U.S. Lawmaker Calls for Cruise Ship Passenger ‘Bill of Rights’

Mike Schuler
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March 18, 2013

GULF OF MEXICO – The Carnival Triumph seen in the Gulf of Mexico, Feb. 11, 2013. The Carnival Triumph lost propulsion power after an engine room fire on Feb. 10, 2013. U.S. Coast Guard photo

Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) on Sunday called on the cruise ship industry to voluntarily adopt a new “Bill of Rights” to protect cruise ship passengers following a recent spate of high profile incidents.

The proposed bill of rights would provide passengers with the right to backup power, sanitation, timely information updates, and emergency and medical services. It would also give passengers the right to a refund in the event that a cruise is cut short.

“Cruise ships, in large part operating outside the bounds of United States enforcement, have become the wild west of the travel industry, and it’s time to rein them in before anyone else gets hurt,” Schumer said. “This bill of rights, based on work we’ve done with the airline industry, will ensure that passengers aren’t forced to live in third world conditions or put their lives at risk when they go on vacation.”

Schumer’s request is of course in reference to the recent Carnival Triumph incident, where passengers were left for days without power and basic hotel functions– including flushing toilets– following an engine room fire, and the Carnival Dream incident, which was held last week in St. Maarten after its backup generator failed, among other casualties.

No passengers were injured in either incident.

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