipient of the lawsuit, the owner of the cruise liner or the owner of the company (if separate) that provided the tour.
Since majority of cruise lines state in their cruise-ticket contract a forum selection clause, which is a stipulation of where maritime lawsuits ought to be filed in the event of an injury (which is the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida), this means any lawsuit should be filed only in this court, regardless of the territory where the accident took place, the port where the passenger boarded the ship, or where the injured victim resides.
The Vucci Law Group, P.A., which is composed of experienced legal professionals with extensive experiences in handling cruise ship injury cases, would able to help victims address all legal concerns as well as provide a good argument that will uphold victims’ rights and interests.