Cruise ship vacations are growing at a phenomenal pace. But the average person about to embark on a dream cruise ship vacation never thinks about the things that can go wrong. Here are some things to keep in mind to make your trip a pleasant one:
- You will receive a multi-page ticket with extremely small print that virtually no one ever reads. Read it. Some very important rights are affected by this ticket. For example, if you become sick or injured due to the fault of the shipping company, a lawsuit must be filed within one year or you are time barred. Many people, including many lawyers, miss this provision in the ticket. There are a few exceptions which only apply in rare instances.
- On the cruise ship, do not think that you are in the United States as far as your legal rights are concerned. Look at the flag of the vessel. If it is Bahamian, you are in the Bahamas. If it is Panamanian you are in Panama. There are certain exceptions to this, but not many.
- Just because the doctor wears a nice uniform and works in the ship’s hospital, do not assume he really knows what he’s doing. If you have a medical condition, research the standards of the shipping company you’re sailing with. Some are better than others. If you have a heart condition, for example, you do not want to be on a ship that uses a psychiatrist as a ship’s doctor.
- Crimes occur on ships just like anywhere else. Be aware that the same crimes that occur on land can occur on a ship. Be tuned into this so that you do not become a victim.
- Make sure that your children are never alone and under supervision.
- Do not open your cabin door without knowing who is there. Do not leave your cabin unlocked. Do not take your safety for granted.
- If something does go wrong, do not think the shipping company is motivated solely to help you. Their first instinct is to protect themselves. They will often gather evidence to use against you. You can protect yourself by taking photographs. Get the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of all possible witnesses. Contact Consumer Fraud Online from the high seas if necessary.
If you are a victim of cruise ship fraud, contact Consumer Fraud Online to discuss your options.