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28 May 2013 09:34
The Cruise Lines International Association has pledged to ramp up protections for holidaymakers
Major cruise companies have agreed to adopt a Passenger Bill of Rights to guarantee the "safety, comfort and care" of guests following a spate of negative publicity surrounding the industry.
The measures, which will provide back-up for people with
cruise travel insurance, include full refunds for trips that are cancelled due to mechanical failure, and an emergency power source on every ship to keep systems running in the event of a main generator failure. The pledge by the Cruise Lines International Association (Clia), which represents 25 companies including Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Holland America and Cunard, comes in the wake of the Carnival Triumph fiasco, which saw the ship drifting for several days earlier this year without power as passengers endured filthy conditions.
Christine Duffy, president and CEO of Clia, said the idea for the Bill of Rights came about in response to demands from US senator Charles Schumer, who called for the industry to guarantee higher standards for passengers. Mr Schumer said the Bill was "a step in the right direction towards increased accountability for the cruise industry and ensuring the safety and well-being of its passengers", but warned that he still had many questions, both on the content and how the Bill will be enforced.
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