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Cruise Passengers Call For Regulation, Industry Disagrees

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Ines Hegedus-Garcia
/
Flickr.com

A bill that would lead to better protections for cruise passengers has yet to move forward in Congress.

Last week, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation held a hearing on cruise passenger safety. The hearing was called by committee chairman and senator Jay Rockefeller from West Virginia, who sponsored the Cruise Passenger Protection Act. 

At the hearing, lawyer and International Cruise Victims Association board member Philip Gerson testified. He is the legal representative of a 15-year-old victim of rape on a cruise ship. 

"The bill should be passed so that the outdated buyer beware business relationships at sea are replaced with truth in advertising, full disclosure, and informed consent," Gerson said in his testimony, "which are the hallmarks of American life required by government for business and industry."

The Cruise Passenger Protection Act calls for improved consumer protections and increased regulation of cruise lines. 

In a statement, the Cruise Lines International Association said the hearing presented a distorted picture of the cruising industry.

"Adding a new layer of federal regulation and bureaucracy at the expense of taxpayers, cruise lines and cruise passengers is both unjustified and unnecessary," the Cruise Lines International Association wrote in a statement. "The CPPA is a solution in search of a problem."

The bill, which was introduced in July of last year, has yet to be voted on in the House or Senate.