When injured Royal Caribbean crew members contact us, there are a few things that they usually say:
"The ship doctor would not take me seriously and just gave me Ibuprofen;"
"My supervisor told me that if I didn't want to work I would be sent home;"
"The company would not send me to a doctor in the Miami but sent me to Nassau instead;"
"The ship doctor would not authorize a MRI;"
"The company sent me home and I have no money;"
"The company sent me home and no medical treatment is arranged;"
"I called my medical case manager and she didn't call me back;" and
"I emailed my medical case manager and she didn't email me back."
One of the problems which Royal Caribbean crew members face is that they are required to work excessive hours (12 hours or more) seven days a week all month long. Repetitive injuries to their back, neck and wrists are common. Complicating matters is that there is constant pressure to keep working. Stateroom attendants have to clean the 20 or so cabins assigned to them each and every day; a negative comment from a guest may be the kiss of death and result in a 10 year cabin attendant finding herself summarily dismissed from the cruise ship.
The next problem is that there is very little actual diagnosis of crew members injuries taking place on cruise ships. Rather the focus is on giving pain relievers to the injured crew which just masks the problem and can result in the injury becoming worse. Many crew members tell us that ship infirmaries have baskets of Ibuprofen pills out at the nurse's station, not unlike a bowl of candy to eat.
And when the crew member can no longer work and gets sent home? In most cases, the cruise line has not scheduled any medical treatment. Nor has the company provided a check for the crew member's sick wages or living expenses.
The crew medical personnel in the company's offices in Miami are understaffed. A single medical case manager may be required to handle over 150 crew member cases. If you are a sick or injured Royal Caribbean crew member and feel that the company isn't paying attention to you, that's because it isn't.
Under the U.S. maritime law, cruise lines are required to provide you with prompt and adequate medical care on the cruise ship. Cruise lines like Royal Caribbean also have to provide full and complete "maintenance and cure" when a crew member is home on medical leave.
Over the last decade we have represented RCCL crew members from around the world. We are currently representing cleaners, waiters, assistant waiters, cooks, and cabin attendants from Jamaica, India, Guyana, Nicaragua, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, Canada, Mexico, Trinidad, St. Vincent, Peru and other countries.
If you were injured on a cruise ship operated by Royal Caribbean (or sister company Celebrity Cruises) due to an accident, over-work or bad medical care, and are frustrated by the way the cruise line is treating you - don't suffer alone. We will be pleased to help you.
We will explain your rights and answer any questions you have.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our office at 305 995 5300.
Photo Credit - Jim Walker with clients:
Top: RCCL cabin attendant from St. Vincent in Miami for medical treatment
Bottom: RCCL cook injured in galley / photo taken in front of Allure of the Seas in Jamaica