US law firm Farah and Farah conducted a survey on injuries on cruise ships and found that 7% of respondents have been injured while on a cruise, while 17% have witnessed an injury of another passenger, family member, friend or crew member. 54% of victims claimed their injuries were the cruise line's fault.
While cruises can prove to be less stressful as a travel method, the industry has reported many safety incidents over the years. Of the common injuries, 66% of men and 32% of women said that their injuries were related to alcohol. Many cruise lines offer pre-purchase drinking packages.
One such incident that made headlines was a Royal Caribbean passenger who fell overboard and died after consuming at least 890 ml of alcohol (equivalent to 30 drinks) in the previous 12 hours.
Where are most injuries happening on board ships? According to the survey, swimming pool areas or decks were the most ‘dangerous’ places on cruises, as 31% of those injured on cruises said their incidents happened at outdoor decks or pools. Injuries here include drowning and tripping on slippery surfaces.
Meanwhile, roughly 18% of respondents reported suffering from seasickness, which can escalate to sweating, nausea and vomiting. And because thousands are people are holidaying within a contained vessel, viruses or infections can also cause injuries, which 6% of respondents have experienced. In 2017, about 200 passengers on a Royal Caribbean ship became ill through a contagious gastrointestinal virus.
Physical and sexual assault are also reported on cruises, with 6% of men and 3% of women having been assaulted on their cruises. In these cases, 56% said the perpetrator was someone traveling with them. For incidents of sexual assault in particular, more than three in four incidents that occurred on cruise ships were committed by passengers.
For more information on sample size and methodology, see the full report here.