.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Safe Cruise

Project Safe Cruise Press Release: See www.projectsafecruise.blogspot.com & details below. Leave a message if you have experienced incidents involving poor security & safety practices of cruise lines. Hearings are scheduled; we will provide them to Congress. We must act to insure passenger safety. The current lack of safety & security is not acceptable especially after 9/11. On 5/12/05, we were on the Carnival Destiny near Aruba when an elderly couple disappeared without a trace.

My Photo
Location: Michigan, United States

Government could save $50 billion per year by having two shifts of white collar employees work each day. Office space costs $50,000/year for each employee yet we only use space 30% of time. We can no longer afford to have banker's hours for all. With over 2 million federal employees this cost-free paradigm change could avoid lay offs/furloughs and reduce pollution. See new plan at http://whitecollargreenspace.blogspot.com/

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Speaking with the Enemy: Royal Caribbean Flys its True colors

Royal Caribbean Tried to Keep Rape Victim from Testifying:
Just the threat of Dishman's testimony -- which the cruise industry tried to stop -- was enough to coax an agreement on the eve of the hearing among the industry, the Coast Guard and the FBI. The industry pledged to promptly report disappearances, rapes and thefts aboard its ships to the FBI, which is to keep tabs on the crime reports and compile an annual report. But it's not the first time the industry has made such promises. Only three security guards were on duty, for 3,000 people," she added later. "We're talking about a Royal Caribbean city that was lawless." That's not the image the cruise industry likes to project.
"The more I've inquired, the more I've learned that there is no shortage of cases," Congresswoman Matsui said. "Cruises operate in a legal vacuum. ... It's an unacceptable situation." Dishman's experience is similar to what others have reported after a cruise turned disastrous -- insensitive questioning by untrained cruise staff, poor evidence handling and, worst of all, no prosecution.
Cruise industry lobbyists met with the maritime subcommittee chairman, Maryland Democrat Elijah Cummings, before last week's hearing. Cummings declined to comment on the conversation but Matsui's office said the lobbyists wanted Dishman, who is suing Royal Caribbean, removed from the witness list. "Incredibly, after everything Laurie has been through, these guys think it's appropriate to try to silence her," said Joe Trahern, Matsui's chief of staff. "Unfortunately, given how they've treated Laurie from the beginning, it's not surprising. The congresswoman obviously was not going to let that happen."
"Laurie showed great courage in coming to testify," Matsui said of Dishman. "Now it's up to Congress to do its part. That will include more hearings and continued oversight but, more importantly, ... legislation to prevent what happened to Laurie (Dishman) from happening again."
RCCL emails submitted at hearing show that web site associate
really wants to nail this woman - and the ICV.

The primary point right now is the ongoing cover up and misinformation campaign being waged by Royal Caribbean and CLIA. They asked the subcommittee to bar Laurie Dishman from testifying. Their statistics are bogus. If you go to the subcommittee web - site and look at Laurie Dishman's written testimony, it includes copies of emails her attorney got from Royal Caribbean RCCL between the editor of Cruisnewsdaily.com, Alan Wilson and Michael Sheehan, communications director for RCCL. See link below. The emails are at the end of the file. Alan asks Mr. Sheehan to try to fudge the date of the records request from Laurie's attorney to be only the day before her press release. In an email on8/17/06 Alan says and I quote:
"I'd love for you to say that you received the request on Aug 7." (A day before the press release on 8/8/06)
Also in this series of emails, Alan states referring to Laurie:
"I really want to nail this woman - and the ICV."
( http://www.internationalcruisevictims.org/ )
No where does Mr. Sheehan distance himself from this type of behavior. Using the term: to nail" when referring to a rape victim sounds like something the producer for "Girls Gone Wild" might say. I think Mr. Sheehan should be confronted about these emails. His phone is 305-539-6572, fax: 305-536-0140.

The following was posted to the cruisenewsdaily(CND) web site for December 16, 2005:

Comment from CND: As we said in our article, since the two accounts are completely different, obviously one of the parties is not remembering anything correctly. Our money is on the Royal Caribbean account being the most accurate. As a publicly traded company, it would be inconceivable that they would step forward with such a statement if they did not have documented proof of their actions and testimony of each of the involved people, ready to prove Mrs. Smith wrong should she challenge them.
CND unquestioningly supports Royal Caribbeans version of events.

