Guest Care Practices

CLIA recognizes the need to provide practical assistance and emotional support during times of significant stress or crisis. CLIA encourages each of its members to develop these capabilities in-house or by partnering with outside sources to provide for this assistance.

All CLIA cruise lines are encouraged to determine, as soon as possible after a traumatic incident involving any guest, whether additional assistance or accommodation is needed from the cruise line. Many of our lines have specified, trained, and organized care teams or company designated personnel who are equipped to handle critical, unexpected incidents and provide the assistance needed.

This policy is intended to identify actions to be considered by all of CLIA’s members when responding to a critical incident or implementing guest care response plans. CLIA does not advocate a one-size-fits-all approach as varying levels of guest care support will be needed depending upon each situation. CLIA cruise lines should develop their own detailed procedures, and they will vary based on vessel size, passenger and crew demographics, itinerary, and other factors.

CLIA believes the following practices should, whenever possible under the circumstances, be considered in addition to any other assistance that may be appropriate.

Initial responders

Ship’s officers and crew offer immediate assistance to guest and family/traveling companions and determine the level of assistance that may be needed. Shore-based care teams or company designated personnel and other land-based resources, as and when appropriate, coordinate support and determine what is available and what is needed. Shore-based care teams or designated personnel coordinate with ship’s crew and reach out to guest’s shore-based relatives who are listed as an emergency contact, as appropriate.

Guest assistance considerations

Depending upon the circumstances of each situation, the following considerations should be evaluated:

  • Provide immediate, complimentary communications to shore.
  • Inquire about guests and family logistical needs (move to another stateroom, port of departure, landing of remains, etc.)
  • Provide family assistance support, such as providing a private dining area or conference room, retrieving onboard portraits, and assisting with packing of personal belongings or other practical support, as warranted.
  • Determine if male or female Guest Services staff is appropriate to provide support.
  • Assign care team or company designated personnel to join guest/family on ship or land, as needed and taking visa restrictions into account.
  • Determine whether any accompanying relative who disembarks after the loss of a loved one requires assistance from the ship, port agent, care team and/or designated shore-based personnel.
  • Refer guest and family to assistance counseling (either onboard or telephonically) depending upon the situation and need.
  • Support guest and family/companions with travel insurance paperwork and other documentation necessary to obtain available benefits.
  • Serve as liaison with U.S. embassy or local governments, when appropriate.

Post incident considerations

Following the immediate response, additional post incident considerations should be evaluated on a case by case basis and dependent upon the guest’s and family’s wishes.

  • Assess guest’s need for assistance with air, hotel, and transportation arrangements.
  • Consider contacting guest/family once they have returned home to determine if they require additional support.
  • Consider whether guest’s name should be removed from marketing/promotional communication lists.