21 APR 2017: Major cruise lines have been criticized for not providing lifeguards at family pools on their fleets. In 2013 Disney was the first major cruise line to station lifeguards at their pools whenever they were open. Royal Caribbean announced putting guards on duty two months ago and now Norwegian Cruise Line has followed suit.
Families on Norwegian Escape, Norwegian Getaway, Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Epic can expect to see certified lifeguards at the family pools starting this summer. The other ships in the fleet will have lifeguards by early 2018.
Since 2015 they have stationed deck attendants who are certified in first response on its four largest ships.
NCL spokesperson Vanessa Picariello has stated that Norwegian will be offering complimentary swim vests for adults and children, hopefully across all its ships by this summer.
Disney”s call to action in 2013 resulted months after the near drowning of a four-year-old boy who suffered a brain injury.
Since that time a number of children have drowned or been found unresponsive in family pools on other cruise lines.
Family members have said that cruise lines’ failure to provide lifeguards in family pools have put profitability ahead of the safety of their guests.
When sued in the past cruise liners have claimed immunity by the 1920 DOTHSA (Death on the High Seas Act), which was passed to give widows of sailors who died at sea their incomes. Compensation is denied to families of non wage earners such as children and seniors.