Cruise Lines Untruthful when providing statistics? Misinformation?
How can CND imply that Royal Caribbean(RCCL) might fudge the date they received a record request and talk about Nailing the victim and the victims support group and at the same time state on their web site that Royal caribbean's account must be truthful compared to Jennifer Hagel Smith's? Not to mention the fact that the assault figures given by RCCL's head of security at the hearing on March 27, 2007 were lower than those they gave under court orders because of a law suit.
Cruise authority: Sexual assault risk higher at sea
By M.C. MOEWE Staff Writer
On March 27, for the third time, a congressional subcommittee is scheduled to question cruise company representatives about how crimes on board the giant vacation ships are reported and handled. What's new this time is an analysis of sex-related incidents tracked by Royal Caribbean International, which were made public as part of a civil lawsuit and published in September by The News-Journal.
While the incidents occurred on a single cruise line, they are representative of the industry as a whole, said Ross Klein, a professor at Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada who has studied the industry and maintains a Web site that tracks disappearances from cruise ships. During a hearing last year, an expert testifying with cruise line representatives said the risk of sexual assault and robbery during a cruise vacation is lower when compared to land statistics. But Klein, using the Royal Caribbean statistics, said the numbers don't add up. The civil suit documents showed the cruise line reported at least 109 sexual assaults or sexual batteries between 2003 and 2005 -- far more than the 66 sexual acts or contacts Royal Caribbean told Congress about last year. Company officials told The News-Journal that the numbers they gave Congress were correct and attributed the higher figure to a method of record-keeping that didn't meet legal standards for rape and related crimes.
In October 2004, Virginia resident Kimberley Dean Edwards, 42, said she was forcibly fondled by a fellow American passenger who entered a woman's restroom aboard Royal Caribbean's Majesty of the Sea yelling "booty call." After ship employees declined to help her, Edwards said she called the FBI, but the agent who boarded the ship offered little hope and advised her to file a civil lawsuit to seek justice. "I don't count," said Edwards, adding her attack was not recorded on the court documents or the list of incidents submitted to Congress.

Cruise Lines Untruthful about Environmental Crimes? Cover-up?

The cruise companies are convicted felons because they lied and falsified records related to numerous counts of illegal dumping:

To keep waters pristine, punish the pollutersBy ROBERT TRIGAUX, Times Business Columnist © St. Petersburg Times published May 19, 2002 In the late 1990s, Miami's Royal Caribbean Cruises paid $27-million in fines and penalties to settle ocean-dumping complaints in Florida, California, Alaska, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Now comes Miami's Carnival Corp., the world's biggest cruise company with 43 pleasure vessels, which last month pleaded guilty to six felony counts and agreed to pay $18-million in fines and restitution. The charge? Carnival lied by filing false statements with the Coast Guard on oily discharges from a half-dozen Carnival cruise ships, including the Paradise, Tropicale and (sailing from the Port of Tampa) Sensation. Aboard Carnival ships, on-board engineers went so far as to illegally override sensors meant to prevent dumping of oily wastewater.

In a typical one-week voyage, the average-size cruise ship produces 8 tons of trash; 210,000 gallons of sewage; 25,000 gallons of oil-contaminated water; and a million gallons of "gray water" from sinks, showers, galleys and laundry facilities. Cruise ships must pay big bucks in ports, or at sea with expensive pollution filters, to get rid of all this waste legitimately. And cruise ship captains often are awarded incentives to find ways to lower operating expenses. That's one reason why it's been a favorite shortcut for cruise ships to dump their gray water and even sewage far from land at night when the chances of detection from the occasional Coast Guard boat or plane are minimal. Cruise ship owners can be influenced in the same way. Fining them serious sums of money is a start. The bad news is that Carnival did not seem to learn any lessons from the industry's past mistakes. The company's guilty plea in April is for illegal actions that seem remarkably similar to those that got Royal Caribbean in deep trouble several years earlier.
Let's compare the two:
CARNIVAL: Not charged with illegal dumping, but for lying about it.
ROYAL: Not charged with illegal dumping, but for lying about it.
CARNIVAL: Pleaded guilty that six Florida-based cruise ships repeatedly dumped waste into the sea between July 1998 and January 2001.
ROYAL: Pleaded guilty to fleetwide conspiracy and obstruction of justice that its ships saved millions of dollars by dumping oily waste into the ocean in the mid-1990s.
CARNIVAL: Ships' staffs would "fool" an on-board alarm, called the oil content meter, that warns when water containing too much oil enters the discharge system. By flushing clean water past the sensor, a "low" reading allowed ship to discharge oily water undetected.
ROYAL: Ships rigged pipes to bypass antipollution equipment. On Royal's Sovereign of the Seas, engineers on a voyage from San Juan to Miami were ordered to cut up pipes connected to an antipollution device and drop them in a dumpster. Similar steps occurred on other Royal Caribbean ships.
CARNIVAL: Ships have to keep "oil record books" of oily waste disposal and allow inspections. When engineers fooled ship sensors to discharge oily bilge waste, they falsified records.
ROYAL: Ship engineers admitted that oil record books were falsified so routinely that they were known as eventyrbok, which means "fairy tale book" in Norwegian.
In March 2000, the Environmental Protection Agency cited six cruise companies, including three based in Florida, for fouling the Alaskan air in Juneau, Seward and Glacier Bay National Park. The EPA recently proposed the first federal limits on air pollution from large ocean-going ships.
Shortly after Carnival pleaded guilty in April, the cruise giant, Royal Caribbean and other ship operators were sued by environmental groups that claim the companies improperly dump water along California's coast.
The groups allege that cruise ships in foreign ports take on ballast water, which is pumped into the bottom of a ship to keep it balanced at sea, then jettison it elsewhere. That water can contain exotic organisms that pose a threat to native flora and fauna.
Carnival's $18-million penalty last month isn't chicken feed, but it won't slow down a corporation with nearly $1-billion in quarterly sales and a market value topping $19-billion. To cruise operators of that size, environmental fines often are viewed as little more than a "cost of doing business." Instead, fines need to become serious bottom-line reminders to operate with more respect for the water they sail upon.
Otherwise, all of this becomes just another eventyrbok.
Originally Posted USA TODAYNov. 7, 2002 — Since 1993, the Justice Department has handed out over $48.5 million in fines to 10 cruise lines for illegal dumping.
1998 and 1999. Royal Caribbean Cruises pleaded guilty to 30 charges and was fined $27 million for a fleetwide conspiracy to dump oily bilge wastewater into U.S. waters.
April 2002. Carnival Corp. fined $18 million for falsifying ship records to cover up dumping of oily bilge wastewater from six ships.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Still Sleeping with the Enemy: Cruise Line Self-Regulation Cannot and Will Not Work; What Does Senator McCain have to Say about That?

