Cruising is the fastest growing segment of the travel industry. Once reserved for the wealthy, cruise vacations are now affordable and fun for everyone. How did this happen? One simple explanation is that the ships got a lot bigger. The superliners of old would look like dinghies compared to the cruise ships of today. The difference isnt only about length, but also gross tonnage, i.e., how much weight a ship can support.
The most famous superliner in history was RMS Titanic, which could accommodate 2,500 passengers, sans life rafts! Many of the modern cruise ships safely carry between 3 and 4 thousand passengers on each trip. One of the largest modern ships, the Allure of the Seas, which is owned by Royal Caribbean International, can accommodate 6,300 passengers. But even more important than the passenger capacity is the gross tonnage, which tells us how much stuff the ship can carry. Most modern ships have a gross tonnage of two to four times what the RMS Titanic had.
What does this mean? In short, it means that there is a lot more to do on these ships than there was on the superliners of old. Modern cruise ships are basically floating cities that have restaurants, lounges, fitness clubs, pools, casinos, shopping malls, hotels, and much, much more. Even when they visit exotic ports of call, there is really no reason to ever leave these ships, since there is so much to see and do on board. There is, however, one drawback. As cruise ships get larger and more crowded, more passengers are getting injured on them.
As we mentioned, cruising has become a major global industry. More than 13.5 million travelers booked a trip on a major cruise line in 2009. Most of them embarked from ports in Florida. The Sunshine State is the capital of the cruise world. More than 8 million passengers board cruise ships in ports in Palm Beach, Port Everglades, and Miami each year. The most popular cruise lines have week-long itineraries that stop at exotic ports of call in the Caribbean. Injuries are a common occurrence on these crowded passenger ships.
How do they happen?
The most common accidents involve slip or trip and falls. There are also diving accidents and health issues. Because they cook for thousands of passengers each day, chefs and servers sometimes make mistakes. Cases of food poisoning or sickness from food allergies are fairly common on cruise lines.
Should you call a cruise ship accident lawyer?
Most of the major cruise lines insert provisions into their passenger contracts or tickets that put limits on the time injured guests have to file suits against them. Most limit the time to only one year, while suits for other common accident injuries, such as those sustained in car accidents, can be filed up to four years after the accident. In other words, time is of the essence. If you want to find out about your legal options, you should contact a cruise ship injury attorney as soon as possible. For a free initial consultation with an experienced cruise ship accident lawyer, simply search for an advisor on the internet. A cruise ship injury attorney will not receive payment unless you recover damages.