When booking a cruise, some of the most highly anticipated aspects are the shore excursions. While being aboard a luxurious cruise ship is always enjoyable, there’s something about having the opportunity to disembark and explore the port city that always makes for an exciting time.
These days, there are so many different options along the way, you may have difficulty deciding which excursion to choose! The thrill of having a new city at your fingertips can easily allow you to forget the importance of personal safety. Although cruise vacations are exciting, accidents and injuries are still possible. This is true whether you’re on the ship or on land.
As a passenger, there are number of things you can do to protect yourself during your voyage. However, there are times when your safety is out of your hands. For example, when you’re being transported from the ship to a shore excursion that is further inland, you have no control over who is driving the vehicle. Instead, you have to trust that the cruise line has hired a respected company who will put your safety first.
Unfortunately, as a fatal collision reminded us last year, this is not always the case.
Sometimes, Safety is Out of Your Hands
Last January, passengers sailing aboard the Independence of the Seas embarked on a shore excursion in Jamaica to see the Dunn’s River Falls. On the way back to the ship, the bus driver was driving recklessly, reportedly speeding and continuously changing lanes.
When the passengers asked the driver to slow down, he dismissed his behavior as typical in Jamaica. However, as the bus returned to the port city, it was involved in a major collision which killed one passenger and injured three others.
Now, the surviving passengers, represented by Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A., are suing Royal Caribbean for placing them with an “inept” driver, who, they claim, had a slow reaction to a vehicle that entered their lane. His inability to get out of the way ultimately resulted in the bus flipping several times.
Although Royal Caribbean did not directly employ the driver, the lawsuit blames the cruise line for this dangerous and ultimately deadly experience.
“The complete recklessness of the bus driver coupled with the cruise line’s negligence in properly vetting, staffing, and supervising its shore excursion transportation – for which it receives a healthy profit by directing the flow of its passengers to – was inexcusable,” explains Jason Margulies, one of our maritime attorneys. “Royal Caribbean represents to its passengers that its shore excursions are the best – well, a reckless driver ignoring the pleas of passengers and intentionally endangering those passengers is far from what these passengers expected when booking their excursion with Royal Caribbean.”
We Can Sort Out the Confusion
As a law firm with extensive experience handling maritime law, we know how to navigate the complicated issues involved in litigating foreign shore excursion accidents. By holding cruise lines responsible for reckless, dangerous, and negligent acts involving their shore excursions, we can create incentives for the cruise lines to become more vigilant regarding the safety of its passengers.
In the mean time, we can take this opportunity to remind all cruise passengers that you never can be too aware of your surroundings. While asking the driver to slow down does not seem to have worked in this case, the passengers did everything they could to protect themselves, when their safety was out of their hands.
If you are ever uncomfortable with the situation during your cruise or shore excursion, it is always a good idea to speak up. And you always know that we are here to help.
When facing a legal situation, it can be beneficial to have a maritime attorney on your side. Our team is familiar with a wide range of accident and injury cases, especially those related to shore excursions. So do not hesitate to contact us.