At the end of the Hearing entitled: Crimes Against Americans on Cruise Ships, on March 27, 2007, Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md, chairman of the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee stated: he'd give the cruise industry and federal law enforcement agencies six months to see what the voluntary agreement produces, then hold another hearing.
Representative Cummings please be aware that the cruise lines have had almost two years to clean up their act since the death of George Smith and eight years since hearings were held in the Senate.
Who Gave This Statement? Was it a witness at the hearing on 3/27/07?
No it was the
"I believe that continued failure by the international cruise industry to abide by all U.S. and
International laws and regulations for operation in and out of our ports and to meet high standards with regard to passenger safety and well being will result in action to restrict access, not expand it. I challenge them to improve their operations and I warn them that if they don't, the Congress will act. But that situation aside, we still must act to give the cruising consumer more choices. Additionally, opponents of this measure claim that U.S.-flagged vessels cannot compete and grow due to what they deem the unfair operating environment on international vessels. As evidence, they point to recent press accounts that highlight environmental, health and safety problems on board internationally flagged vessels."
On June 15, the committee handed Sen. McCain a modest gain by approving his bill to allow foreign-built cruise ships to operate between U.S. ports. Sen. McCain is a longtime critic of the cabotage laws that hold domestic maritime markets for vessels owned, built, registered and crewed in the U.S.
The legislation passed by voice vote in the committee was an amended version of S.1510, Sen. McCain's bill to give foreign-owned, built, flagged and manned cruise ships virtually unlimited and unregulated access to purely domestic cruise routes...
It appears that Senator McCain's bill made it easier for the international cruise lines to operate unregulated at American ports of call and Congress never made good on this threat. Meanwhile 75 people have gone overboard since the year 2000 and hundreds of others have suffered rape, death, and other crimes. The worse part is that we do not have any reliable statistics because there is no oversight and most of the crimes go unsolved and unprosecuted. The Self-regulation and self-policing by the cruise lines cannot and will not work:
1 - LET's PRETEND: If I were a bar owner in a small town, would the authorities let me enter into a voluntary agreement to report crimes? Considering that my employees or my self might be the prime suspect especially if it involves a disease or safety violation. If someone hits their head in the restroom and dies, can I just take the body to the morgue and then report the incident? I think not. What if there was a fight and he was thrown up against the wall? What if one of my employees were involved? What he slipped due to a safety violation? We have inspectors for coalmines and they still have poor safety records.
2 - Illness and accidents are a major concern also. In these cases, the cruise line or its employees could be at fault and cannot be expected to arrest themselves. If the U.S. government can inspect the food preparation operations on international cruise ships why can't we have law enforcement that could also protect the life and health of Americans.
3 - Even with oversight and regulation, look at the number of violations that still occur:
4 - How and by who are the gambling operations regulated on international cruise ships. They are a great place to launder money. http://safecruise.blogspot.com/2006/05/casinos-on-cruise-ships-related-to.html
5 - The crew on cruise ships work under very poor work conditions that are akin to forced labor. They must have a reliable authority to immediately report crimes and violations and safety concerns to or there is no way we can guarantee the safety of the American passengers.

6 - Reporting crimes after the fact is not needed as much as having
7 - Cruise vacations are a prime vacation destination for America's middle class and the government has abandoned us again. Americans have the right to be re-assured while on a cruise by having independent law enforcement on every ship where 50% or more of the passengers are U.S. citizens. Americans must have someone on their ship other than a private security guard that they can trust and then report incidents to. With the help of Bob Booth, a former FBI agent and Gil Alba, a former NYPD of http://www.gilalba.com/, we have a proposal for a demonstration project outlined at http://www.projectsafecruise.com/ which we have presented to Gary Bald at RCCL. We would also like to share it with the other cruise lines and the subcommittee. Independent "Sea Marshals" could be stationed on each chip and deputized by whatever country flags the ship and work under an agreement with the FBI, Coast Guard, and the State Department. See the web site for more details.

8 - Would we allow Disney World or other theme parks to operate out of the jurisdiction of local law enforcement and medical examiners?

