Cruise Ship Safety and Security Measures

Everyone knows what security is like at the airport. But what about cruise ship safety and security? What measures are taken to keep cruise ship passengers happy, healthy and safe? Experienced cruise ship accident lawyers have witnessed the evolution of cruise ship safety and security measures since September 11, 2001.

The cruise ship injury attorneys at Gerson and Schwartz have more than 80 years of experience representing victims of cruise ship negligence and crimes at sea. We are happy to provide free and confidential consultations from our offices in Miami. We are available before, during or after your cruise. Just call us with your questions at (877) 475-2905 and we will be honored to assist you.

Cruise Ship Security After 9/11

Following September 11, the cruise line industry implemented “Level 3” security measures at all US ports. These measures are outlined in the regulations of the US Coast Guard entitled "Security for Passenger Vessels and Passenger Terminals".

Level 3 measures include:

  • Restricting access to the bridge and the engine room and any sensitive vessel areas;
  • Screening of passenger baggage, cargo, and carry-on luggage,
  • Deterring unauthorized entry and illegal activity by implementation of onboard security measures.
  • Securing and maintaining a 100-yard security zone around cruise ships.
  • Employing a 300 foot “no-float zone” around cruise ships
  • All commercial vessels required to give ninety-six hours’ notice prior to entering U.S. ports.
  • Increased intensive screening of passenger identification and passenger lists
  • Increased coordination with federal agencies to make sure that any crew or passengers who may be suspected of being on the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service "Prevent Departure" list are immediately reported to the appropriate federal authorities.

Terrorism remains the greatest threat to cruise ships, crew and passengers. As a result, cruise ships have employed greater preventative measures than is seen at the airports. Cruise lines perform security checks on all passengers, checked baggage and carried on items. Unlike airlines where only 10-20% of checked luggage is x-rayed, cruise ships have the ability to examine and x-ray each bag that enters the cruise ship.

All shipments of supplies are examined. Crew and passengers alike are also required to go through metal detectors before boarding the cruise ship. In addition, nearly all major cruise lines employ automated systems to determine who is on the cruise ship at any given time.

Cruise Ship Safety

Most top cruise ship accident lawyers in Miami will advise you that the number one person to ensure your safety is yourself. As a passenger, you have every right to expect the cruise ship to provide you with a reasonably safe experience. At the same time, you’re in the best position to limit the exposure to risk for yourself and for your family.

Common sense tells us that while you are on vacation you expect a certain degree of relaxation. However, you cannot be careless. That means that you use the same or greater degree of caution when it comes to your children. A vacation from work is not a vacation from being a parent. You will have a better cruise experience if you are aware of where your children are, what they are doing and who they are with on the cruise ship.

Even while you are enjoying the cruise ship, you should maintain a healthy degree of awareness of your surroundings and the people you encounter. The fact of the matter is that prior to the cruise you had never met any of the people on the cruise ship. You don’t know their background or life experiences. The same can be said about any employee or crew member of the cruise ship.

When you board a cruise ship, understand that the safety and security instructions are for the benefit of you and everyone else aboard. It is important for everyone in your group to take these instructions seriously. In addition to what you are told in regard to your safety and security, remember that other measures are in place to protect you.

The CVSSA (Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act) set forth the basic requirements for privacy, security and the reporting of incidents on cruise ships. Part of those requirements included video surveillance system that is required to cover all common areas of the ship where passengers and crew members have similar or common access. As a result, most areas of the ship can be monitored by cruise ship security personnel, staff, crew and officers. Cameras are employed in the:

  • pool areas
  • promenade
  • public rooms
  • entry points to crew areas
  • corridors
  • embarkation areas
  • machinery rooms

Again, there are many measures taken by cruise lines to keep you safe. But nothing can replace your awareness and diligence in protecting yourself and your family.

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