When passengers book and embark on a cruise vacation, the cruise line and ship personnel will promote a multitude of potential shore excursions. Activities like extreme sports, climbing waterfalls, and zip lining can involve a significant risk of harm. Our cruise ship injury lawyers find that although injuries experienced during a tour or recreational activity on land do not occur on the ship, the cruise line might be liable when it promotes or coordinates the excursion. A recent court decision involving a lawsuit against Royal Caribbean provides a primer on the legal complexities involved in proving liability of a cruise line for injuries during a shore excursion.
In this lawsuit, which was filed in the Southern District of Florida, the complaint alleged that the tour guide directed passengers to hold hands with other hikers as they climbed Dunn’s River Falls in Jamaica. The plaintiff followed these instructions and held hands with a young girl as they made their ascent up the waterfall. When the girl slipped and fell, the plaintiff was pulled down with her. The complaint also alleged that Royal Caribbean had knowledge or should have known of the risk of holding hands while traversing the falls. Since the cruise ship failed to warn of this reasonably foreseeable risk, the passenger sought to hold Royal Caribbean liable. Continue reading →