How many more people must get killed at the intersection before we put up a stoplight? We are mad as hell and we are not going to take it anymore. Take a cruise that is. Americans should be encouraged to travel domestically until independent law enforcement is on every cruise ship.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Sleeping with the Enemy: Can We Trust the Testimony of ICCL & Cruise Lines plus Why Self-Policing Won't Work - Part 1:

Part 1:

Hearing: Crimes Against Americans on Cruise Ships
March 27, 2007 at 10:00 a.m., 2167 Rayburn House Office Building. This hearing of the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee will be web cast live on Tuesday, March 27, 2007.

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-cruise20mar20,1,255213.story?coll=la-headlines-business&ctrack=1&cset=true Congress revisits cruise crimes
Lawmakers want to know whether the industry accurately reports statistics.
By Kimi Yoshino, Times Staff WriterMarch 20, 2007

75 people have gone overboard since the year 2000. Last year was the worst yet with 22 persons going overboard.
When will the cruise lines take steps to improve safety and security for the millions of passengers they have each year. See http://www.projectsafecruise.blogspot.com/ for a plan for enhanced security for crew and passengers
The subcommittee should ask how many of the employees of ICCL are former members of the coast guard or other government agency. Pretty cozy relationship if too many coast guard go to work for the cruise industry!
Another question would be: It is our understanding that cruise disappearances and other crimes are assigned to local FBI field offices throughout the country. Shouldn't there be a special unit trained specifically to handle the global logistics of these disappearances? Why do so many go unsolved?

We suggest that the federal government work toward protections for the safety, security, and civil rights of all crewmembers. Unless crime and safety records of all cruise line employees are maintained and monitored, we will never be able to improve conditions for passengers. We have no idea about the amount of crime, death, and disappearances that have occurred involving crewmembers. 5 Cruise Ship Employees Die under Suspicious Circumstances in Last 4 Weeks http://safecruise.blogspot.com/2006/02/5-cruise-ship-employees-die-under.htmlWe also believe that we should ask Congress to have the FBI or other agency investigate the fact that the cruise lines have hampered investigations to the point of destroying evidence, preventing the timely testimony of crewmembers, and contaminated crime scenes. If appropriate, the cruise companies should be charged and prosecuted to the full extent of the law for aiding and abetting criminals and obstruction of justice.
See http://projectsafecruise.blogspot.com/ for an outline for enhanced security and safety for cruise vacations. While on a cruise vacation, American citizens have a right to have an independent, experienced, trained law enforcement person on each ship that they can immediately report crimes and safety problems. What works good on land should work well on the water. These "sea marshals" should:
Take reports of safety incidents as well as criminal activity. Some deaths and disappearances might be the result of lax or unenforced safety procedures.
Maintain database of incidents and provide some analysis of current procedures and conduct of parties involved and recommend improvements for all.
Develop a "Neighborhood Watch" or "Guardian Angel" type system that could include frequent customers, crewmembers, contract employees, travel agents, etc.
Create and "Amber Alert" type system to help find missing passengers.
Provide ongoing security and safety training to passengers, crew, travel agents, and organizers including shore excursion groups. This could include short entertaining presentations geared for different age groups covering subjects such as assault, identity theft, date rape, kidnapping, teenage and young child safety, security, safety, and health issues while in other countries or at sea, and threats for seniors.
It is my understanding that the Coast Guard might be going easy on the cruise lines because many of them go to work for the cruise lines when they retire. Did you know that Michael Crye, President of the International Council of Cruise Lines, worked for the Coast Guard in the past? Ted Thompson, executive vice-president is also retired Coast Guard. Michael and I were wondering if anyone from the media was researching how many free or reduced price cruises have been given to politicians and their staff member? It was obvious during the hearings by Congressman Shay's hearing the Congressman Mica had gotten more than just donations.
Using their advertising dollars and threats of counter suits, the Cruise Lines have intimidated the media and families of victims.
1 - A maritime attorney that Royal Caribbean threatened to file sanctions against one victim's Smith family if they pursue their lawsuit, asking for monetary damages if there are allegations they can't prove in court. Very unfair to do at the beginning of a trial.
2- In a heartless attempt to blame the victim, one cruise line issued flyers to the passengers as they got off one ship spreading falsehoods surrounding a recent man overboard incident.
3. We have been informed that aRoyal Caribbean's attorney made a statement at one news conference that they would sue any journalist who printed allegations from family or others that could not later be proven in court. Sounds like the strong-arm tactics of organized crime to us. A real threat to freedom of the press. That would mean that the press could print nothing about O.J. before or during his trial, on the chance he was found innocent.
4. One victim's family member who has talked to many media representatives said he was sure that many of them were being very cautious because of the amount of advertising money or threat of lawsuits. The press is working with one hand behind their backs.
5. During congressman Shay's hearings in March, the cruise lines and their representatives, including Congressman Micah of Florida, who received campaign donations of Carnival and RCCL, launched character assassinations many of the families and victims.
6 - I have talked to the executive editor of the Detroit Free Press and asked him why they did not cover the death of Elizabeth Galeana last month. She is from a very prominent family in Detroit. He said he would forward the info I sent them to one of his editors. I talked to the editor and he had decided not to cover the story but would not say why. I asked him a few questions and he seemed not to know any of the details of her disappearance even that she was from Detroit.

