Maritime Transportation Ranking Member Garamendi: We Need a Cruise Ship Passenger Bill of Rights
As Illness Infested Vessel Returns to Port,
Garamendi Calls for Stronger Consumer Protections
WASHINGTON, DC – After a multi-day viral outbreak that infected close to 700 people with a painful stomach illness, the cruise ship “Explorer of the Seas” reached port in New Jersey. Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, CA), who serves as the Ranking Member of the House Transportation Committee’s Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee, released the following statement:
“At times, the cruise industry seems like the Wild West on the high seas. Most trips are fine, but when things go wrong, passengers are often left confused, bewildered, and at the mercy of cruise lines for any compensation or reimbursement for the untimely and premature termination of their voyage. And that’s just not right. Cruise ship passengers have a right to know in advance whether they are booking passage on the ‘Love Boat’ or on a voyage to despair.
“As a former Insurance Commissioner, I know that this industry requires consumer protections that are tough and fair. As Ranking Member, I will advocate for this latest incident to be examined by the Subcommittee.
"I have proposed a Cruise Ship Passenger Bill of Rights, including a provision that requires disclosure of any incidences of outbreaks of illness. Everyone buying a ticket for a cruise has the right to know what has happened on that ship and what the obligations of the operator are should things go wrong."
The Cruise Ship Passenger Bill of Rights, H.R. 3475, is linked here.