Cruise Passenger Assistance - Federal Maritime Commission
US Flag iconThis site is an official U.S. Government Website.

Cruise Passenger Assistance

Compensation for Cruise Line Cancellation; Death or Injury during Voyage

FMC requires cruise lines to have a bond or other financial surety available to refund passenger deposits in the event of nonperformance or for death or injury on a voyage. This requirement applies to cruise lines that embark from a U.S. port and have at least 50 berth accommodations.

The company that issues the bond or other financial surety processes claims made for cruise nonperformance or death or injury. For more information on the FMC’s financial responsibility requirements or to obtain information on filing a claim please contact the Bureau of Licensing and Certification.

Cruise Service Issues

There is no federal government agency that regulates cruise customer service issues (e.g. itinerary changes, passenger cancellations, cabin concerns, etc.). Moreover, the Commission has limited jurisdiction over cruise lines (pursuant to 46 U.S.C. §§ 44102 – 44103) that embark passengers at locations in the U.S.:

  • The Commission cannot order a cruise line to cancel a voyage or to stop operating due to the outbreak of a disease, such as coronavirus
  • The Commission cannot order a cruise line to make a refund to a passenger when a passenger decides not to travel
  • Passengers should always carefully read their ticket contract, which states the cruise line’s obligations with respect to cancelled cruises and changes in itinerary.

The Commission’s Office of Consumer Affairs & Dispute Resolution Services (CADRS) assists passengers that boarded a passenger vessel at a U.S. port and purchased their ticket directly from the cruise line. CADRS assistance in these matters is a voluntary process. The Commission does not have statutory authority to compel cruise lines to take any particular action to address complaints.

Individuals seeking the assistance of CADRS should provide the following information: a brief description of the complaint; the booking confirmation; copy of the ticket contract and insurance policy; any correspondence the complainant has had with the cruise line; and your contact information. To file a request for assistance please send an e-mail to:

For those seeking assistance for passengers embarking a cruise at an international location, please see the “International Travel” section of the Department of State’s website:

Information published by the federal government in response to Coronavirus-19 can be found at:

Additional Resources

There are multiple government agencies that have jurisdiction over cruise safety and security concerns:

Guidance for Cruise Passengers (Department of Transportation)

Cruise Line Incident Reporting Statistics (Department of Transportation)

Travel Documentation (Department of Homeland Security)

Cruise Ship Passengers (Department of State)

Obtaining a Passport (Department of State)


The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) regulates health and sanitary conditions onboard cruise vessels:

Sanitary Conditions and Preventing Illness Onboard Cruise Vessels

Outbreak Updates for International Cruise Ships

Cruise Vessel Inspection Scores

The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) maintains information on safety regulations.

Cruise Ship National Center of Expertise

Related News

Notice to Passengers Regarding American Queen Voyages

The Federal Maritime Commission has been informed that American Queen Voyages has shut down, cancelled all future voyages, and has filed a voluntary petition for relief under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. Consumers who have purchased travel on American Queen Voyages should visit the “Customer Claims Portal”… Read More »

UPDATE: Notice to Passengers Regarding Crystal Cruises

The Federal Maritime Commission has been advised that Proof of Claims for refunds from Crystal Cruises can be filed at The Commission strongly encourages passengers with cancelled and/or booked cruises with Crystal Cruises to complete and deliver the Proof of Claim form, with necessary supporting documentation by the due… Read More »

UPDATE: Notice to Passengers Regarding Crystal Cruises

Crystal Cruises, LLC (Crystal) filed a petition for Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors in Florida state court in Miami-Dade County (case number: 2022-002742-CA-01) on February 11, 2022. Crystal maintains an escrow account in compliance with Federal Maritime Commission regulations for the purpose of refunding applicable passenger fares and deposits… Read More »

Notice to Passengers Regarding Crystal Cruises

Note: 2/18/22 – UPDATE: Notice to Passengers Regarding Crystal Cruises The Federal Maritime Commission is aware of media reports that Crystal Cruises, LLC (Crystal) has ceased operations. The Commission is receiving inquiries pertaining to obtaining refunds for voyages booked with Crystal. For affected passengers seeking reimbursement, the Commission recommends: If payment… Read More »

Information Notice For Passengers with Bookings on Crystal Cruises, LLC Suspended Voyages through April 2022

Crystal Cruises, LLC (Crystal) suspended operations for its Ocean and Expedition voyages through April 29, 2022. Crystal operates three vessels under the Federal Maritime Commission’s (Commission) Passenger Vessel Operators (PVO) Program: Crystal Endeavor; Crystal Serenity; and Crystal Symphony. Currently, Crystal has not cancelled cruises beyond April 29, 2022. Crystal has… Read More »

French America Line Prohibited from Offering, Advertising, or Conducting Passenger Cruises

French America Line, a domestic passenger vessel operator (PVO), is prohibited from offering, advertising, or conducting cruises following revocation today of its Certificate of Financial Responsibility for Indemnification of Passengers for Nonperformance of Transportation (Certificate (Performance)) by the Federal Maritime Commission. In April 2019, the Commission’s Bureau of Certification and… Read More »

Notice to Passengers: Voyages from the U.S. to Cuba

The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) is aware that passenger cruise lines that called Cuba have amended itineraries to comply with amendments made to the Cuban Assets Control Regulations announced in the Federal Register on June 5, 2019. Passengers with questions related to a voyage they have booked should contact their travel… Read More »

Notice to Passengers: Norwegian Cruise Line’s NORWEGIAN JADE

Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) has advised its passengers who were on board the NORWEGIAN JADE that the vessel could not continue its scheduled voyage due to mechanical problems on November 18, 2018. NCL has told the Federal Maritime Commission that passengers on the NORWEGIAN JADE will receive a full refund… Read More »


Notice to Passengers: Hurricane Florence

The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has become aware that passenger vessel operators (PVOs), commonly known as cruise lines, have announced itinerary changes and cancellations resulting from the conditions due to Hurricane Florence. Cruise passengers should stay in close contact with their PVOs, airlines, and travel agents for the most up-to-date… Read More »



Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) has advised the Federal Maritime Commission that it intends to offer some compensation to passengers who were on board the NORWEGIAN BREAKAWAY when that vessel encountered severe weather on a voyage returning to New York on January 5, 2018. For details and restrictions on the offer… Read More »