7 - Florida Today Exposes Carnival "Sweat Ships": The Under Belly of the Cruise Ship Industry
Sweatships The campaign: "A ship owner can go any place in the world, pick up anybody he wants, on almost any terms. If the owner wants to maximise profit at the expense of people, it's a piece of cake... It's a sweatshop at sea." Paul Chapman, a Baptist minister Sweatships Press ReleasesLife is no holiday for sweatship workers, says new report. 9 September 2002floridatoday.com January 31, 2006

8 - ICCL and Cruise Lines use distorted statistics:
1 1/2 billion people live in New York City according to cruise ship companies?

That's what the cruise industry would have us believe. That's the same kind of distortion of the facts that they are using to downplay the problem of crime during cruise vacations.
When Cruise ship companies refer to the figure of 31 million passengers; it is bogus and very misleading. There are only about 200,000 beds altogether and they are not always full. Crime statistics should be compared to a city of about 125,000 or less since the ships are not always full and passengers spend at least 25% of their time on shore and the ship crime statistics do not include crimes while on shore. We are not even sure if all 200,000 beds are accounted for by ICCL. On their web site they say there are a total of 184 ships with total births of around 200,000 yet ICCL only represents 90 ships or definitely less than 200,000 births. To get the 30 million passenger figure, ICCL multiplies the 200,000 berths by 3 years times 52 weeks a year and thus inflate the population used for crime statistic comparisons by a factor of 156. That is like saying that New York City has a population of 1.5 billion or 156 times about 10 million people. There are probably many categories of crime that are not counted by the cruise lines. I believe they do not count crimes unless they are reported before they leave the ship. They may not count robberies of less than $5,000. And crewmembers are quietly told not to report crimes. Letting the cruise industry keep their own statistics is kind of like asking the mafia how much money they have laundered in the last three years. ATTENTION ALL JOURNALIST and GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS: Someone Needs to Evaluate the raw data from which ICCL gets their conclusions. The crime figures for cruise vacations should be compared with the crime statistics for a gated community not just a general metropolitan area. The crime statistics do not include in data on crimes reported by crewmembers and they are part of the small city, too. So we should expect crime to be less on the cruise ships than it is in a gated community with no lower class citizens. It is not just the fact that the numbers of crimes are under-reported by the cruise industry it is the high percentage of cases that are not investigated or prosecuted properly and the fact that there is no data collected by an unbiased authority.
9 - Can Cruise Industry LIARS be trusted? They are LIARS and FELONS because they lied about illegal dumping at sea!
Miami-based Royal Caribbean has agreed to pay record fines in recent years for illegal discharges and falsification of the oil record book. In 1999 the company pleaded guilty to 21 felony charges for dumping bilge water and chemicals, falsifying records and lying about it, and agreed to pay an $18m fine. More recently, prosecutors took Carnival Corp, the world ’s largest cruise operation; to court in Miami and in April 2002 secured $18m in penalties and a pledge that the company would overhaul procedures. This followed allegations that engineers on six cruise ships were dumping waste by fraudulently operating equipment and falsifying records.
To keep waters pristine, punish the pollutersBy ROBERT TRIGAUX, Times Business Columnist © St. Petersburg Times published May 19, 2002.
In the late 1990s, Miami's Royal Caribbean Cruises paid $27-million in fines and penalties to settle ocean-dumping complaints in Florida, California, Alaska, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Now comes Miami's Carnival Corp., the world's biggest cruise company with 43 pleasure vessels, which last month pleaded guilty to six felony counts and agreed to pay $18-million in fines and restitution. The charge? Carnival lied by filing false statements with the Coast Guard on oily discharges from a half-dozen Carnival cruise ships, including the Paradise, Tropicale and (sailing from the Port of Tampa) Sensation. Aboard Carnival ships, on-board engineers went so far as to illegally override sensors meant to prevent dumping of oily wastewater.

10 - Gov Jeb Bush's Role in Katrina Contract for Carnival Cruise Line Questioned Based on Amount of Campaign Contributions made by Carnival Employees
http://www.news-journalonline.com/NewsJournalOnline/News/Politics/Florida/floPOLFL03030106.htm Feb 28, 2006
WASHINGTON -- A top House Democrat released e-mails Tuesday detailing Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's role in pushing a $236 million federal contract for Carnival Cruise Lines to house Hurricane Katrina victims. The Carnival Cruise Lines contract has turned out to be enormously expensive," Waxman wrote to Gov. Bush, the president's younger brother. The Carnival official, Ric Cooper, has been a major political donor to the Florida and national Republican parties, including $65,000 to the state GOP in 2002, and $50,00 to the RNC in 2004, Waxman said.

11 - Safe Cruise: RCL Changes Murder Theme Cruises to Pirate Theme Cruises
Can you believe this? http://www.whodunitcruises.com/
still offers mystery cruises in association with Royal Caribbean. After January 19, 2006 they now offer PIRATE Mystery Cruises. Before that date they offered MURDER Mystery Cruises. Besides changing the theme they have also removed offensive words like KILLER and CRIME and DYING and DEADLIER. And they have removed phrases like:

We finished our killer cruises for 2005 !! But 2006 will prove to be even a deadlier year !

