Cruise Ship Swimming Pools and the Possibility of Harm

Are you contemplating embarking on a cruise ship vacation? Be aware that accidents on cruise ships seem to happen with regularity. Often times the accident may be life threatening or even fatal. A common type of accident on cruise ships is drowning. Even though this is a common tragedy, cruise ships fail to hire lifeguards to monitor cruise ship swimming areas. As a matter of fact, the only cruise line that hires lifeguards is the Disney Cruise line.       

Just recently, a 4-year-old child almost drowned in a cruise ship wave pool. He was a passenger of the Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas. The cruise ship had just departed from Port Everglades, when unbeknownst to his mother, the boy entered the wave pool. The young child was then “swept away.” It was reported that he was below water for over six minutes. Another passenger spotted the drowning child. This accident prompted the ship to return to Port Everglades. The young child, in critical condition, was rushed to a nearby hospital. This accident prompted additional demands for lifeguards on all cruise ships. This demand is echoed by Andrew Coggins, a cruise industry expert. Mr. Coggins maintains that all cruise lines should have lifeguards and all cruise lines should require children wear flotation vests when near the pools.

If you or your loved one were injured on a cruise ship, it is imperative that you hire an experienced attorney. The Miami maritime lawyers at Gerson & Schwartz, PA have the experience and skill need to aggressively take on your case. Contact our attorneys today at 305-371-6000 or via email at to schedule a FREE consultation.    

Important Clauses on your Cruise Ship Ticket

Upfront, please note that there is a time limitation to file your lawsuit. This limitation is typically printed on your cruise ship ticket that you purchased. This cruise ship limitation period is normally one year or less. Additionally, cruise lines tend to require accident victims to report, or give notice of, the incident. This, too, will be printed on your cruise ship ticket. If you fail to adhered to these rules, you will most likely be barred from a later filing of your lawsuit. As you see, it is vital that you carefully read the terms on your ticket.

Furthermore, your cruise ship ticket will also include a “forum selection” clause. This is important. This clause indicates the jurisdiction where a lawsuit may be filed. A common designation is Miami, Florida. It is important that you file your lawsuit in the designated jurisdiction. If you fail to do so, your case will be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Subject matter jurisdiction is the court’s power or legal ability to hear a case, and without it, the case will inevitably be dismissed.


If you are injured on a cruise ship and seek to file a lawsuit, you will be required to prove negligence on behalf of the cruise line. Allow me to use the above pool incident as I explain the elements of negligence. First, to establish negligence, the injured person, (“Plaintiff”) must show that the party at fault (“Defendant”) owed him or her a specific duty of care. For protection around pools, cruises must adopt reasonable measures to protect passengers from foreseeable dangers. Second, Plaintiff must show that Defendant breached said duty of care. This may be established by a showing that a cruise line did not provide sufficient protection around a ship’s swimming areas. Third, Plaintiff must show that this breach was the actual and proximate (foreseeable) cause of Plaintiff’s injuries. Finally, Plaintiff must be able to show his or her injury or loss.      

Take Action

If you or your loved one is injured from an accident on a cruise ship, it is imperative that you hire an attorney. The Miami maritime lawyers at Gerson & Schwartz, PA have the experience and knowledge needed to protect you. Our firm specializes representing crime victims at sea. At Gerson & Schwartz, PA all of our lawyers licensed to practice law in all Florida state and federal courts. We provide aggressive quality legal representation. For more information and a FREE consultation call us toll free at 1-877-475-2905 or contact us online.

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