Sen. Schumer wants bill of rights for cruise ship passengers

"But to be out at sea without access to a doctor, electricity, toilet facilities, that’s unconscionable,” Schumer continued. “If we can get this passenger bill of rights done, passengers can breathe a sigh of relief that they know that the trip will be safe and if, God forbid, there’s emergencies, that they will be taken care of in the right way.”

The rules Schumer is calling for are similar to provisions implemented for airlines passengers who endure long waits on airport runways or lost luggage.

The proposal follows the stranding of a Carnival Cruise Lines ship, named the Triumph, for four days in the Gulf of Mexico last month.

The ship was towed to Mobile, Ala. after losing power due to a fire in the ship's engine room.

Passengers on board the Triumph, which was carrying more than 4,000 people, complained to media outlets of squalid conditions on the ship, which they attributed to bathrooms malfunctioning and food spoiling without refrigeration. 

More recently, a second Carnival cruise ship was stranded at a port in the Caribbean island nation of St. Maarten. Passengers on the second stranded ship, called the Dream, where flown back to the origins of their trips.

Under the proposal from Schumer, cruise ships would have to be equipped with backup power generators and their operators would have to maintain sanitary conditions in the event of delays.

Schumer's proposal also calls for medical personnel to be on board cruise ships in preparation for a possible emergency.

Cruise lines would also be forced to give passengers back their money if their cruises are aborted.

"If failures – mechanical, plumbing or otherwise – occur on these ships, passengers should get a full refund,” Schumer said, according to the radio station.