Partners in Crime (AKA- Travel Agents)

CLICK HERE to see is how the web page appeared as of 1/19/06 according to MSN Search cache:

CLICK HERE to see is how the web page appears after 1/19/06:

It took RCCL over 6 months after George Smith disappeared to realize how insensitive such theme cruises are. How about "Project Safe Cruise" as a theme. But they probably will go with sea serpents or domestic spying or the Abramoff "Black Hat" cruise (You get what you pay for?)

Is Royal Carribean profting from George Smith's murder?
How insensitve can they be?
They let amatuers investigate a fake crime scene for 168 hours (7-day cruise). They only gave Dr. Henry Lee 4 hours to investigate a real murder. Maybe they sjould have bought him a ticket for the Murder theme cruise.

12 - In an ongoing effort to avoid regulations, taxation and negative publicity, the Cruise Lines continue to wage war against the government and the media. They have used lobbyists related to the Abramoff scandal to spend millions of dollars lobbying Congress. cruiselinelobbyistrelatedtoabramoff.blogspot.com/ They and their employees contribute millions of dollars to the same candidates. safecruise.blogspot.com/2005_12_01 They keep information and statistics secret concerning crimes, assaults, deaths, accidents, and disease from the government and victim's families. They incorporate and flag their ships in poor third world countries to avoid health, safety, security, and environmental rules. The worst being Royal Caribbean whose fees paid to Liberia helped finance Dictator Charles Taylor's Reign of Terror and mass murder. safecruise.blogspot.com/2006_04_01
Now it appears they have used their advertising dollars to limit freedom of the press and pressure the media to stop covering their serious safety and security problems. The New York Post September 13, 2006 by Keith Kelly.
The blogs and other media are talking about the NY Daily News reporters on Bravo's new reality show, "Tabloid Wars." How close to reality is it? A reporter at NY Daily News sent me an email on January, 31, 2006 stating that the story she had written about disappearances on cruise ships had been killed because the paper was afraid of losing ad revenues. Since January14, 2006, I had been providing her with some background data on the serious problem of cruise ship security and safety. She had interviewed several members of victim's families. Add the millions of dollars of lobbying expenditures and campaign donations and then the advertising money that gets thrown around. Someone has to put a stop to it. I will feel bad if Caitlin's job is threatened but not as bad as I would if more people die, disappear, or are assaulted or robbed because security and safety are not improved on the cruise ships.
I am very concerned the our freedom of the press is being eroded by foreign corporations like Carnival and Royal Caribbean, whose underhanded tactics include intimidation, extreme litigation, use of slave labor, control over the Congress to keep from being regulated because of their massive lobbying money, ad money, campaign donations, etc. They even used lobbyist closely related to the Abramoff scandal.

Sleeping with the Enemy: Can We Trust the Testimony of ICCL & Cruise Lines plus Why Self-Policing Won't Work -Part 2:

