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Planning A Cruise? Know Your Rights Before You Embark

It took a long time for the major cruise lines to agree to them, but the industry has finally adopted “The Cruise Industry Passenger Bill of Rights.” The oft-stated purpose of the new rules is to improve safety measures aboard commercial vessels, but the unspoken one is clearly to repair the industry’s reputation.  In the past two years alone, several high-profile crashes and mechanic malfunctions led many to question the safety of cruise travel.

To restore the public’s faith in the enormous global industry (about 20 million people take a cruise each year), the Cruise Liner Industry Association convinced its member to implement additional safety measures on all of their commercial vessels. New programs will require additional training in emergency procedures for staff members and backup emergency power sources in the event of a generator failure.

Although modern cruise ships are far safer and more reliable than their predecessors, their sheer size and the number of passengers they can accommodate have proven problematic at times. For example, the last two major cruise line disasters were the result of a loss of power due to a main generator failure. This caused one ship, the Carnival Triumph, to become stranded for days, and another, the Costa Concordia, to suffer mechanical failure that may have resulted in additional injury and loss of life.