Maybe you’ve been on a cruise before, and it was a great experience. You got to see parts of the world you’d never been to before, and you were able to do it all without a lot of planning on your end. You found it fun and relaxing, and now you’re thinking of going again.

You may have a great time on your second trip, but there is a dark side to the cruise industry that you need to know about. There are risks. You have to understand exactly what you’re signing up for. Here are a few key points to start with:

  • Ships do not always pass health and safety inspections. In fact, back in 2017, a record number of them failed.
  • Serious health issues like overflowing toilets sometimes make the news, but the truth is that things like this happen more than the public realizes.
  • People do pass away while on board and not just from old age. Other issues include injuries, overdoses and falling overboard — just to name a few.
  • “Operational mishaps” include a lot of unfortunate events, such as ships running aground or catching on fire. These incidents injure about 60 people annually, according to some reports.
  • Cruise ships may not sink very often — when they do, it’s all over the news, as it was in 2012 when the last major sinking happened — but that does not mean you won’t get badly injured on the vessel.

If you do end up going on the cruise, and you get injured at sea, make sure you know what legal steps to take.