Cruises are billed as hedonistic havens of fun activities and luxury accommodations. But a darker side to cruising emerges that the industry strives to conceal. There have been some high-profile cases in the news recently about passengers and staff members going overboard while the ships were at sea, but that's not the only concern.
When people think of cruise ship injuries, they often think of the big, catastrophic events: Someone falls overboard, the ship breaks down at sea or a massive storm catches the ship without any cover on the open water.
Some people save for years to take a luxury cruise to commemorate a special anniversary. Others cruise regularly with family members or groups of like-minded friends who also have the travel bug.
A 52-year-old woman fell overboard to her death while en route to one of the stops on her Princess Cruise Lines ship's itinerary on Nov. 13. The woman and her male companion had left Port Everglades for what was slated to be a seven-day southern Caribbean cruise several days earlier on Nov. 9. The ship was expected to return to its original Fort Lauderdale port this past Saturday.
A 29-year-old Fernandina Beach man, who was slated to get married on Dec. 1, fell to his death while aboard Paradise Cruise Line's Grand Classica on Oct. 26. The man had just begun his bachelor party cruise from the Port of Palm Beach to the Grand Bahama Island when the incident occurred.
Of the over 24 million people that take cruises annually, a recent Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) report shows that 19 of them die falling from their ships each year. Each time an incident like this occurs, researchers learn a lot more about what can be done to prevent these types of incidents from occurring.
Hurricane season is now officially half the year -- from the beginning of June through the end of November. Of course, hurricanes can and do occur outside of this period. Therefore, if you want to make your next vacation a cruise, it may be hard to schedule one at a time when running into a hurricane or severe storm isn't a possibility -- particularly if you have kids and need to sail during the summer.
There are many reasons that thousands of individuals take cruises to popular vacation hot spots each year. One of those reasons is that cruises are all-inclusive. Passengers don't have to worry about booking a hotel, making restaurant reservations or coming up with things to do. It's all done for them. What you often don't hear much about on the news though is just how dangerous cruise ships can be.
Perhaps the most dire cruise ship accident is when someone falls overboard. It is a nightmare scenario for the passenger, as people who fall overboard are not always found.
Passengers who are heading out to sea on a cruise ship expect a fun-filled adventure that lets them escape the daily humdrum of regular life. While many passengers will have this exact experience, it is also possible that some will suffer from an injury while they are on the ship.