Senator Charles Schumer
After two cruise ships incidents in the last two month, a US lawmaker said it's time to give passengers some rights.
New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer is pushing for a Bill of Rights much like the one for airline passengs. Schumer says there are six basics passengers should always be guaranteed:
- Backup power generators
- Medical staff onboard
- Crew trained for emergencies
- Access to real-time information about delays and changes
- Ability to leave a ship docked at a port if food or sanitation onboard are not adequate
- A full refund for a trip canceled mid-cruise by mechanical or other major problems
"Any traveler can tell you it can be scary to watch the shore drift away as you are hundreds of miles out to sea," Schumer said. "But to be out at sea without access to a doctor, or electricity, toilet facilities, that's unconscionable."
Here's the challenge: nearly all major cruise ships are registered in countries other than the United States.
They all sail under the flags of countries like the Bahamas and Panama to avoid U.S. labor laws, dodge regulations, and save money in other ways.
Schumer called cruises the "Wild West" of the travel industry.
He wants the U.S. to see if it can work out a bill of rights with those countries, or even worldwide. But for now, he says it would be voluntary for the cruise lines to join in.
Live at 5pm today, hear from a Reidsville man who was stranded on the cruise ship Legend last week.
-- Reidsville Man On Troubled Cruise Ship Legend