This category covers all crew issues including pay, pay deductions, work hours, discrimination, medical care, injury and death. Yes, you need an attorney. If you are a crewmember you can get free legal services. Contact the Center for Seafarers’ Rights offered by the Seamen's Church Institute (SCI). SCI operates the world’s only full-time, free legal aid program for merchant mariners. seamenschurch.org
Consumer Complaints - Go directly to the cruise line first
Check the cruise lines' track record for customer service before you book a cruise by using each cruise line complaint page
. Compare apples to apples and learn which cruise lines have the best and worst customer service.
1. File a complaint while you are still aboard the ship
- If possible, file the complaint in writing, with two copies, have the person you filed the complaint with sign and date your copy of the complaint.
2. Follow-up with a phone call
- when you arrive home, fax your copy of the complaint to the home office.
3. If satisfactory resolution is not attained through steps 1 and 2
, file a complaint against the cruise line with The Better Business Bureau using the cruise line pages
, see history of other BBB complaints against the cruise line, along with their record of addressing the complaints.
Using the links to the left, click on the cruise line name to see their customer service rating. Find out if they ignore complaints or if they address them and try to resolve them. Use the cruise line links on the top left side of the page to file complaints with their local Better Business Bureau free complaint resolution.
Consumers - When Direct Cruise Line Resolution Fails
- Florida Division of Consumer Services
, This agency handles consumer complaints concerning applicable regulated businesses, which includes the travel industry in Florida and covers all cruise lines with a Florida base of operations. Toll Free: (Florida Only) 1-800-435-7352; or All Others: (850) 922-2966
- "On Your Side
" consumer advocacy news teams all over the country are on the lookout for consumer scams. We do all the legwork for you. We send your story out to local TV News Stations in your area.
- Tampa, Florida - 8 On Your Side Helpline
: Call with consumer problems or complaints. (813) 225-2797 Tampa, 1-800-338-0808.
Before you Continue
What do you want?
Define a goal for resolution by seperating subjective opinions in your complaint from the objective facts around your cruise experience. You may find answers to all your questions by first clearly defining your overall cruise experience.
The Uncomfortable Cruise
This category covers all the little things which turned a dream cruise into a headache. This category includes missing luggage, the wedding cake that never arrived, wrong cabin assignments, cabin amenities which needed updating, cabin air conditioning that didn't work, obnoxious odor in the cabin, habitual problem with smokers, children running around unsupervised, elevators that didn't work, inability to used deck chairs, annoying restaurant table companions, unattainable room service for a sick family, bed bugs who took up residency in the cabin, toilets that wouldn't flush, cabin doors which got jammed, far too noisy passengers next door, food not prepared to personal tastes, bad weather, rough seas, schedule deviations, missed cruise ship ports, missed cruise ship excursions, unclear terms in the cruise ticket language which resulted in situations the traveler wasn't prepared to handle, a butler who never showed his face, illness during the cruise, seasickness, stomach flu, personal issues, arguments, fighting with traveling companions, power failures, engine failures and other issues which didn't significantly impact your life after you got home. That is cruising life, It is alright, everyone starts out as a novice. These were issues you should have taken in stride or addressed while you were still on the cruise. Live and learn.
The Miserable Cruise
This category covers minor injury during the cruise, missed reboarding after ship excursion, minor injury in port, minor injury during a cruise ship excursion, stolen luggage, stolen items from cabin, stolen items in common areas of the ship, stolen items in port, robbery in port, robbery during excursions, forced disembarkation due to behavior of someone in your travel party, forced disembarking due to illness, injury or preexisting medical conditions, medevac from cruise ship or any number of possible other things which took place during the cruise, but didn't significantly impact your life after you got home. You should have included travel insurance with your cruise ticket. Now, you will need to resolve this issue on your own by using a free mediator. Use the cruise line links to the left to begin.
The Missed Cruise
This category covers passengers who missed their cruise due to air travel delays, death of a close friend, death of a family member, death of a traveling companion, civil unrest causing travel delays, injury, illness or medical issue during travel to the cruise. You should have included travel insurance with your cruise ticket. Contact the cruise line and try to rebook the cruise. If that fails, use a free mediation source from our list.
The Severe Cruise Injury
This category covers severe injury during the cruise, You may want to hire an attorney to assist with the problem, but there is much to learn before you choose one. Look at your cruise ticket. The ticket will outline where any legal action must be filed. For most cruise lines in the United States, legal actions must be file in Florida or in California. Read the ticket. Now, you will want to choose a lawyer who is in good standing
with the state bar and is qualified and certified in maritime law
Before You Hire A Lawyer
Know your rights and know the laws that apply to lawyers in that state. If need be, print up the regulations and put them into your own case folder for easy reference. The law is cut and dried and knowing it and being able to quote the key points will go a long way in showing the lawyer you know what standards the state requires. Being able to quote the Bar lawyer regulations will go a long way during a disagreement you may have with the lawyer during your case.
If you need Lawyer or are still asking yourself, Do I need a Lawyer? - Read more...