Should cruise lines invest in lifeguards to keep their passengers [particularly their younger passengers] safe?

That’s the questions buzzing on social media after a young child drowned on board Norwegian Breakaway this week.

Most major cruise lines boast about the size and number of pools they have on board their ships, but very few have stationed lifeguards to man them.

Yet they do all say they are trying to attract young families.

Disney Cruise Lines became the first major company to employ lifeguards when a four-year-old slipped under the water and sustained head trauma on Disney Fantasy last year.

The service was then quietly introduced on board Disney Dream, Disney Wonder, Disney Fantasy and Disney Magic in September last year.

Other cruise lines have not yet followed the line’s lead, but is it their duty to introduce lifeguards on board?

Cruise Passenger readers are divided – but they certainly have strong opinions.

Facebook follower Angela Troath said lines should have lifeguards, but could also go the extra step by introducing fences around pools.

“The pools should be fenced off and lifeguards should be present,” she said.

On the other side of the debate, Michele Serrapica said cruise ships don’t need to hire lifeguards because ultimately the children should be monitored by adults.

“My community pool has lifeguards but I still cringe at the parents who are more interested in their iPhone than their child,” she explained.

Erica Miller says it’s difficult for adults to continuously monitor their children, particularly when cruise pools are overcrowded.

“The people that are bashing and judging the parents on here should be ashamed,” she said.

“Those pools get extremely crowded and it takes a split second for something tragic to happen.”

Cruise Passenger believes as ships get bigger and the drive for young families continues, it is hard for cruise lines to evade the same regulation that hotels and pools have.

What are your thoughts?  Should family cruise lines have lifeguards on board? Let us know by leaving a comment below.