Questions to ask before booking your cruise - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Questions to ask before booking your cruise

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

The recent trouble at sea with the stranded Carnival cruise ship, and the recent "suspicious death" homicide aboard a Royal Caribbean may have some passengers thinking twice about taking a cruise.

Travel experts say ships follow a lot of regulations, but many of the factors that will affect your trip, are up to the cruise line.

Travel agents Stella Capocelli Carter of Richmond's Tour Plan International says passengers want to know the contingency plan.

"I think they are concerned. They want to know their recourse if something like that does happen," said Carter.

Carter says the way cruise lines respond to certain situations may be in writing. "Each of the cruise lines does have a passenger contract, which does state a little bit of how to be treated," continued Carter.

Carter advises asking questions about the ship. Cheap prices may mean riskier sailing.

"Obviously, the older ships that have not been refurbished recently, are going to have lower prices than brand new ships," explained Carter.

You can check out any cruise ship's track record on the CDC's website.

Travel experts suggest that an upscale cruise may have a one to one passenger to staff ratio. Less expensive trips will likely have fewer hands on deck.

"Obviously, the higher the ratio, the price is going to be different," said Carter.

However, heavier prices don't always mean smoother sailing. Like the weather, problems can sometimes be unpredictable.

Copyright 2013 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.

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