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What Every Cruise Ship Passenger Should Do Before Taking a Shore Excursion on a Cruise Ship

Cruise ships market many shore excursions for the exotic ports they take the passengers to. Shore excursions present potential risk of danger, and before booking a shore side excursion, a cruise ship passenger should do some research about the particular excursion and not rely upon the cruise ship companies representations.

It would be well advised for any passengers to at a minimum do the following:

  • Go on the computer and google the name of the shore excursion and the company, and see if you can get any information about the company, or information from prior passengers who participated in the shore side excursion.

    Often times you will find out from prior cruise ship passengers the dangers of the shore excursion that the cruise ship company failed to warn about. Also try to gain information about the local port excursion company to determine if the company is licensed, insured, and whether it has a reputation for maintaining up-to-date equipment, and trained employees. If you are unable to get this information from the website, supplement this information by asking these types of questions to the cruise ship employees onboard before purchasing a shore excursion.

  • If the cruise line makes representations about the reliability and safety of the particular shore excursion company, suggesting that they have vetted the operation and determined it to be reliable and safe, confirm this with representatives of the cruise ship company.

    It is important to try to gain as much knowledge as you can as to what knowledge the cruise ship company actually has regarding the shore side excursion and the operator.

  • Ask the cruise ship company representatives to explain the disclaimers about the shore excursions, where the cruise ship companies disclaim any liability for negligence of the shore side excursion operators by claiming they are independent contractors for which the cruise ship companies assume no liability.

    Ask specifically what will happen if there is an injury, how will you get appropriate medical care and treatment, who will be responsible for the medical care and treatment, and who will assume any liability for negligence associated with the shore excursion company.

The above are some simple steps you can take. Of course, it is hard to determine the reliability and safety of shore excursions in foreign ports you have never been to. The cruise ship companies should have much superior knowledge as to the reliability and safety of these excursions and companies. Although the cruise ship companies attempt to distance themselves from these excursions, despite recommending them and profiting from their sales, do your best to gain as much information as possible. If something does not feel right, do not go forward with the excursion, and if you get to a shore side excursion and feel in any way there are safety issues present, do not go forward with the excursion. Cancel immediately, and demand a refund from the cruise ship company.

If you do suffer an injury during a shore excursion, despite the disclaimers of liability the cruise ship companies put in their passenger tickets and the shore side excursion tickets, you may be able to pursue legal remedies against the cruise ship company. You should contact an experienced maritime lawyer to evaluate your rights should you suffer harm during a shore excursion.

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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.
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