The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), representative for 25 major cruise lines, has announced that the industry is to adopt a passenger bill of rights to give guests on-board a set of guarantees to ensure the safety, comfort and care of everyone on-board.
This comes after a set of demands from US Senator Charles Schumer, who had stated that the cruise industry needed to offer a guarantee for passengers to protect minimum standards, for example ensuring during a power failure that sanitary conditions, medical care and back-up power were all available, along with refunds.
The new bill of rights guarantees these through making sure a back-up power source is kept on every ship for use in the event of a power failure, along with other promises such as a full refund for any trip cancelled due to mechanical failure, and partial refunds for cruises cut short for the same reason.
Of the new bill of rights, Schumer said it was “a step in the right direction towards increased accountability for the cruise industry and ensuring the safety and well-being of its passengers”. However he tempted this by saying there were still “many remaining questions, both on the content and how the bill of rights will be enforced.”
A number of these steps are already the policy of the major cruise lines, but Christine Duffy, the president of CLIA, said while “some of our members are already doing these things, a big part of the bill of rights is being consistent across the cruise industry, making these things transparent so that they do become part of the contractual agreement between the passenger and the cruise lines.”
By Ian Lewis