Cruise Ship Accidents

The cruise ship industry makes almost $40 billion in profits each year, half of which is attributed to United States tourists. Annually, over 14 million vacationers take to the high seas in the U.S. Many of the country’s high traffic ports and harbors are located in the state of Florida. Florida services all major cruise lines from ports located in Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Port Canaveral, and Tampa. Cruise ships can currently carry up to 6,500 passengers at one time, and while the cruise lines are held to very high standards under maritime law, accidents do happen often during the various voyages. The accidents may cause anything from minor injuries or inconvenience to lasting or permanent injuries and even death.

If you were injured on a cruise ship, you need to hold the cruise line responsible. Kaiser Romanello, headquartered in sunny Parkland, Florida close to two of Florida’s busiest cruise ports, assists clients with pursuing compensation for injuries caused by cruise ship accidents. With almost 25 years of combined experience, our attorneys can review your case, evaluate your claims, and counsel you on your legal options. To schedule a free consultation, contact Kaiser Romanello now to discuss your cruise ship injuries.


Slip and falls and trip and falls are two of the most common accidents onboard a cruise ship. Slip and falls occur when a passenger slips on a wet substance. The substance can be sea spray, water from the swimming pool, or a spilled food item. Trip and falls occur when a dangerous defect or unsafe condition causes the passenger to trip over something. This can occur when debris is left on the deck, the flooring is uneven, the railing is not properly secured, the gangway is not properly maintained or secured, or there is inadequate signage or poor lighting for steps, stairs, and drops in elevation.


Cruise ships are notorious for providing an all-in-one experience for passengers. This includes providing breakfast, lunch, and dinner for patrons. Many cruise ships make upwards of 20,000 meals each day. The high volume of meals prepared in the cruise ship’s large kitchen leads to a higher rate of poor supervision of food prep, spoiled food, and more. Because cooks may feel rushed to serve food by a certain time, corners may be cut to speed up the cooking process. This may lead to undercooked food being served to guests, resulting in high instances of Norovirus, a food-borne illness, as well as e coli and salmonella food poisoning. When food becomes infiltrated with dangerous bacteria and viruses, the entire cruise ship falls ill. The cruise line is responsible for providing guests with safe-to-eat food and can be liable for food poisoning.


Unfortunately, each year, several instances of drowning occur aboard cruise ships. Many cruise lines feature multiple pools with exciting highlights such as water slides. However, lifeguard supervision of the pools is poor or non-existent, resulting in a high incidence of pool-related drowning deaths, particularly for young children. In addition, unsafe railing along the deck of the cruise ship has caused multiple passengers to fall to their deaths in the ocean below. Given the sheer size of the cruise ship, the speed at which it’s traveling, and slow emergency response time, most passengers who fall overboard cannot be saved before drowning.


Cruise ships are some of the largest ships traveling the sea. Because of their size, it takes a considerable amount of force, energy, and time to reach maximum cruising speed. Likewise, coming to a full stop takes a similarly long amount of time. While cruise ships are equipped with special tools to detect nearby boats, including radar and radios, they are ill-prepared to come to a quick stop should the need arise. Consequently, cruise ship collisions with other boats are disastrous, catching passengers unaware and causing catastrophic injuries, including death. In addition, many cruise ships have recently run aground in shallow waters. Many of these incidents have resulted in the boat capsizing and countless passengers drowning before emergency teams can be deployed.


Unfortunately, fires are a common occurrence on cruise ships. The ships are powered by electricity, created by special generators. Often times, fires occur in the engine room, resulting in smoke inhalation, burns, and even death. In addition, electrical fires routinely happen throughout the boat, especially during inclement weather that introduces water to exposed wiring.

When the ship’s engine malfunctions, the generators may cease to provide electricity to the cruise ship. This may leave passengers stranded for days without access to properly cooked food, running water, and lighting.


Congress passed the Cruise Ship Safety and Security Act in 2010 to regulate criminal assaults and rapes routinely occurring aboard cruise ships. When an assault or rape has been perpetrated by a cruise liner employee, the cruise line can be held liable if it was negligent in the hiring of the employee, failed to provide proper safety and security or knew or should have known of the danger posed by the employee.


Following a devastating injury on a cruise ship, you may feel lost and vulnerable. Fighting a large cruise line for compensation may seem daunting and intimidating.  Kaiser Romanello has almost 25 years of combined experience representing victims such as yourself in highly contested personal injury cases throughout the state of Florida. To speak with an experienced cruise ship accident attorney for free, contact Kaiser Romanello now.