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Are Cruise Ship Vacations Safe?


With all the bad press you’ll find in our blog concerning cruise ship accidents, injuries, and lawsuits, you may come to wonder if going on a cruise ship vacation is safe at all. Actually, each year millions of people go on cruises safely and enjoy every minute of it. The problem lies in the fact that the cruise ships don’t handle outlier cases well. Another problem comes from the negligent hiring of certain cruise ship employees. Those two factors make up the bulk of all lawsuits against major cruise lines.

Medical Emergencies on Cruise Lines 

Medical emergencies make up a large cross-section of the types of lawsuits you’ll find filed against cruise ships. These lawsuits involve extreme cases in which a passenger has suffered a major medical event. This passenger receives substandard care on the cruise ship and ends up either dying or seeing their symptoms worsen to the point of now having a permanent impairment or condition related to the failure of care. When that happens, the cruise ship is liable for extending negligent care to their passenger.

In many cases, those who are most affected by medical half measures are elderly passengers. Not only are they more likely to have a major medical event aboard a cruise ship, but they are likely to require care that is outside of the capability of the onboard doctor. In these cases, cruise lines have emergency helicopters that can evacuate sick passengers to the nearest medical hospital. However, passengers must carry insurance or else they could end up footing the bill themselves. If there are multiple medical emergencies, a passenger can find themselves without any way off the ship.

It’s important for older Americans to consider the limitations of their health before going on cruise ships to avoid fatal situations.

Sexual Assault Aboard Cruise Ships 

Cruise ships occupy a gray area when it comes to jurisdiction. While the U.S. will hold its own citizens accountable for conduct committed on the high seas, not every country will. In one case, a 14-year-old British girl was raped by an Italian 17-year-old outside of Spain. The Spanish court ruled that they had no jurisdiction to hear the case and the rapist was allowed to go free.

The sexual assault of minors is far more common than anyone would care to admit. In cases where it’s a cruise ship employee who committed the assault, the cruise line can be sued directly. In many cases, that’s the only kind of justice that the victim and her family will ever see.

Cruise ships are strictly liable for the conduct of their employees. It is assumed that they should be conducting background checks and monitoring their activities. Many cruise lines don’t. For parents, it becomes important to watch your children and ensure that they are with an adult.

Talk to a Miami Cruise Ship Accident Attorney 

If you’ve been injured aboard a cruise ship, Miami admiralty & maritime attorney Michael F. Guilford, P.A. can help you recover damages related to your injuries. Talk to us today for a free consultation.





  • American Association for Justice
  • Florida Justice Association
  • Bar Register Preeminent Lawyers
  • American Association for Justice

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Contact the Law Offices of Michael F. Guilford, P.A. for a free initial consultation with Michael Guilford. Flexible appointment times are available. If you can't come to us, we will come to you. Call toll free 866-473-2636 or describe your injuries in an email.

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Michael F. Guilford, P.A.

Courthouse Tower, Suite 750
44 West Flagler St.
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Toll Free: 866-473-2636
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