Accidents on cruise ships can take many forms. However, for a group of Royal Caribbean passengers, negligent and reckless acts that occurred off the ship resulted in serious injuries and death.
Port stops are common during excursions aboard the Independence of the Seas. Almost a year ago, eight passengers decided to take a day trip to Dunn’s River Falls in Jamaica. With their ship docked, they boarded a bus chartered by the cruise line and spent the day enjoying the waterfalls and swimming with dolphins.
A Nightmarish Tragedy Following A Dream Day
While basking in the glow of crossing off something what would be on anyone’s “bucket list”, the driver of the bus taking them back to the ship began to drive recklessly, speeding while continuously changing lanes. The passengers’ pleas for him to slow down went unheeded as he informed them that his driving reflected how everyone typically drove in Jamaica.
As the bus entered the port city of Falmouth, it caused a collision involving a truck, panel van and car. According to the passengers, the driver slowly reacted to a vehicle entering the bus’ lane and did not get out of the way. The bus was broadsided, causing it to flip multiple times.
Three passengers on the bus were injured. One was killed.
A Pursuit Of Justice When Safety Came Second
Royal Caribbean described it as a terrible incident. This “incident” is now the subject of a lawsuit filed by the injured passengers against the famed cruise line. The suit claims that Royal Caribbean failed to provide a safe experience by placing them with an inept driver, even though he was not an employee.
For any cruise line that makes port calls at popular tourist sites, where does their responsibility end for the safety of their passengers?