Each year millions of people vacation aboard cruise ships, some carrying thousands of passengers and crew members. These ships are small, floating cities that offer many options for food and entertainment. However, just as in life ashore, passengers can be exposed to dangerous situations involving food-borne illnesses, crimes such as rape or assault, negligence and medical errors. In addition, cruise ship operators have the obligation to protect all passengers from injuries and death, i.e. burns or slip and fall accidents, stemming from maintenance deficiencies on board the ship.
Before you book a cruise, take time to do some research about the sanitation scores of cruise ships. You will find information on this topic and learn tips about how to stay healthy and safe while you enjoy your cruise vacation. http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/vsp/
If you become ill or are injured while aboard a cruise ship or land excursion, know that cruise ship operators must provide you with a “reasonable standard of care”, care that is comparable to what another patient would receive in a similar medical situation. To learn more about the standards for medical care, staff and facilities, visit: http://www.fbi.gov/congress/congress07/hernandez032707.htm
Although, cruise ships have the duty to protect the physical safety of each passenger, they may fail to do so. This places passengers at risk for becoming victims of crime. The FBI has released some crime statistics for cruise ships: http://www.fbi.gov/congress/congress07/hernandez032707.htm
Cruise ship passengers who are victims of injuries, crime or medical error may sue to recover damages, including loss of wages, pain and suffering and medical expenses. Family members may sue the cruise ship line for the wrongful death of their loved one who died while aboard ship.