Note: This web page is an internet literature
review and opinion editorial written by a non-lawyer and it should not
be construed as legal advice. Consult a qualified attorney for any
legal questions, not my web page.
There are many complains on the web
about cruise ships that miss ports due to wholly preventable mechanical
problems. When you skip a port because of a foreseeable ship
problem, the cruise ship personnel may attempt to force a settlement
offer on you by placing money in your shipboard account Be warned,
accepting this payment could ruining your chances for negotiating a
better payout at the guest relations desk.
Negotiating compensation for missed
If you are on a cruise where you miss a
port because of a mechanical failure, you may not want to accept the
cruise lines payout offer (which could be as small as a free rum
Some ships are plagued with ongoing
mechanical problems and some cruisers report that the ships sometimes
have a bad engine when they are boarded by the passengers.
When you miss a port, everyone's
damages are different, and your compensation might be far higher than
other passengers, depending on your personal circumstances.
According to publications on the web, if you miss a port because of
preventable mechanical failures or other problems, the cruise lines will
usually offer a written gratuity offer, and they vary from a free run
punch to a full free cruise, depending on the degree of inconvenience.
For example, the Celebrity Infinity
ship appears to have had
ongoing mechanical problems due to their “mermaid pod propulsion”
system, for which they filed a $300m lawsuit against the ship maker.
On my cruise, one engine had a failure and we were forced to skip a
port, but we did get hundreds of dollars in ship credit as a “Goodwill
gesture” for our trouble.
Be firm, and document your damages
Some people suggest that complaining
directly to your customer relations desk can often result in better
compensation for your loss when you miss a cruise stop.
The "squeaky wheel gets the grease",
and you need to complain loudly and firmly to get a just and fair
compensation for ruining a vacation of a lifetime. The cruise ship
representatives have the authority to offer you additional cash, free
airfare, future cruises at a greatly reduced rate.
You should be polite and professional,
but quite insistent, refusing to leave until you receive just
compensation. The cruise ship personnel are trained to make it
difficult, and being timid will get you nowhere.
When justify your request for
additional compensation, it pays to be very specific about your losses
and the amount that it would take to make things right. For
example, some passengers might be entitled to more compensation than
other passengers, depending on special circumstances:
- You have friends or family at the
- You will never have another chance
to visit the port again. (elderly, sick, or poor)
- The missed port has ruined a
special occasion (honeymoon, anniversary, birthday).
Be prepared to "camp-out" at the desk,
and don't accept promises that you will be able to speak to someone
later. The guest relations personnel often have the ability to
compensate you directly, despite their claims otherwise.
Compensation and contracts
While you would have recourse within US
law, you are on the high-seas and the cruise ship lines protect
themselves very carefully in the cruise contracts.
Please note that maritime law (dating
from the 19th century) offers little protection, and you cruise contract
clearly notes that your cruise has the right to miss any or all ports,
and drop you off anywhere they like.
Please support the effort to bring
cruise lines which server US passengers under the domain is USA laws so
that cruise passengers can enjoy the same freedoms and protections
at-sea that we have on-land.
NOTE: The opinions on this page are the sole
opinion of Donald K. Burleson and does not reflect the opinions of
Burleson Enterprises Inc. or any of its subsidiary companies.
See other related notes here: