Cruise lines adopt passenger bill of rights

The bill of rights promises, among other things,

The bill of rights promises, among other things, refunds for trips that are canceled or shortened due to mechanical failure, and a backup power source on every ship to keep systems running in the event of a main generator failure. Above, Norwegian Cruise Line's new cruise ship, the Norwegian Breakaway. (April 29, 2013) (Credit: AP)

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The cruise industry said yesterday it's adopting a passenger bill of rights that guarantees the "safety, comfort and care" of guests.

The bill of rights promises, among other things, refunds for trips that are canceled or shortened due to mechanical failure, and a backup power source on every ship to keep systems running in the event of a main generator failure.

The announcement by the Cruise Lines International Association, which represents 25 major companies including Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Holland America and Cunard, comes in the aftermath of the Carnival Triumph debacle. The ship drifted for days earlier this year without power as passengers endured filthy conditions.

CLIA said its board of directors adopted the bill of rights and that it would be effective immediately for U.S. passengers who purchase their cruise in North America on CLIA's North American member cruise lines.

The measure "codifies many long-standing practices of CLIA members and goes beyond those to further inform cruise guests of the industry's commitment to their comfort and care," Christine Duffy, president and CEO of CLIA, said in a statement.

The bill gives passengers the right to disembark a docked ship if "essential provisions such as food, water, restroom facilities and access to medical care cannot adequately be provided onboard," subject to safety, security and local customs and immigration laws. -- AP

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