The AP is reporting that New York Democratic Senator Charles Schumer is calling on the cruise ship industry to adopt a "bill of rights" to guarantee passengers certain protections while cruising.
Senator Schumer says that he will be asking the cruise lines to voluntarily adopt certain guidelines which include guarantees that cruise ships have what the AP describes as "sanitary conditions, back-up power, medical staff and other standard procedures."
Passengers would be entitled to a full refund if a trip is abruptly canceled due to mechanical problems.
"Wild West of Travel Industry"
A newspaper quotes Senator Schumer stating: "Cruise ships, in large part operating outside the bounds of United States enforcement, have become the wild west of the travel industry, and it’s time to rein them in before anyone else gets hurt. 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."
This news comes just a day after another Democratic Senator, Jay Rockefeller, wrote a letter to Carnival CEO Micky Arison complaining about Carnival Corporation’s shoddy safety record and chastising the cruise tycoon for not paying taxes and not reimbursing the U.S. government for Coast Guard services.
A cruise ship bill of rights is long overdue. As matters now stand, the cruise lines have drafted one-sided cruise tickets which form the legal contract between the cruise line and passenger and protect the cruise industry from virtually every type of situation.
Expect major push back by the cruise industry which wants to keep everything just the way it is.
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