Data compiled by the United States Department of Transportation reveals that there was an “unprecedented crime wave” on cruise ships in the summer of 2019. These occurrences saw 35 sexual assaults, which impacted 27 passengers. The majority of these cruise ship incidents happened on Carnival Cruise Line Ships.
Compared to the only other cruise line with a comparable fleet, Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruise Line still leads the industry in the number of criminal incidents. This is even more peculiar because Royal Caribbean vessels hold more passengers than Carnival at any one time, with a maximum of approximately 125,000. Carnival has a maximum of only 75,000 passengers.
Too Much Booze, Too Little Law Enforcement
Experts on cruise ship management have commented that several factors are responsible for causing this increase in criminal activity. Some of these factors include:
- There is a large amount of alcohol served on cruise ships, which has a direct correlation to an increase in criminal activity including crimes against women. Bartenders, as well as wait staff on cruise ships, are often motivated to sell as much alcohol as possible.
- On cruise ships, there is not an independent police force to monitor criminal activity. As a result, crimes tend to flourish in this lawless environment.
- A small percentage of criminal incidents on cruise ships are later prosecuted by the United States federal government. Some data even suggests that as little as 7% of sexual assaults on cruise ships are prosecuted in federal court.
Tips for Staying Safe on Cruise Ships
Some of the safety strategies that you can follow to stay safe on cruise ships include the following:
- Read the fine print on your cruise ship ticket. This way, you can anticipate in advance how you must file a claim against the cruise line in case anything does happen on your trip.
- Staying aware of your surroundings in the same way as if you were in a big-city hotel. This should include taking notice of escape routes and multiple exits.
- Taking some critical steps to protect yourself from sexual assaults. This includes: not inviting anyone to your cabin, not leaving your drink unattended, not walking alone in isolated areas, and always traveling with at least one other person.
- Never drinking alcohol in excess. This can greatly decrease your chances of safely escaping in case you end up a potential crime victim. This is because alcohol can impact your judgment.
- Keeping your possessions securely on your body or locking them in a safe.
- Being careful of the risk of falling overboard. This means, not swimming if there are no active lifeguards on duty. Similarly, you should not exercise caution about walking near balconies if you have been drinking.
Speak with an Experienced Long Island Cruise Ship Attorney
If you or a loved one has been impacted by a incident that took place on a cruise ship, you should not hesitate to speak with an experienced cruise ship attorney. Contact the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe today to schedule your free case evaluation, 24/7.