US Cruise Passenger Consumer Rights Bill Introduced to House
Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, CA), the Ranking Member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, has introduced H.R. 3475, the Cruise Vessel Consumer Confidence Act of 2013, which authorizes the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) to provide oversight and to investigate deceptive practices and unfair competition relating to cruise vessel passenger travel.
The Bill also requires the cruise line industry to make disclosures, provide timely information to passengers, provide for the physical needs of passengers, and reimburse passengers that are delayed for more than 24 hours. Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento, CA) is an original cosponsor of the bill.
The Act was written after Ranking Member Garamendi and Committee staff reviewed the ways passengers on many recent cruises departing from the United States have received poor treatment and received minimal recourse following disruptive, lengthy, and sometimes preventable cruise malfunctions and delays. Passengers have regularly reported inadequate information and dangerous conditions and noted that basic physical needs are not being met.
“Reviewing the many horror stories from cruise ships in recent years, it is clear that proper oversight of the industry and consumer protections for passengers are desperately lacking. At times, it is the Wild West on the high seas,” Congressman Garamendi said. “As California’s former Insurance Commissioner, I know that consumer protection requires more than asking politely. Consumer protection requires tough and fair regulations that hold industries accountable and responsible. That’s why I introduced the Cruise Vessel Consumer Confidence Act.”
Access the full text of the Bill at: garamendi.house.gov/sites/garamendi.house.gov/files/documents/HR3475Text.pdf