It is Safer to Stay Onboard: The Dangers of Shore Excursions

Oct 26

Going on a cruise is perhaps one of the more exciting things on anyone’s bucket list that doesn’t entail taking out a mortgage on your home, although a moderately luxurious cruise isn’t dirt cheap either. Aside from the lure of the sea and the heady feeling of being cut off from everyday cares, cruises are often made more attractive by the prospect of going onshore to do a little sight-seeing and shopping as well as to sample local pastimes such as parasailing or going on a catamaran ride. You also have the option to go on an organized shore excursion for an additional fee, something that cruise ship liners aggressively market to their passengers because they earn a substantial amount from these bookings.

However, it may be better to simply enjoy the amenities onboard than to venture on a shore excursion mainly because too many things can happen. As mentioned on the website of the Vucci Law Group, P.A., even getting off and on a tender (small boat to carry passengers from ship to shore and back) can be dangerous. There have been a number of shore excursion accidents that are currently being litigated right now for causing serious and often irreparable harm to excursionists. Some examples include the diving accident in Cabo San Lucas that left the victim quadriplegic or the shooting death in Coki Beach in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands.

But if a shore excursion is something you don’t really want to pass up, you should check if the excursion operator has proven reliability and insured and if the cruise liner urging you to book will be liable for any resulting injuries or deaths. These details are contained in the cruise ticket.

Even if the cruise liner or excursion operator disclaims liability, there are legal theories that may still apply such as failure to warn, negligent selection of operator, or third party beneficiary. Under any or all of these theories a passenger or family members can sue for compensation. Consult with a cruise ship accident lawyer to understand what these theories mean and what applies to your situation.