Schumer wants rights for cruise-ship passengers
Last month's disastrous cruise in the Gulf of Mexico and other recent high-seas emergencies spurred Sen. Charles Schumer Sundayto call on the industry to adopt a bill of rights for passengers.
Schumer called cruise ships the "wild west of the travel industry."
"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."
In February, a disabled Carnival Triumph cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico left thousands of passengers without power and working toilets.
The plan also entails the State Department negotiating with countries to have cruise-ship companies serving Americans at least comply with the proposed bill of rights.
A Carnival spokesman directed requests for comment to the Cruise Lines International Association. The CLIA said it will review the plan.
"The safety and comfort of passengers are the cruise industry's top priorities and are fundamental to our business," the CLIA said in a statement.
According to Schumer's proposal, passengers would have the right to:
- Disembark a docked ship if basic provisions cannot adequately be provided onboard.
- A full refund for a trip that is abruptly canceled due to mechanical failures.
- Full-time, on board professional medical attention in the event of a major health crisis.
- Real-time information updates as to any adjustments in the travel plan of the ship in the event of a mechanical failure or emergency.
- A ship crew that is properly trained in emergency and evacuation procedures.
- Backup power in the case of a generator failure.