Part 2:
Are the Privacy and Security of Millions of American Cruise Vacation Customers at Risk?
What kind of security procedures and privacy rights exist for customers concerning the vast amount of personal data gathered and catalogued by the cruise line and other travel companies. They not only have our Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, phone and address info but they have our spending, eating, gambling, and shopping habits as well as medical information they ask for or obtain during incidents. They also have names and phone numbers of our relatives and friends used for emergency contacts. Most worrisome of all is all of the photos and videos they have of us from the ship and sail cards and surveillance videos. Can those images be converted to face scans? Evidently they can according to this New York Times article:http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/17/us/17face.html?ei=5065&en=36580b4653017e9c&ex=1172293200&partner=MYWAY&pagewanted=print February 17, 2007 By ADAM LIPTAKDriver’s License Emerges as Crime-Fighting Tool, but Privacy Advocates WorryThis story ties in with the increase crime and lack of safety for all tourist to the Caribbean and elsewhere and the fact that entities as renowned as Citibank, UPS, and Master card cannot assure the security and integrity of our personal data as stored, organized, sold and used by all travel companies.40 million credit cards exposed Payment processor blamed in mishap By Bob Sullivan Technology correspondentMSNBC: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8260050/Are there any law firms out there that might represent American Cruise Vacation Customers in an attempt to obtain a copy of any and all records kept by the cruise, travel and theme park companies and associates and contractors? We would like a complete accounting of what personal and other data has been collected and maintained by these entities. Including but not limited to what types of systems of records were used, what security, integrity and verification procedures were and are in place. Also, what and who had access to our data and how it was used. Do they have adequate systems and personnel procedures in place? Do they perform background checks on all of the employees and contractors? What is the intangible and tangible value of our data in the context of theirs and others data files? What other data was retrieved about us from other sources such as legal, financial, and credit bureau sources. What security breaches have occurred. How much money was made from our data? What international and federal authorities have jurisdiction on the use, maintenance, and distribution of our personal data? We would wish to seek compensation for our selves and others for the use and value of the aggregate data and ask to have all of our personal information expunged, deleted, and destroyed. We would propose the establishment of a clearinghouse or ombudsman to provide all travelers and customers with a central location for everyone to access, challenge, delete, and be compensated for the high sensitive and personal data collected, maintained, used, shared, and sold by the various corporations and individuals. This could be similar to the free credit reports available for data collected about everyone’s financial dealings.Should we be putting our sensitive personal and financial data in the hands of foreign corporations with employees from mostly third world countries including those with gangs and terrorists? Can we trust an industry or be a customer of a corporation who provided money for a regime who supported terrorist groups like al Qaeda and Hezbollah whose history of horror may be second only to Hitler's.http://safecruise.blogspot.com/2006/12/blood-diamonds-blood-cruises-americans.htmlCurrently, cruise lines rely on private security guards whose first loyalty is to the cruise company. Even, though their profits are in the billions of dollars they refuse to have independent security staff on their ships. http://projectsafecruise.blogspot.com/ They flag their ships and incorporate in poor third world countries like the Bahamas, Panama, and Liberia in order to avoid taxes, regulation, and oversight of their health and safety and security practices relating to passengers and crew. We know they don't care about their passengers with over 70 people going overboard since the year 2000 and:14 Month Old Baby Drowns When Star Cruises Crew Refuses To Give Baby A Proper Life Jacket http://www.cruisebruise.com/Neuna_Shah.htmlCruise lines have little or no legal obligation to settle because they are not regulated. RCCL is incorporated in Liberia and for many years they flagged their ships in Liberia. A country with a dysfunctional legal court system and no regulations or laws to protect cruise line employees, customers, or stockholders. The Cruise lines have poured millions of dollars into lobbying efforts, at times using lobbyist closely connected to Jack Abramoff and we know what kind of tactics he used. cruiselinelobbyistrelatedtoabramoff blog That along with many thousands of dollars of campaign contributions has kept congress from passing any meaningful regulations. Cruise ships are giant gambling operations. Kind of like a floating crap game. And I have never known anyone who ran a crap game to be concerned with those gambling. Its used to be the only thing you could lose is your money, but with over 70 individuals missing or gone overboard, fires, and viruses since the year 2000, you could lose your life or your health or your personal or financial identity.
How and Why Did Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines Help Liberian Dictator, Charles Taylor Brutally Kill over 300,000 Individuals in Africa during the 1990's? 1.5 million individuals were made homeless or became refugees.
Charles Taylor has been described, as the third most wanted war crimes suspect in the world -- after Saddam Hussein and Slobodan Milosevic
In recent years the region, particularly Liberia, has harbored al Qaeda operatives, senior Hezbollah financiers and a plethora of transnational criminal organizations. Hezbollah might not be as strong as it is today if not for Charles Taylor and fees paid by Cruise Lines.
[ http://www.douglasfarah.com/articles/conflict-diamonds.shtml ]
The American Public should demand that Cruise ship deaths be given as much attention as a serial killer case. There are about 200,000 beds on the cruise ships. If there were 60 disappearances in six years, or about 9 per year in the same neighborhood and no changes were made in security, we would quickly fire the police chief and people would no longer go to that neighborhood. In fact, there is a serial killer on cruise ships; it is the total lack of independent law enforcement and regulation. Currently, cruise lines rely on private security guards whose first loyalty is to the Cruise Company. Law enforcement should treat 60 disappearances like they would a serial killer case. They should crosscheck all available data to see if there are any common elements such methods, circumstances, or the same passengers or crewmembers being present. Any thread of commonality could help solve some of the disappearances and prevent others.
Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruise Lines operate cruise ships that were registered or flagged in Liberia. As recently as April 8, 2002 when ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISES LTD (RCL) filed Form 20-F with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for the period ending December 31, 2001, a majority of their ships were registered in Liberia. Royal Caribbean Cruises LTD and most of its many subsidiaries are still incorporated in Liberia per Form 10-K filed with the SEC on February 24, 2006 for the year ending December 31, 2005.
Statement Of Congressman Frank Wolf Before House Armed Services Committee Special Oversight Panel On The Merchant Marine Vessel Operations Under "Flags Of Convenience" And National Security Implications
http://www.house.gov/wolf/news/2002/06-13-flags.html Which brings me to the issue at hand for this committee -- the relationship between Charles Taylor’s criminal state and the Liberian flag registry and its implications on our national security. The United Nations and several news reports have revealed that the revenue obtained from the Liberian flag registry and the company that runs the registry, the Liberian International Ship and Corporate Registry, known as LISCR, made payments that violated the UN sanctions on Liberia. Also, the United Nations has reported that LISCR was set up precisely so that Charles Taylor would have immediate access to the flag registry funding. While estimates vary, according to the October 2001 UN report, the flag registry accounts for approximately 50 percent to 75 percent of Liberia’s annual revenue. Liberia’s people, the UN reports also indicate that the lack of transparency surrounding Liberian finances may have troubling national security implications for the U.S. government as well. For instance, the UN reports document how certain portions of the flag registry revenue were channeled to the notorious arms dealer, Victor Bout, who has connections to the Taliban, al Qaeda and Abu Sayyeef, the radical Muslim group in the Philippines.
In recent years the region, particularly Liberia, has harbored al Qaeda operatives, senior Hezbollah financiers and a plethora of transnational criminal organizations. [ http://www.douglasfarah.com/articles/conflict-diamonds.shtml ]

