You are finally taking that cruise that you have been dreaming about for years. And, lucky you, you managed to find a great deal on one of the All-You-Can-Drink packages that are becoming so popular on the major cruise lines! So you set sail with no worries as you sample all the tropical drinks you have ever wanted to try. What could be better?  On vacation, basking in the sun, sipping umbrella drinks – you are not driving, so why not?

How Much Fun Is Too Much Fun?

Unfortunately, a cruise ship may not be the best place for slowed reflexes and lower standards of judgment that often accompany a few drinks. Who is to blame when such a tragedy does occur?  The passenger, who possibly drank too much? Or the cruise line, by offering a package which sets no limits on how much the passenger may drink? It is all too easy to lose track of how much you have had to drink when you are having a great time, meeting new people, and enjoying the beautiful weather. Should the cruise line have the obligation to monitor its passengers, after selling them an unlimited drink package? Does the cruise line have the right to change the definition of ‘unlimited’ after the passenger has paid for the drink package?

Potential for Tragedy

The news is full of stories lately about passengers injuring themselves on cruise ships, from slips and falls to falling overboard. One such story involves a woman who went overboard during a dance party on a cruise from Miami to Cozumel. The woman, who was reported missing and for whom a search off the coast of Cuba was unsuccessful, went overboard during the cruise ship dance party. While reports do not indicate whether alcohol played a part in this particular incident, it stands to reason that alcohol often does and will continue to be a factor in such cases as this.

Accidents on Board

Slips and falls on a cruise ship can happen for a variety of reasons.  The decks can be wet and slippery, the stairs may be narrow and steep, the motion of the ship itself can cause passengers to lose their balance. Cruise ships, as common carriers, are under a “special duty” beyond reasonable care to their passengers. Cruise lines and their ships must exercise the highest degree of care to protect their passengers against harm including physical injuries. Therefore, cruise lines must take the proper measures to recognize and prevent these various common yet dangerous situations that arise on their ships. If passenger suffers an injury as a result of a cruise line’s negligence and failure to address dangerous situations, the passenger may have a good case against the cruise line.

What to Do?

If you are injured during a cruise, you will want to seek the advice of a legal professional about your rights and possible remedies. Injuries incurred on cruise ships are handled differently than the typical personal injury matter, and you will want to discuss your case with someone who can offer the best possible advice for your unique circumstance. Contact an attorney today to learn your rights.

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