South Florida is a hot spot for vacationers around the world. With its many ports and headquarters for popular cruise lines such as Norwegian and Royal Caribbean, it’s also a starting point for thousands of cruise voyages every year. According to an industry overview by the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association, 15 million passengers cruised in 2010, with over 11 million of those passengers being North American.
With cruises gaining popularity every year, cruise ship accidents are also on the rise. That’s why Congress passed the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act last July.This Act was designed to promote safety and security on cruise ships through increased requirements for cruise liners. Some of the requirements, as highlighted by Frommer’s, include the following: (1) 42-inch guard rails on open decks (2) rape kits and a forensic sexual assault specialist be present on board, and (3) on-deck surveillance systems. This legislation was a necessary step toward passenger safety, as evidenced by the number of cruise ship accidents reported every year. According to CruiseJunkie, 19 cruise passengers and crew fell overboard last year.
So when you set sail this summer, be sure that you familiarize your vessel’s safety guidelines and the Cruise Vessel Act. Your safety is of utmost mportance and should not be compromised.