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Cruise Ship Tickets Limitations

phone displaying cruise ship ticket
The most important document you will take on your cruise, aside from your passport and your credit card, is your ticket. Believe it or not, your ticket is a contract that includes may limitations and restrictions that protect the cruise line in the event something goes wrong on your cruise. And like any good contract, the most important part for you to read is the “fine print”.

Most cruise passengers are not aware of the many limitations and releases of liability that are contained in a cruise ship ticket. Here are some examples of what you’ll find:

  • The Guest admits a full understanding of the character of the Vessel and assumes all risks incident to travel and transportation and handling of Guests and cargo.
  • Guests assume responsibility for their own safety and Cruise Line cannot guarantee Guest’s safety at any time.
  • Guest acknowledges that all Shore excursions/tours (whether conducted in the water, on land or by air), as well as the ship’s physician, and on board concessions (including but not limited to, the gift shops, spa, beauty salon, fitness center, golf and art programs, video/snorkel concession) are operated by or are independent contractors and as such Company assumes no responsibility, does not guarantee performance and in no event shall be liable for any negligent or intentional acts or omissions, loss, damage, injury or delay to Guest and/or Guest’s baggage, property or effects in connection with said services.

Despite these restrictions for your cruise, accident lawsuits can be brought against the cruise line. You need the best cruise accident lawyer to evaluate your ticket contract to gain a full understanding of the limitations and restrictions that apply to your cruise injury claim.

Venue Provision

Most tickets contain venue provisions for where your cruise accident claim can be brought. A venue provision is a clause in your ticket that requires any accident, injury or wrongful death cruise ship claim to be brought in a court in a specific location. Consider the example of a passenger that takes a cruise on the Carnival Breeze or Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas out of Galveston. You embark on your cruise to Mexico, and along the way, you slip and fall on butter left in the dining area, becoming seriously injured. Where do you bring your accident claim? You may be surprised to learn that where you can bring a lawsuit for injuries suffered on a cruise, has nothing to do with where you live, where the cruise originated, or even where the injury occurred.

Both Carnival and Royal Caribbean require any cruise accident or cruise injury claim to be brought in Federal Court in Miami, even though your cruise began in Galveston, TX, and you live outside Florida. Venue provisions have been upheld in Federal Court, and strict compliance is required. Most experienced cruise injury and accident lawyers know about complying with venue provisions, but accident and injury claims, and cruise ship wrongful death lawsuits have been lost by simply failing to comply with a ticket’s venue clause.

Statute of Limitations

A time period in which you can bring an accident claim, cruise injury claim, or wrongful death lawsuit against a cruise line is known as the statute of limitations. The time limits for a cruise lawsuit also differ from normal time limits for an accident or injury lawsuit. For example, the statute of limitations for an accident or injury occurring in Florida to file an injury lawsuit is 4 years from the date of the accident. However, most cruise ships have only a 1 year time limit to bring file cruise accident lawsuit.

Statement of Particulars

In addition to complying with the statute of limitations in your cruise ship ticket, if you are injured on a cruise ship, or have an accident during a cruise or an on-shore excursion, you must also provide most cruise lines with a “statement of particulars”. Most tickets require that the statement of particulars be sent to the cruise ship company within 6 months of your accident or injury.

Below is a list of Florida cruise ship companies and the portions of their ticket contracts that address where and when you are permitted to bring a cruise accident or injury claim, or file a lawsuit against the cruise line for injuries or death.

Celebrity Cruises

Venue:United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida (Miami)

Time Limitations: Full particulars of the claim must be delivered to Celebrity within 6 months from the date of injury.
A lawsuit must be filed within one year from the date of such injury and process served within 120 days after filing

Costa Cruise Line

Venue:Voyages that Depart from, Return to, or Visit a U.S. Port –
All claims involving physical or emotional injury, illness or death in which the amount in controversy does not exceed seventy five thousand U.S. dollars (US$75,000) shall be instituted only in the courts of Broward County, Florida

All such claims involving physical or emotional injury, illness or death in which the amount in controversy exceeds seventy five thousand U.S. dollars (US$75,000) shall be filed only in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida located in Broward County, Florida.

