I have often written about the problems with shore excursions during a cruise, and the dangers a passenger may face. The most recent bus crash that occurred in the Bahamas happened during a Carnival Cruise Line shore excursion. Four people were seriously injured during this bus accident, which involved a single vehicle incident, the bus itself flipping over. This has happened in previous cases we have handled and is typically a result of the unsafe practices and procedures the shore excursion companies are engaging in.
The crash involved thirty-two passengers from the Carnival Ecstasy ship. The bus was on an excursion in Eleuthera. According to news reports, Eleuthera Adventure Tours Limited operated the tour bus involved in the accident. Four passengers were airlifted to Florida for further treatment.
We believe the cruise ship companies know the dangers of the transportation portion of the shoreside excursions in foreign countries and have the resources, as well as the incentive based on the profits they make, to invest more money in developing safety training and protocols for any company that wishes to engage in the transportation of cruise ship passengers during a shoreside excursion. Instead the cruise ship companies simply say they do “an inquiry” into the past history of the shoreside excursion companies to determine if they have a bad history or not. History has demonstrated over and over again that this is not sufficient, and cruise ship companies must do more! Holding cruise ship companies accountable for critical crashes like this during transportation of a cruise ship-sold shoreside excursion is critical!
We have handled several very serious cases involving bus crashes in foreign countries during transportation to or from a shore excursion. We have uncovered that often times the foreign country does not have the same safety standards as we are accustomed to here in the United States, and that the transportation aspect of the shoreside excursion is in fact unsafe and dangerous. We have also argued that the cruise ship companies have collectively had many serious incidents involving transportation during the shoreside excursions and that they should be doing a lot more to develop protocols to assure the safety of their passengers.
The cruise ship companies are profiting from the sale of the shoreside excursions. In fact, it is a major source of revenue for them. They devote a lot of resources to developing the shoreside excursions, and marketing them to the passengers. They typically market the shoreside excursions in such a way that misleads passengers into believing the cruise ship company is actually operating the shoreside excursion, and then when an incident happens, they will claim the shoreside excursion company as an independent contractor for which they have no liability if something happens to one of their passengers.
We have been very successful in holding the cruise ship companies accountable for shore excursion accidents involving transportation. It requires knowledge of the specific maritime laws governing these type of claims, and experience in navigating through the legal issues and factual issues you face when trying to hold the cruise ship company directly accountable for an accident during the shoreside excursion such as the most recent bus crash in the Bahamas.
We are saddened to hear again about a bus accident seriously injuring cruise ship passengers, which most likely could have been avoided with more involvement and oversight by the cruise ship company into the transportation aspect of these shoreside excursions they are selling. We hope the cruise ship company will be held accountable for the damages in this particular case which has forever changed the lives of these individuals and their families.