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Swimming with dolphins. Paragliding. Snorkeling. Ziplining.

When you see these types of offerings associated with your cruise, they probably seem exciting and fun. Which they can be.

If you’re taking a cruise soon that features shore excursions, though – and most of them do – you need to understand the possible dangers that come with these types of activities as well so that you can balance that excitement with safety.

In this post, we’re going to tell you what kind of accidents tend to occur on shore excursions and what you can do to fight back if you are injured due to another’s negligence.

Recent Shore Excursion Accidents

When an Israeli couple embarked on a Royal Caribbean International cruise to celebrate their honeymoon, they never dreamed that tragedy could strike. The left Fort Lauderdale in July to make stops in the Bahamas, Mexico, and Honduras, while cruising on the Allure of the Seas.

During the cruise they took a zip line shore excursion in Honduras. While ziplining, they collided with each other, resulting in serious injuries for the wife and ultimately killing the husband.

In another story, from December 2017, 12 passengers of Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of the Seas and the Celebrity Equinox were killed in a tour-bus accident in Mexico.

The bus flipped over on a highway while the travelers headed to an excursion in the Mayan ruins. Eight Americans, one Canadian, two Swedes and a Mexican tour guide were killed in the accident, and at least 18 people were injured and taken to local hospitals for treatment.

Shore Excursion Safety

Tragedies like the ones above are too common. Some have resulted in successful wrongful death or personal injury lawsuits, when either the cruise line or excursion companies have been found to be negligent.

Examples of shore excursions that could lead to injuries include the following.

  • Boating
  • Rafting
  • Kayaking
  • Bus, taxi, and transport vehicles
  • Climbing
  • Hiking
  • Horseback riding
  • Parasailing
  • Rock climbing
  • Sailing
  • Shuttle or Tender boat
  • Diving and snorkeling
  • Train rides
  • Zip lining

Many shore excursions occur with no accidents. However, if you decide to take any of these excursions, be extra alert and careful. Remember that if you have no prior experience in these activities, you could be at additional risk if the tour operators are not following regulations.

Watch for unmaintained equipment or vehicle problems. Don’t embark on an excursion if the driver seems inexperienced or fatigued, since an accident could be more likely to occur.

The injuries you sustain could be minor, or they could require long-term therapy or surgery. Seek medical attention if you experience any of these common injuries during a shore excursion:

  • Broken limbs
  • Head injuries
  • Injuries to internal organs
  • Life-altering injuries
  • Neck and spine injuries
  • Wrongful death

If you experience any of these injuries due to negligence of the cruise line or excursion company, you may be able to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.

Cruise Line Responsibilities

As a guest on a cruise line, you can expect the cruise line to provide a reasonably safe experience. If the cruise line fails to deliver on their duty to provide a reasonably safe experience to you, you may be able to file a claim against them.

The cruise line is responsible to warn you of any known dangers. They are also responsible to fix any known problems within a reasonable time period or switch excursion companies if hazards are known. However, there are so many excursion companies that it is nearly impossible for cruise lines to make adequate background checks into every single service provider. This lack of vetting can result in serious accidents or even death. Always be aware of this before you book,  and if possible do your own research on the vendors.

Also know that a cruise line will typically resist taking responsibility, but this doesn’t mean you’ll be stuck with the bill. An experienced Florida shore excursion accident attorney can help you fight for the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

Florida SHore Excursion Accident Lawyer

It starts with seeking medical attention immediately – no matter how minor your injury may seem. Some injuries do not fully manifest immediately after the accident. Get a copy of your medical report, as it may be the key piece of evidence in a successful lawsuit.

Even if you signed a waiver of responsibility, this can be overcome. Your attorney will be able to name all responsible individuals or entities in a personal liability lawsuit so you get the maximum amount of compensation.


About the Author:

Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all kinds of personal injury cases, with a particular focus on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2017 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – and was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite” and as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015, 2016, and 2017.