Cruise Ship Law

Is Norwegian Cruise Line’s New All-Inclusive Package More of a Danger than a Deal? See What Our Cruise Ship Lawyers Have to Say


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Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A. is comprised of attorneys that are nationally-recognized industry leaders in the field of maritime and admiralty law. Our team of lawyers has over a century of combined experience, has successfully handled over 3,000 cases, and has recovered over 300 million dollars in damages for our clients.

Alcohol on cruise shipsWho doesn’t love a hot deal? We all like to save money, especially after booking an expensive cruise vacation. Cruises don’t come cheap – and neither do the add-ons. Shore excursions, alcohol, specialty dining and spa packages all come at an extra cost, but now, one cruise line wants to ease the brunt of that cost for travelers.

Norwegian Cruise Lines has just introduced a new, all-inclusive package as part of a limited-time promotion on 2015 sailings. The all-inclusive deal covers many of the extras that aren’t included in the basic cost of a cruise ticket. It comes with an unlimited beverage and unlimited dining package, bottle of wine, internet package, gratuity coverage, along with a slew of other appealing discounts. Who wouldn’t want to book it…right?

At first glance, the package looks enticing, especially for cruisers who enjoy all the extra perks like tours and beverages other than the standard tap water or coffee options provided on most ships for free. But as with many things, looks can be deceiving. From a legal standpoint, this package is a ticking time bomb.

Ask any of the cruise ship lawyers at our firm what’s the biggest mistake a cruise line can make when offering a package and we’ll tell you it’s alcohol. Cruise lines make a huge chunk of their revenue off alcohol sales, so naturally they push for passengers to purchase alcoholic drinks. And, for many passengers, one of the benefits of cruising is the fact that they can drink and not have to worry about driving anywhere. Few things compare to the feeling of the crisp, cool wind in your face as you lay back and sip on a tropical cocktail on the Lido Deck of a cruise ship, just relaxing, enjoying the view and letting all your cares slip away. There’s certainly nothing wrong with enjoying a couple of drinks on a cruise vacation, but there’s a fine line between a couple of drinks and a dangerous number of drinks.

Alcohol has been responsible for numerous cruise ship accidents throughout the years – some fatal. And that’s not even with an unlimited drinks option. Once a passenger knows all their drinks will be covered as part of their package, they will be much more inclined to drink – and much more likely to get hurt.

When a cruise passenger becomes intoxicated, they may not have to worry about driving drunk, but they do have to worry about all other side effects of inebriation and then some. Once intoxicated, a person’s inhibitions are lowered, as are their cognitive abilities and motor functions. Intoxicated persons are much more likely to stumble and fall, leading to injuries they may not even realize are severe. Alcohol consumption can also cause a person to become overly aggressive and engage in physical altercations with others. At the very least, drinking too much alcohol can lead people to say and do questionable things. At the worst, it can lead people to do dangerous things, like, say climb over a railing and accidentally fall into the ocean.

There are an endless number of consequences that can result from too much alcohol consumption, and on a cruise ship, they are magnified. It’s one thing to stumble and fall in your house, and it’s another to stumble and fall into the ocean and sustain a fatal injury.

Check out Part 2 of this blog to find out more about the risks of being intoxicated on a cruise ship and how this all-inclusive package may be less of a deal and more of a danger.

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