Friday, May 24, 2013

Cruise Line Passenger Bill of Rights

Cruise Line Passenger Bill of Rights

            When you cruise you realize that you may not go to all the schedule ports you wish, destinations may be changed, your cruise possibly cut short, or even cancel due to bad weather. This is something that is just understood by reasonable people when booking a cruise but it would be a shame to miss your desired ports and/or your cruise cut short because the Cruise Line did not maintain their vessel.
            There has been lots of talk about the need for a Cruise Line Passenger Bill of Rights due to mechanical failure on the multiple mega-size cruise ships. One cruise line had 7 mechanical failures on 4 of their ships in just the first 3 months of this year! That and other disastrous situations on cruise ships that cost the lives of many people caught the attention of governments and cruise customers over the past year or so.
            The United States Congress had made threats to write a Cruise Line Passenger Bill of Rights to force change in the Cruise Line Industry. Many people were swearing off cruising fearing for their safety and not wishing to be left stranded as thousands had been during different cruise fiascoes. So rather than face the wrath of the U.S. Congress and their paying customers the Cruise Line International Association (CLIA) chose to come up with their own, self-imposed Cruise Line Passenger Bill of Rights. The 25 cruise lines (this includes the Disney Cruise Line) that make up CLIA did not state any penalties for not abiding by the Cruise Line Passenger Bill of Rights.
            I believe this is a step in the right direction in making customers feel safe on the cruise ships. I believe that it states fair penalties for the Cruise Lines are that sending out sailing ships with mechanical issues and then not taking care of their guests.
            Here is the text of the Cruise Line Passenger Bill of Rights:
international cruise line passenger bill of rights
The Members of the Cruise Lines International Association dedicated to comfort and care of all passengers on oceangoing cruises throughout the world. To fill this commitment, our Members have agreed to adopt the following set of passenger rights. The right to disembark a docked ship if essential provisions such as food, water, restroom facilities and access to medical care cannot adequately be provided onboard, subject only to the Master's concern for passenger safety and security and customs and immigration requirements of the port.

1.     The right to a full refund for a trip that is canceled due to mechanical failures, or a partial refund for voyages that are terminated early due to those failures.
2.    The right to have available on board ships operating beyond rivers or coastal waters full-time, professional emergency medical attention, as needed until shore side medical care becomes available.
3.    The right to timely information updates as to any adjustments in the itinerary of the ship in the event of a mechanical failure or emergency, as well as timely updates of efforts to address mechanical failures.
4.    Right to a ship crew that is properly trained in emergency and evacuation procedures.
5.    The right to an emergency power source in the case of a main generator failure.
6.    The right to transportation to the ship’s scheduled port of disembarkation or the passenger’s home city in the event a cruise is terminated early due to mechanical failures.
7.    The right to lodging if disembarkation and an overnight stay in an unscheduled port are required when a crew is terminated early due to mechanical failures.
8.    Right to have included on each cruise lines website a toll-free phone line that can be used for questions or information concerning any aspect of shipboard operations.
9.    The right to have this Cruise Line Passenger Bill of Rights published on each lines website.
That is it, just 9 simply stated rights. There’s nothing complicated but every Cruise Passenger needs to know the right
Disney Cruise Line did sign this Cruise Line Passenger Bill of Rights and has posted them on their website. The actual number of events related to mechanical failure on cruise ships is proportionally fairly small when you consider how many ships are sailing the oceans of this small world of ours. It’s just when something does happen thousands of people are affected and their lives put at risk.
I know that the Disney Cruise Line will have no problem standing by the standards as I know they’re one of the better maintained fleet of ships.


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