The 8 Most Dangerous Cruise Ship Excursions
Though excursions are one of the primary reasons people sign up for cruises, they also pose dangerous risks and are associated with terrible consequences that few passengers anticipate. From jet ski accidents to parasailing mishaps, violent assaults to tour bus crashes, cruise excursions can be dangerous, even life-threatening. Every year, people are killed because they trusted a cruise line to competently provide safe excursions run by trained staff. Sometimes, that trust is misplaced. Some of the most dangerous cruise ship excursions include the following:
1. Sight-Seeing – Violence
When you step off a cruise ship to embark on a sightseeing tour, you are entering a new, real, and often dangerous country, putting yourself in the same danger as anyone else in that port. A few years ago, a 15-year-old girl was killed by gang violence while on a shore excursion in the Virgin Islands. Multiple cruise lines had to cancel travel to certain Mexican ports because authorities discovered explosive devices on a tourist ferry. Passengers have been sexually assaulted, robbed, and assaulted while participating in sight-seeing and other excursions that cruise lines hyped as fun, exciting, and educational. Violence, both on the ship and on excursions, is a big problem for cruise lines.
2. Bus Tours
In 2017, twelve Royal Caribbean cruise ship passengers were killed after their bus flipped over on the way to visit some Mayan Ruins. One of the victims killed was a child. Eight Americans were among the dead. Riding in a bus on a cruise excursion puts you in all the same dangers as riding a bus does any other time, with the added danger that if the bus driver is also your tour guide, they are likely distracted.
3. Banana Boat Tours
Banana boat tours can injure and kill their passengers. A man lost his legs during a transfer from a parasailing boat to a banana boat. On a separate occasion, a child died and others were injured because a banana boat operator performed a dangerous maneuver. People have sustained broken bones, lost limbs, head injuries, and bodily harm because of these risky boats. Cruise ship passengers have no idea whether the person operating the banana boat knows what they’re doing or whether the boat is safe to ride on.
According to a 2014 report by the National Transportation Safety Board, many dangers are associated with parasailing. They include safety equipment failures and inadequate safety precautions by vessel operators, among others. The NTSB’s report also acknowledges that few regulations exist in the parasailing industry. Falling, being dragged, or other hazards could result in countless injuries to cruise ship passengers who go parasailing.
5. Walking and Touring Ashore – Slip and Fall
When you embark or disembark the ship, tour your port destination on foot, or walk in and out of the many shops and places to see, you are at risk of slipping and falling if a property owner fails to keep a clean and safe premises. Traumatic brain injuries, lacerations, knee and hip injuries, and many other injuries might occur as a result of a fall on a cruise excursion.
6. Tender Boats
Tender boats are smaller boats that transfer passengers from a large ship to the shore if the cruise ship cannot dock in the port for whatever reason. These small vessels carry enormous risks. The gangway ramps to get on and off can be hazardous, resulting in tripping, slipping, and falling. Poorly maintained ramps may even break. Strong winds and bad weather can make tender boats very dangerous due to their small size.
7. Jet Skiing
Cruise ship passengers can be seriously injured or die while jet skiing. When waves become too strong, participants may lose control and be flung from the jet ski, becoming seriously injured and possibly drowning as a result. Sometimes, jet ski activities are managed by private vendors, and cruise lines then abandon all responsibility, even though they do have a responsibility to warn.
8. Snorkeling and Scuba Diving
From jellyfish stings to drowning, snorkeling and scuba diving are highly risky activities. Safety equipment sometimes fails. The boat that takes you offshore might be in poor condition. The instructor might be untrained. Sustaining injuries is a real possibility.
Cruise excursions vary from place to place, and therefore, the dangers also vary. Traveling to the Galapagos carries different risks than does a whale-watching tour of Alaska or a cruise of the Mediterranean. Regardless, cruise lines are legally responsible for making sure their passengers are safe on and off the ship.
When people book a cruise, potential dangers aren’t supposed to be at the forefront of their minds. Cruise lines have a legal responsibility to take precautions to protect the safety of all of their passengers, even on excursions. If you book an excursion through your cruise line, as most people do, you can reasonably expect for the cruise line to partner with competent third-party companies, provide adequate security and transportation, and take other reasonable precautions to keep you safe.
Dangers can arise from a cruise line’s failure to adequately warn, improperly maintain, or decision not to properly train. Excursions can irreparably harm cruise travelers. When this happens and you or a loved one are seriously injured as a result, you can hold the cruise line accountable.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured during a cruise ship excursion, contact Louis A. Vucci, P.A. right away. Cruise ship law is unique because accidents tend to happen in international waters or foreign shores, so you need a law firm that focuses their entire practice on cruise ship law. Cruise lines have aggressive corporate lawyers who will do everything in their power to avoid taking responsibility for your accident, particularly when you are injured during an excursion and not on the cruise ship itself. Nevertheless, Louis A. Vucci, P.A. will investigate your accident and use our years of experience and skill to advocate for your rights. With our help, you may be able to recover financial compensation for your medical bills, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. To learn more about how we can help you after an injury on a cruise ship excursion, contact our cruise ship excursion team today at (786) 375-0344 to schedule a free consultation.