Voyages That Do Not Depart from, Return to, or Visit a U.S. Port –
All claims incident to any voyage that does not depart from, return to, or visit a U.S. port shall be instituted only in the courts of Genoa, Italy.

Time Limitations:Not liable for any physical or emotional injury, illness or death of a Passenger unless written notice of the claim with full particulars is delivered to the Carrier or its duly authorized agent within 185 days after the date of injury, illness or death. No legal proceedings whatsoever shall be maintainable in any event unless filed within one year after the date of injury, illness or death, and unless valid service is effected upon the Carrier within 120 days after commencement of the proceeding.

Cunard Line

Venue: All claims involving emotional or bodily injury, illness to or death of any Passenger shall be litigated before a court of competent jurisdiction located in the County of Los Angeles, California. For voyages that do not begin, end, or call in a port located in the United States or its territories, all claims for emotional or bodily injury, death, or violation of civil rights shall be litigated before a court of competent jurisdiction located in the City of Southampton, England.

Time Limitations: Claims for Injury, Illness or Death: In cases involving claims for emotional or bodily injury, illness to or death of any Guest, no lawsuit may be brought unless (1) written notice giving full particulars of the claim is delivered within 6 months from the date of the injury, illness or death, (2) a lawsuit on such a claim is filed within 1 year from the date of the injury, illness or death, and (3) valid service of the lawsuit is made within 90 days of filing the complaint.

Holland America

Venue: Claims shall be litigated, if at all, in and before the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington in Seattle.

Time Limitations: Unless written notice of the claim is delivered not later than six (6) months after the day of death or injury, the lawsuit is commenced not later than one (l) year after the day of death or injury, and valid service of the lawsuit is made within thirty (30) days following the expiration of that one-year period.

Princess Cruise Lines

Venue: Claims for Injury, Illness or Death: All claims involving emotional or bodily injury, illness to or death of any Passenger shall be litigated before a court of competent jurisdiction located in the County of Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

Time Limitations: In cases involving claims for emotional or bodily injury, illness to or death of any Passenger, no lawsuit may be brought against Carrier unless (1) written notice giving full particulars of the claim is delivered to Carrier within 6 months from the date of the injury, illness or death, (2) a lawsuit on such a claim is filed within 1 year from the date of the injury, illness or death, and (3) valid service of the lawsuit is made within 90 days of filing the complaint.

Royal Caribbean

Venue: All disputes and matters whatsoever shall be litigated in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida located in Miami-Dade County, Florida.

Time Limitations: Written notice of the claim, with full particulars, shall be delivered within six (6) months from the date of the injury, illness or death, and the suit is commenced within one (1) year from the date of the injury, illness or death, and process served within 120 days.

Seabourn Cruises

Venue: All disputes and matters whatsoever arising under, in connection with or incident to the cruise shall be litigated in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida in Miami.

Time Limitations: Not liable for any claims whatsoever for personal injury, illness or death of the guest, unless full particulars in writing are delivered to Seabourn within 185 days after the date of the injury, event, illness or death giving rise to the claim. Suit to recover on any such claim shall not be maintainable unless filed within one year after the date of the injury, event, illness or death, and unless served on Seabourn within 120 days after filing.

Silver Seas Cruise Lines

Venue: Claims shall be litigated solely and exclusively, if at all, in and before the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida in Broward County, Florida.

Time Limitations: Not liable for any physical or emotional injury, illness or death of a Passenger unless written notice of the claim with full particulars is delivered within 185 days after the date of injury, illness or death. No legal proceedings whatsoever shall be maintainable in any event unless filed within one year after the date of injury, illness or death, and unless valid service is effected upon the Carrier within 120 days after commencement of the proceeding.

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