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While booking a cruise may seem like all lighthearted fun, the “ticket” in actuality functions as a contract that is able to run for more than a dozen pages, and can have you giving away more rights to the cruise ship company than you may think. It’s important to be informed about what you’re really doing when you purchase a cruise ticket, as it has to do with knowledge of international waters laws. Read on to learn more about the rights that you sign away when you buy a cruise ticket. Irwin Law Firm is a top marine law firm in Fort Lauderdale. If you’re looking for cruise ship lawyers, call Irwin Law Firm today!


Rights Signed Away 


Carnival Cruise Lines is one of the biggest cruise lines people often sail with. This is an analysis of their contract, which is fairly standard for the industry.


  • The Right To Privacy- When you sign the Carnival contract, you are allowing the company the right “at all times with or without notice” to look through your bags and personal bags and personal effects. This is due to the fact that they want to make sure you are not smuggling any firearms, explosives, or bourbon (that you didn’t purchase at the bar) onto the ship. Moreover, the contract also allows Carnival to use pictures and videos of you in any way that they want to. You may not want your coworkers seeing a photo of you in a bikini, but that image could make its way into a commercial, without Carnival having to pay you or receiving any additional release forms.
  • The Right To Use Your Photos- Just because Carnival has the rights to your pictures doesn’t mean that you are able to use them yourself, as while the company may not complain if you post photos to Facebook, it is stipulated in the contract that passengers may not utilize any photographs “for non-private use without express written consent of Carnival,” i.e for a travel blog.
  • The Right To Be Repaid For Lost/Stolen Goods- If your jewelry is stolen or your luggage is dropped accidentally, the ticket contract limits the company’s liability to $50 per guest or $100 per stateroom. If your items are worth more than that, you are able to purchase added coverage through declaring the value of what you are bringing onto the ship and paying 5 percent of its value.


International Waters Laws And More

  • The Right To Count On The Cruise- Carnival is able to cancel any cruise at any time, and will refund if the cruise is completely cancelled or a partial refund if the company changes its mind and leave you at some port along the way. There is no additional refund, however, for the airfare home. 
  • The Right To Sue- Cruise ship lawyers note that the Carnival contract you sign when you go onboard will have an arbitration clause requiring you to submit claims for lost luggage and the like to binding arbitration in Miami-Dade County, Florida. This means that if you want to file a personal injury suit, you have to do it at the U.S. Federal District Court in Miami.


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It’s important to be informed about international waters laws and what you are signing away on your cruise ship ticket. If you are looking for cruise ship lawyers in Fort Lauderdale, call Irwin Law Firm today!