06 December 2011

An unspoken danger of cruise ship travel

Not diarrhea.  Death.  Here are excerpts from a story in The Guardian:
The [Disney Wonder] has just won the 2010 Condé Nast Traveller crew and service award... There's no talk of it, but many people on board know something terrible occurred on this route – to Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas – earlier this year.  [A 24-year-old woman named Rebecca Coriam "just vanished."]

There have been 171 disappearances in total, across all cruise lines, since 2000. Rebecca is Disney's first... "  Well, the Coriams found out they aren't alone. Almost every two weeks someone goes overboard." Carver says the numbers have reached epidemic proportions and nobody realises it because it's in the industry's power to hush it up...

It's true that passengers on just one ship – the Carnival Valor – reported nine sexual assaults to the FBI in less than one year. "You're on a ship," Carver said. "There's no police. Once you leave the port, you're in international waters. Who do you think is attracted to working on those ships?"

"Do you think your daughter was murdered?" "The answer's yes," he said. "That's the story among the crew." He paused. "Put murder to one side. Just think about the drinking. Royal Caribbean has just started a policy of unlimited drinks for one price. Celebrity is doing it."
There is no proof of any wrongdoing, but the article is thought-provoking.  Via Reddit, where the discussion thread takes note of the immense number of people cruising and the relatively few disappearances.


  1. Interestingly, and perhaps tellingly, aboard a US-flagged cruise ship is one of the only places outside the United States where the FBI has exclusive jurisdiction. Perhaps this shows the law enforcement community's knowledge of the dangers, or distrust in foreign agencies, or perhaps it shows nothing at all. Still interesting, I think.

  2. Maybe it's because i spent years in the Navy, and got my fill of sailing the seas, but I've always turned my nose up at the idea of getting on a large ship at sea with a bunch of strangers, and calling it a vacation.

    This just validates what I've always suspected about these operations. Aside from the occasional nice sea view, day or night, you're just on an enclosed space with a lot of mallrats.

  3. I was on a tiny live-aboard for scuba diving. In one port, one of the female guests received a spiked drink in a bar. If not for us, she would have drowned as she alternatively tried to jump into the sea and feel into deep sleep instantly. Then jolt awake again and try to get into the sea. Rinse, repeat all night.

    Not fun.

  4. One of my work friends just went on a cruise, and leading up to it she kept sending out links to websites that chronicle all the horrible deaths/disappearances on cruise ships. And one day she even walked in, stated "cruise rape, it's a thing", then walked back out.

    Desire to cruise, shrinking.


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