This week the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) announced that its Board of Directors approved the adoption of a “Cruise Industry Passenger Bill of Rights” detailing CLIA members’ commitment to the safety, comfort and care of guests in a number of important areas.
To fulfill this commitment, our Members have agreed to adopt the following set of passenger rights:
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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 the status of efforts to address mechanical failures.
5. The right to a ship crew that is properly trained in emergency and evacuation procedures.
6. The right to an emergency power source in the case of a main generator failure.
7. 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.
8.The right to lodging if disembarkation and an overnight stay in an unscheduled port are required when a cruise is terminated early due to mechanical failures.
9. The right to have included on each cruise line’s website a toll-free phone line that can be used for questions or information concerning any aspect of shipboard operations.
10. The right to have this Cruise Line Passenger Bill of Rights published on each line’s website.
In addition to adopting the Passenger Bill of Rights, other recent and proactive initiatives by the cruise industry to focus on passenger safety, comfort and care include:
- Establishment of an industry-wide Operational Safety Review in 2012 resulting in the adoption of 10 safety-related policies that were submitted to the IMO;
- Launch of a Preparedness Risk Assessment in March 2013 to review and address redundancies related to power systems that provide essential services in the rare event of a loss of main power; and,
- Successful completion in early April of a multi-day emergency drill involving authorities from the U.S. and Bahamian governments, led by the U.S. Coast Guard.
The cruise passenger bill of rights will be implemented by 22 North American cruise lines.
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