Sample text from a Holland America (in this case, Windstar) ticket appears below. The ticket–whether you realize it or not–is your “contract” with Holland America.
I’m sure you’re thinking “that’s funny…I don’t remember negotiating a contract with Holland America.” Of course you don’t remember. You didn’t negotiate a contract with Holland America. It’s a one-sided contract (otherwise called a contract of adhesion). You had no say in the matter. If you’re suffered an injury, don’t you think you need an attorney who is experienced in dealing with Holland America on your side?
Time Limits for Noticing Claims and Filing and Service of Lawsuits: In any case governed by 46 United States Code Section 183b, which is a United States statute that permits any shipowner to limit the time during which a passenger may file a claim or commence suit against a shipowner, you may not maintain a lawsuit against us or the Ship for loss of life or personal injury, including emotional distress, unless written notice of the claim is delivered to us not later than six (6) months after the day of death or injury, the lawsuit is commenced not later than one (l) year after the day of death or injury, and valid service of the lawsuit on Owner, HAL or the Ship, as applicable, is made within thirty (30) days following the expiration of that one-year period. For all other claims, including but not limited to claims for loss or damage to baggage, breach of contract, misrepresentation, illness or death or injury, not governed by 46 United States Code Section 183b, you may not maintain a lawsuit against us or the Ship, nor will we or the Ship be liable therefore, unless we are provided with written notice of claim within thirty (30) days after conclusion of the Cruise, the lawsuit for such claim is commenced not later than six months after conclusion of the Cruise, and valid service of the lawsuit on Owner, the Ship or HAL, as applicable, is made within thirty (30) days following the expiration of that six-month period. In the case of a claim by or on behalf of a minor or legally incompetent person, or in the case of a wrongful death claim, the time periods described above shall begin to run on the earlier of: (a) date of appointment of a legal representative for the minor or legally incompetent person, or their estate (as the case may be); or (b) three (3) years after the day of death, injury or damage, as applicable.