Yes! the cruise industry has been in the news a lot these past months with unforeseen emergencies like fires and lost of power on some ships. As a matter of fact in May 2013, the cruise industry voluntarily adopted a Passenger Bill of Rights to clearly communicate to consumers their rights regarding comfort and care in the rare event of a mechanical issue while on a cruise.
In addition to adopting the Passenger Bill of Rights, other recent and proactive initiatives by the cruise industry to focus on passenger safety, comfort and care include:
Establishment of an industry-wide Operational Safety Review in 2012 resulting in the adoption of 10 safety-related policies that were submitted to the IMO. Launch of a Preparedness Risk Assessment in March 2013 to review and address redundancies related to power systems that provide essential services in the rare event of a loss of main power; Successful completion in early April of a multi-day emergency drill involving authorities from the U.S. and Bahamian governments, led by the U.S. Coast Guard.
INTERNATIONAL CRUISE LINE PASSENGER BILL OF RIGHTS
The Members of the Cruise Lines International Association are dedicated to the comfort and care of all passengers on oceangoing cruises throughout the world. To fulfill this commitment, our Members have agreed to adopt the following set of passenger rights:
- The right to disembark a docked ship if essential provisions such as food, water, restroom facilities and access to medical care cannot adequately be provided onboard, subject only to the Master’s concern for passenger safety and security and customs and immigration requirements of the port.
- The right to a full refund for a trip that is canceled due to mechanical failures, or a partial refund for voyages that are terminated early due to those failures.
- The right to have available on board ships operating beyond rivers or coastal waters full-time, professional emergency medical attention, as needed until shore side medical care becomes available.
- The right to timely information updates as to any adjustments in the itinerary of the ship in the event of a mechanical failure or emergency, as well as timely updates of the status of efforts to address mechanical failures.
- The right to a ship crew that is properly trained in emergency and evacuation procedures.
- The right to an emergency power source in the case of a main generator failure.
- The right to transportation to the ship’s scheduled port of disembarkation or the passenger’s home city in the event a cruise is terminated early due to mechanical failures.
- The right to lodging if disembarkation and an overnight stay in an unscheduled port are required when a cruise is terminated early due to mechanical failures.
- The right to have included on each cruise line’s website a toll-free phone line that can be used for questions or information concerning any aspect of shipboard operations.
- The right to have this Cruise Line Passenger Bill of Rights published on each line’s website.
Obtained from a Press Release Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is the world’s largest cruise industry trade association with representation in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australasia. www.cruising.org.