Cruise Ship Accidents & Injuries

by Terry Bryant

Cruise Ship Safety Dangerous

What are the hidden dangers on a cruise ship?

Although it’s fairly common for some passengers to suffer routine slip-and-fall accidents aboard cruise ships, many other types of injuries can also occur. For example, when ships encounter significant turbulence from ocean waves, passengers can suffer cuts and bruises if onboard furniture and other objects are flung about. Likewise, food poisoning can occur, especially after a ship loses power and cannot properly refrigerate all food being served.

Occasionally, a passenger may fall overboard as one young man did back in 2015. He wasn’t found and rescued for many hours. Others may struggle with injuries following onboard crimes of assault and battery. All cruise ships passengers must remember that while they may be on a vacation, they’re still out on the high seas within a small neighborhood of people they must hope the cruise ship has properly evaluated before selling them tickets.

Here are some examples of past cruise ship accidents (noted in a 2013 Time magazine article and several online stories) that have caused serious problems and illnesses for some passengers.

Cruise ship excursions that failed to turn out well

  • In early 2016, a Royal Caribbean cruise turned around and headed back to port. Many people had boarded the Anthem of the Seas for what was supposed to be a seven-day trip from New Jersey to the Bahamas. Unfortunately, these passengers wound up wondering if they’d ever even get home alive after encountering 125-mile-per hour winds. Their trip was cut short after three harrowing days;
  • Royal Caribbean encountered another disaster back in 2013. Passengers who boarded the Grandeur of the Seas came to regret their voyage after that poor ship caught on fire;
  • Serious plumbing problems also plagued a Triumph cruise back in 2013. After this ship lost power, major plumbing issues developed, forcing nearly all on board to cope with raw sewage in highly undesirable locations;
  • In January 2012, thirty-two people lost their lives on one cruise ship excursion. While sailing off the coast of Italy, the Concordia capsized;
  • A Norwegian cruise line named Dawn met with serious problems back in 2005. Once this cruise ship was hit by a 70-foot tall wave, passengers had to do all they could to avoid flying furniture and broken glass onboard.

Harm inflicted onboard cruise ships due to various crimes

Back in 2013, one NBC news website stated that at least three cruise ship lines – the Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Lines, and Carnival – all agreed to start periodically publishing their cruise ship crime statistics online. Other cruise lines have since followed suit. This was a major step forward in light of the statistics that were once being routinely gathered and often kept private by the U. S. Coast Guard.

In addition to many robberies and thefts, too many cruise ship passengers have endured rapes and other assaults while supposedly enjoying themselves on vacation.

While it’s hard to prevent many crimes when in an unfamiliar location, including time spent on a cruise ship, every person wanting to book a room on a cruise ship should first view the standards outline by the Cruise Lines International Association’s Cruise Line Bill of Rights that’s typically posted on every cruise company’s website.

Today, you can find the quarterly crime statistics about every major cruise line on the Transportation.gov website. For example, during the first three months of 2016, Carnival Cruise Lines reported that three of its passengers were assaulted and incurred serious bodily injuries. Always be sure to do this type of research before booking a place on any cruise line – and request information about any crimes that seem to be happening far too often. Also, ask if cruises in certain parts of the world are currently experiencing higher crime rates than others.

Finally, try to always travel with a spouse or close friend and never walk long distances alone after dark on any cruise ship. If necessary, have a ship employee walk you back to your cabin if those you’re traveling with aren’t available to do this with you.