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Cruise Passenger Assistance

FMC requires cruise lines to have a bond or other financial surety for refunding passenger deposits if a cruise line fails to provide a scheduled cruise or if there is a casualty. Only passengers embarking from a U.S. port are covered by the financial surety program. Companies specializing in financial instruments issue the financial bond or surety and together with the cruise line are involved in processing refunds should a cruise line fail to provide a scheduled cruise.

Your Rights and Cancellation Policies
Relations between the cruise lines and passengers are contractual matters governed by the terms of the passenger ticket. We recommend that cruise passengers read the ticket contract carefully prior to sailing. The ticket contract, and information available from the cruise line, provides information on your rights and answers to frequently asked questions. For example, information on cancellation penalties is usually in the ticket contract and if a passenger cancels a cruise because of an emergency or other reason the ticket contract specifies a schedule of cancellation penalties. Cruise passengers should consider purchasing cruise/travel insurance when booking a cruise.

Services We Offer
Although the Commission does not have jurisdiction over such matters as cruise satisfaction, billing issues, itinerary changes, and other disputes arising between cruise operators and their customers, CADRS staff can contact a cruise line on your behalf and facilitate a discussion of the issue. Requests for assistance from CADRS for a cruise line problem should be made in writing.

Complaints involving safety issues should be submitted to the U.S. Coast Guard, while those pertaining to sanitation can be submitted to the Vessel Sanitation Program, National Center for Environmental Health.

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