CLIA said its members have adopted a Cruise Passenger Bill of Rights with many of the provisions outlined in a Congressional proposal for the same thing.
The rights include:
- The right to disembark a docked ship if essential provisions such as food, water, restroom facilities and access to medical care cannot adequately be provided onboard, subject only to the Master's concern for passenger safety and security and customs and immigration requirements of the port.
- The right to a full refund for a trip that is canceled due to mechanical failures, or a partial refund for voyages that are terminated early due to those failures.
- The right to have available on board ships operating beyond rivers or coastal waters full-time, professional emergency medical attention, as needed until shore side medical care becomes available.
- The right to timely information updates as to any adjustments in the itinerary of the ship in the event of a mechanical failure or emergency, as well as timely updates of the status of efforts to address mechanical failures.
- The right to a ship crew that is properly trained in emergency and evacuation procedures.
- The right to an emergency power source in the case of a main generator failure.
- The right to transportation to the ship's scheduled port of disembarkation or the passenger's home city in the event a cruise is terminated early due to mechanical failures.
- The right to lodging if disembarkation and an overnight stay in an unscheduled port are required when a cruise is terminated early due to mechanical failures.
- The right to have included on each cruise line's website a toll-free phone line that can be used for questions or information concerning any aspect of shipboard operations.
- The right to have this Cruise Line Passenger Bill of Rights published on each line's website.
CLIA said the provisions would take effect immediately for U.S. passengers buying tickets in North America on CLIA's North American member lines, regardless of itinerary.
It will also recommend to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) that they be given "formal global recognition and applicability" under the IMO's authority over the maritime industry.
In March, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) proposed a bill of rights be adopted by CLIA and the IMO as a way to "bring the cruise ship industry out of the wild west."
"It's time to rein them in before anyone else gets hurt," Schumer said at the time.
Follow Tom Stieghorst on Twitter @tstravelweekly.