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Cruise Ship Passenger Information Center

The law firm of Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind P.A., based in Miami, Florida, has been successfully representing those who have been injured or harmed on a cruise ship for over 30 years. Our lead attorney Brett Rivkind has in fact been referred to internationally as a "World's Leading Maritime Attorney" and has been frequently featured in various newspaper and television media outlets for his legal opinion and insight on cruise ship incidents in the news.

This section of our site is meant to serve as a resource for those traveling or thinking of traveling on a cruise ship. Our team of lawyers at Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind P.A., have addressed what we believe to be important when considering a cruise vacation in the links found at the bottom of this page.

Is Bigger Better?

The term the bigger the better applies to the cruise ship industry where we are seeing larger and larger cruise ships being built every day. In 2010, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines added the Oasis of the Seas, which was labeled the world’s largest cruise ship, measuring 1,187 feet long with seven different themes of “neighborhoods.” The cost was reported to be in the area of 1.5 billion dollars. The ship received much attention, containing 16 decks with a capacity to hold more than 5,000 passengers and another 2,000 crew members.

Now in 2016, we have Harmony of the Seas, Royal Caribbean’s newest ship claiming that title. This ship is even better according to Royal Caribbean, carrying 6,780 passengers and 2,100 crew members. The ship has 18 decks, 20 restaurants and a 10-story water slide.

More Cruises Means More Injuries and Crimes

However, along with the increased boom in the cruise ship industry, comes increasing problems. Over the past several months, we have been retained by passengers in various types of passenger claims. They involve slip-and-fall accidents, accidents occurring during supervised shipboard activities, man overboard incidents, injuries during shore excursions, injuries from the ship's waterpark slides, and cruise ship drownings. Additionally, we have seen reports of missing passengers and crew members, sexual assaults and other crimes happening on board these cruise ships, which only seems to be getting worse.

The cruise ship industry has always pointed to statistics that show the crime rate is less aboard a cruise ship than in a city, comparing themselves to a city. It is true that cruise ships are in a sense floating cities, and therefore you can have crime as you can have in any city or town in the United States. However, cities and towns have a police force which the general population is well aware of, and the police force tries to make its presence felt as much as possible. This leads to less crime. On board the cruise ship, the cruise ship companies attempt to down play the need for a strong presence of a police force on board the ship, which results in the lack of a visible police force designed to deter criminal acts.

Criminal acts should be very rare onboard a cruise ship, other than possibly petty crimes such as theft. Significant crimes such as sexual assaults should also be rare. However, we have seen disclosure of an increased numbers of sexual assaults and disappearances aboard cruise ships over the years. Why? Is there a need for additional security, possibly a more visible police aboard the ship to deter criminal activity?

Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act in July of 2010

The legislature has taken a look at safety aboard cruise ships and passed the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act in July of 2010, which addresses several security and safety issues aboard cruise ships. Although not a complete solution, it was a very positive step in the industry.

The Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act was a result of several years of attempts to see changes in the cruise ship industry, and was prompted in large part due to the wide spread public awareness of the disappearance of George Smith IV during his honeymoon cruise aboard a Royal Caribbean Cruise Line ship. Our firm represented the parents of George Smith IV for their claims against Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines.

We were also actively involved in Congressional hearings held following the disappearance which addressed cruise ship security and safety, including providing expert testimony at one of the Congressional hearings by our attorney, Brett Rivkind. We are proud to have been part of the movement towards passage of an important piece of legislation improving security and safety aboard cruise ships.

Below are the links our cruise ship lawyers believe to be important for those who have gone on cruises or plan on going on a cruise in the future. They include answers to many of the questions you may have and for any other comments, questions, or insights, we invite you to contact us.

Cruise Ship Passenger Resources
Boating and Cruise Ship Law News - Cruise Ship Safety
Maritime Blog Cruise Brett Rivkind is dedicated to bringing boaters and cruisers the latest industry news and informative articles. In his blog, Mr. Rivkind shares his vast knowledge and experience in the maritime legal field, reporting on cruise ship and boating law issues.
  1. The rules of the international maritime organization apply
  2. Assumption of the risk forms
  3. Be careful what you say
  4. Be careful what you write
  5. Be aware
  6. Be investigators
  7. Report immediately
  8. Month deadline so contact a maritime lawyer ASAP
Client Reviews
Mr. Rivkind and his team are outstanding and clearly some of the best in the field of maritime law, based on our experience. I appreciate their office for being approachable, extremely professional and pushing relentlessly for the success of my case. Can't thank them enough. Highly recommended! Sherma Noel George
This is the best maritime law firm in my opinion. If you want the best lawyer working on your case, this is the place. This firm is a good professional team with outstanding leadership and talented professionals. Once your case has been settled, you'll likely still continue to hear from Mr. Rivkind. His genuine warmth and kindness makes it near impossible not to become his friend. Thank you Brett for changing my family's life and mine. Willy Dolcin
Mr. Rivkind is highly talented and a very good lawyer. I believe Mr. Rivkind is absolutely the best maritime attorney in the United States. He fought for my rights, and never gave up. He is truly an example to all. The words don't exist to express my gratitude for having him represent me in the battle of my life. Mr. Rivkind you are eternally loved by your client. Virginia Walton
I was a former client of Mr. Rivkind, and I can honestly say that he had a tremendous impact on my life, a very positive one! Mr. Rivkind has exceptionally broad knowledge and experience with maritime law, and he's a great guy who is dedicated to helping people. Always focused, determined, and dedicated to achieving the best results for his clients. Vonda Lewis
I've nothing but love for Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind P.A.. Mr. Brett Rivkind has been there for me more than once and gotten me through some rough times. He gave me a new start, a new life. Mr. Rivkind fought for my medical treatment, for my well-being and to make sure I was given what was owed to me. No one like the best maritime lawyer in the world. Roger Mitchell Hilton