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Going on a vacation is so exciting, getting a much-needed break is something everyone looks forward to, but you also can’t ignore the possibility of something going wrong. Being on a boat at sea can leave you exposed to cruise crimes that you may not be aware of.  Most people tend to completely let their guards down when they’re on these types of vacations, but should you really? According to cruise ship lawyers, like Irwin Law Firm in Miami, many passengers underestimate the strict policies put in place by cruise companies because of how common these crimes have become. If you’re getting ready to go on a cruise keep reading to find out how to protect yourself and your family from becoming victims.


Understanding Cruise Crimes

Before embarking on a sea journey, it’s important to understand the risks that can arise on board the ship, especially if you are vacationing as a family. The most common type of “crime” you’ll encounter on a cruise in minor cases of public intoxication. Due to the “all-inclusive” style of a cruise people tend to overindulge. However, the ship’s staff are all trained to deal with these cases and prevent them from escalating or affecting other passengers. Although this technically is a crime, it’s more of an annoyance for other passengers, but there are cases of more serious crimes being committed


The most common type of crime to be committed on a cruise is theft. With the crowded dinners and endless activities people are likely to leave things lying around presenting the perfect opportunity for thieves to make a move. If you end up becoming a victim of a crime at sea you may be concerned about a number of things like whether there is a jail on the boat, are there police who investigate the offense, and what’s the procedure you should follow to report a crime.

  • If a crime is committed against you on a ship, the first thing you should do is contact the security office or medical staff if you need medical attention. However, if the boat is docked at port and you are off of the boat on an excursion, you should contact local law enforcement as well as the cruise company, and the nearest US embassy. Similarly to crimes that happen on land, you may need to advocate for yourself to get the rights you deserve, so it’s important to know them before going on your trip. One thing you should always do is take pictures of the crime/damage done because of the crime and request copies of all written documentation including statements provided to security from you or other witnesses.


  • When it comes to investigation the cruise security is the first responders in most cases. This is to make sure that all passengers remain safe until law enforcement is available. However, determining jurisdiction can be tricky because it often involves negotiations between the U.S. government as well as international authorities of the foreign ports. If the ship is beyond the 12 mile limit from a port jurisdiction is handed over the ship’s registered country.


  • Although no cruise line will advertise that they have a specific location to hold criminals they all do. It may involve placing that person on “house arrest” in the offender’s cabin with security guards in place or an actual incarceration cell. If you’re on a larger ship, they will almost always have a “brig,” which is a safe lockup room.

Feeling safe while on a cruise is an important part of traveling. If you find yourself falling victim to one of these crimes is important to advocate for yourself on board as well as hire cruise ship lawyers to help you once you’re back on dry land.


Contact Us

Irwin Law Firm is a leading group in the Miami area. We specialize in helping our clients receive the best settlements after they have been a victim of a cruise crime. If you’re looking for assistance advocating for yourself and understanding your rights one of our cruise ship lawyers can help! Call or visit us today for more information!