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Articles Posted in Shore excursion

cruise-excursion-dunns-river-falls-jamacia-300x225This case concerns a passenger who participated in a seven-day cruise aboard the Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas cruise ship.  The passenger booked a shore excursion through Royal Caribbean to Dunn’s River Falls while the ship called on Jamaica.  The local guide was employed by the excursion company told the passengers to hold hands while ascending the falls. Unfortunately, the passenger slipped and fell when a girl whose hand he was holding slipped.  The fall resulted in the passenger fracturing his leg and sustaining other injuries.

The passenger filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of Florida alleging that he was instructed by the tour guides at Dunn’s River Falls to hold hands with the other hikers and that he fell because the girl whose hand he was holding slipped. He claimed that Royal Caribbean was liable for the accident because  the cruise line either knew about or should have reasonably foreseen the danger associated with having passengers hold hands as they climbed Dunn’s River Falls and should have warned him about this danger.

In response to the passenger’s claim, Royal Caribbean filed a motion requesting that the Court dismiss the lawsuit arguing that: (1) the dangers associated with Dunn’s River Falls are open and obvious; (2)  there is no evidence that the practice of handholding caused fall; and (3) even if handholding caused the fall, there is no evidence that the cruise line knew or should have known that handholding was a dangerous practice. The passenger countered Royal Caribbean’s motion by pointing to evidence that the cause of his fall was a result of the handholding policy and submitted affidavits showing the cruise line’s employees knew the handholding policy posed a danger to its passengers.

slide3.jpgA cruise ship passenger traveling onboard the Carnival Splendor died last Wednesday due to a Jet Ski accident at Cockleshell Bay in Sports, the 40-year-old man from Texas rented a Jet Ski and while jet skiing had some difficulty falling from the personal watercraft into the water. Friends assisted him to shore and Emergency Medical Services transferred him to Joseph N. France General Hospital where he was later pronounced dead. We extend our deepest sympathies to his loved ones. Local agencies are investigating this incident.

Cruise lines often offer various watersports as shore excursions. While many cruise ship passengers believe that excursions offered by the cruise lines on their websites are operated by the cruise lines themselves that is rarely the case. Cruise lines reject all responsibility for the negligence of independent contractors despite the control asserted over these companies and the large profits earned by the cruise lines from shore excursions.

We have successfully represented cruise ship passengers for injuries sustained while participating in shore excursions asserting various theories of liability against the cruise lines including negligence for failure to warn of dangerous or defective conditions and negligent selection and/or retention of shore excursion operators. For more information, please visit our Cruise Ship Passenger Shore Excursion Injury & Accident Page on our Website or Contact Us.

Vanuatu.jpg12 Australian passengers of the P&O cruise ship Pacific Dawn remain in critical condition after sustaining serious injuries when the tour bus they were riding in collided head on with a bus carrying locals in Port Vila, Vanuatu. The 12 Australian tourists were traveling back to the ship after a day trip on the island. Due to their severe injuries, 10 of the 12 Australian passengers had to be evacuated via air ambulance to hospitals in Noumea and Brisbane. Unfortunately, three passengers of the local bus died from their injuries. Paramedic Michael Benjamin, who attended the scene, described the crash as “the worst he had seen in Vanuatu.”

According to reports, a number of passengers are now coming forward demanding that the P&O cruise line take responsibility for the accident. While cruise lines often assure their customers of the safety of the shore excursions they offer, most passengers are not aware of provisions in their ticket contracts which attempt to insulate cruise lines from any liability for accidents occurring as a result of the negligence of shore side excursion providers.

Despite actively advertising shore side excursions on their websites and earning substantial revenues from the sale of shore excursions, cruise lines are adamant that they are not responsible for the negligence of independent contractors. In spite of this, there are ways to hold cruise lines liable for their negligence; especially in cases where the cruise line is aware of dangers because of prior complaints regarding the safety of a particular excursion and is thus in a position to warn its passengers of the dangers.