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Top Five Cruise Ship Injuries


This year, thousands of Americans will board cruise ships in search of romantic, stress-free getaways. They will head to exotic ports, like the Caribbean, Mexico, and South America. Some head north for colder climates, like Alaska, while some will be heading to Greenland to view polar ice caps and arctic wildlife, before they disappear.  Of course, being on a cruise ship also means a few added dangers for passengers and crew.

Although most cruise companies are extremely good at maintaining safe and comfortable experiences for their passengers, sometimes companies cut corners in search of higher profits. Here are five of the most common cruise ship injuries.


Being on the open ocean in a large vessel can sometimes be misleading. People often forget they are even on a ship. Ships are not built like buildings.  The two most common injuries are slipping on a wet deck or tripping over a door combing/threshold.

Falls can also be deadly. Consider one family that boarded a cruise ship in Galveston, Texas but quickly experienced horror, when their toddler fell from a balcony. The injuries were severe and required a helicopter to airlift the toddler to a land-based hospital in Florida for further care, according to news reports at the time.

In order to avoid these risks be aware of your surroundings at all times, be particularly  be aware that doorways between the interior and exterior of the ship usually have raised thresholds to prevent water from entering the ship.  Decks often become wet from increment weather or sea spray and can be extremely slippery when wet. 

Watertight Door Injuries 

Federal regulations require specific construction standards for commercial passenger ships like cruise liners. One important requirement is that different sections of the ship be capable of being sealed. This is to prevent the ship from sinking, in the event of a structural breach. The doors which separate these sections are designed to seal under extremely high pressures. People have been seriously injured and even killed when they have rushed to beat a closing door. 

Pool Injuries and Drownings 

Most modern  cruise ships have on-board pools, especially those operating in warm weather climates.  However, only a few of the cruise lines have lifeguards on duty, leaving passengers, including children, to fend for themselves.  When using the pools, be vigilant and do not let your children use the pools without adult supervision. 

Alcohol-Related Injuries 

Just like injuries on dry land, alcohol is often a factor in cruise ship accidents. When people are intoxicated, it can lead to serious injuries. As blood alcohol levels go up, a person’s judgment generally goes down. With impaired judgment, slow reflexes, and altered behavior, alcohol plays a role in many serious cruise ship injuries. 

Assaults and Physical Altercations

Sadly, not everyone on a cruise ship is there to have fun. There have been a growing number of sexual assaults and physical attacks on cruise ships in recent years. NBC News explains that there were 62 reported sexual assaults on board cruise ships in 2017, of which the vast majority were committed against minors.

Hiring a Florida Maritime Personal Injury Lawyer 

South Florida is home to many cruise ship companies. When someone gets hurt at sea, there can be challenges to getting compensated. You need the skill and experience of a firm that understands maritime injuries. Do not take on the cruise ship companies without first talking to a Florida maritime injury lawyer. Call or visit us online to schedule a free consultation with one of the dedicated attorneys at the office of Michael F. Guilford, P.A.




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

It's Your Time To Win

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.
Miami, FL 33130

Toll Free: 866-473-2636
Phone: 305-539-1999
Fax: 305-539-1998