Cruise Ship mechanical failure problems and missed ports
Travel Tips by Burleson Consulting
Note: This web page is an internet
literature review and opinion editorial written by a non-lawyer and it should not be construed as legal
advice. Consult a qualified attorney for any legal questions, not my web
There are many complains on the web about cruise ships that miss ports due to
wholly preventable mechanical problems. When you skip a port because of a
foreseeable ship problem, the cruise ship personnel may attempt to force a
settlement offer on you by placing money in your shipboard account Be
warned, accepting this payment could ruining your chances for negotiating a
better payout at the guest relations desk.
Negotiating compensation for missed ports
If you are on a cruise where you miss a port because of a mechanical failure,
you may not want to accept the cruise lines payout offer (which could be as
small as a free rum punch!).
Some ships are plagued with ongoing mechanical problems and some cruisers
report that the ships sometimes have a bad engine when they are boarded by the
When you miss a port, everyone's damages are different, and your compensation
might be far higher than other passengers, depending on your personal
circumstances. According to publications on the web, if you miss a port because of preventable mechanical failures or other
problems, the cruise lines will usually offer a written gratuity offer, and they vary from a
free run punch to a full free cruise, depending on the degree of inconvenience.
For example, the Celebrity Infinity ship
appears to have had
ongoing mechanical problems due to their “mermaid pod propulsion”
system, for which they filed a $300m lawsuit against the ship maker. On my
cruise, one engine had a failure and we were forced to skip a port, but we did get
hundreds of dollars in ship credit as a “Goodwill gesture” for our trouble.
Be firm, and document your damages
Some people suggest that complaining directly to your customer relations desk
can often result in better compensation for your loss when you miss a cruise
The "squeaky wheel gets the grease", and you need to complain loudly
and firmly to get a just and fair compensation for ruining a vacation of a
lifetime. The cruise ship representatives have the authority to offer you
additional cash, free airfare, future cruises at a greatly reduced rate.
You should be polite and professional, but quite insistent, refusing to leave
until you receive just compensation. The cruise ship personnel are trained
to make it difficult, and being timid will get you nowhere.
When justify your request for additional compensation,
it pays to be very specific about
your losses and the amount that it would take to make things right. For
example, some passengers might be entitled to more compensation than other
passengers, depending on special circumstances:
- You have friends or family at the port.
- You will never have another chance to visit the port again. (elderly,
sick, or poor)
- The missed port has ruined a special occasion (honeymoon, anniversary,
Be prepared to "camp-out" at the desk, and don't accept promises that you
will be able to speak to someone later. The guest relations personnel
often have the ability to compensate you directly, despite their claims
Compensation and contracts
While you would have recourse within US law, you are on the high-seas and the
cruise ship lines protect themselves very carefully in the cruise contracts.
Please note that maritime law (dating from the 19th century) offers little
protection, and you cruise contract clearly notes that your cruise has the right
to miss any or all ports, and drop you off anywhere they like.
the effort to bring cruise lines which server US passengers under the domain is
USA laws so that cruise passengers can enjoy the same freedoms and protections
at-sea that we have on-land.
NOTE: The opinions on this page are the sole opinion of Donald
and does not reflect the opinions of Burleson Enterprises Inc. or any
of its subsidiary companies.
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