Bob Dickinson, president of Carnival Cruise Lines, threw his hands up in the air and said he was annoyed that they were even discussing the Smith case, calling it a "non-event." *"It has nothing to do with safety on cruise ships, and the fact that we need to get up here and defend our safety record is absurd," Dickinson said. *Hell with taking any action to improve cruise ship safety and security, they don't even want to discuss it: Dickinson suggested the panel refrain from discussing the Smith case. "I hate to see you talk about it because you're giving it legs," he said about the story.**Any action they take will be geared towards improving their public image: Royal Caribbean International President Adam Goldstein said the industry has been giving travel agents "talking points" to emphasize ship security, if customers ask about the Smith case and other safety matters.**
Well, Mr. Dickinson. We're annoyed that 75 people have gone overboard since the year 2000. We're annoyed that hundreds of family members have been treated with no respect or no real concern. We're annoyed that 93% of the sexual assaults have gone unprosecuted. We think it is absurd that the cruise ship companies have not been charged and arrested for destroying evidence and tampering with crime scenes. Mark our words: business as usual for the cruise lines will be a "non-event." We will not stop until "Sea Marshals" or another type of independent, trained, experienced security/law enforcement staff are aboard each ship.

Safe Cruise: Royal Caribbean IS PROUD (and enriched) to be UnAmerican:



I would bet that over 95% of the passengers on RCCL are Americans. I would not call that "incidental." Maybe if we all got dual citizenship between the U.S.A. and Liberia, we could all avoid paying income taxes. Since Royal Caribbean and Carnival are exempt from paying income taxes to the U.S., should they also be exempt from receiving free services from the U.S. Coast Guard, the FBI, Customs, U.S. health agencies, U.S departments that maintain the safety and security of the ports, etc? I believe we should be charging all cruise line companies some hefty fees for all of the American services they receive for free. Avoiding American income taxes lets Carnival and Royal Caribbean keep another half billion dollars in profits, giving these foreign corporations more money to interfere with the American political process by funneling millions of dollars into lobbying efforts and campaign donations. This prevents any meaningful legislation from being passed that might increase their taxes, port fees, or safety and security responsibilities. That's why they have little liability for the 47 people who went overboard since the year 2000 and why few if any of the hundreds of sexual assaults or robberies ever result in indictments or convictions.

On his MSNBC show Joe Scarborough stated that Cruise ships should be required to be flagged in the United States if they have American Ports of call. Unfortunately, this will never happen. They don’t even pay taxes. Will Carnival provide better safety and security for those housed on board the ships contracted by FEMA for six months than they do for regular cruises? It might be worth interviewing some of the people staying on board for several months. Carnival, which is headquartered in Miami but incorporated for tax purposes in Panama, paid just $3 million in income tax benefits on $1.9 billion in pretax income last year, according to company documents. This is the same as if I made $100,000 last year and only had to pay $75.00 in taxes. "That's not even a tip," said Robert S. McIntyre of Citizens for Tax Justice. U.S.Companiess in general pay an effective income tax rate of about 25 percent, analysts say. That would have left Carnival with a $475 million tax bill. No wander the FBI does not want to investigate incidents on Carnival ships. If Carnival paid the $475 million in taxes they should pay, the FBI could afford to have an agent on each cruise to monitor safety and security. (Personally, I believe that state, local, and Federal government agencies should not give any contracts for Hurricane repairs or anything else or do business with any companies that have headquarters outside the United States and funnel their profits off shore to avoid taxes)

$236 Million Cruise Ship Deal Criticized
By Jonathan Weisman , Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 28, 2005

...the Carnival deal has come under particular scrutiny. Not only are questions being raised over the contract's cost, but congressional investigators are examining the company's tax status. Carnival, which is headquartered in Miami but incorporated for tax purposes in Panama, paid just $3 million in income tax benefits on $1.9 billion in pretax income last year, according to company documents. "That's not even a tip," said Robert S. McIntyre of Citizens for Tax Justice. U.S. companies in general pay an effective income tax rate of about 25 percent, analysts say. That would have left Carnival with a $475 million tax bill.
Carnival's public records boast "that substantially all of our income in fiscal 2004, 2003 and 2002 . . .Is exempt from U.S. federal income taxes," largely because it maintains that its operations are not in the United States but on the high seas.
Carnival does not want to see that tax status jeopardized just because three major ships are clearly operating in the United States. After it won the FEMA bid, Carnival appealed to Treasury Secretary John W. Snow for a waiver of U.S. taxes. "We do not want to jeopardize our tax exemption, nor do we want to interrupt our relief efforts for failure to secure this assurance from the Treasury Department," wrote Howard Frank, Carnival's chief operating officer.
Cruise line council President Crye said the company will reduce its billings under the contract by the amount of income taxes forgiven. The waiver would spare Carnival and its employees the paperwork of filing tax returns.
But critics say Carnival deserves to be treated no differently than a hotel housing relief workers under a FEMA contract. "Carnival should be contributing to the relief effort just like all other taxpayers are," McIntyre said. "Why should they be singled out for special treatment, just because they've been so good at tax avoidance in the past

{The following statement appeared in the Form 10-K filed by Royal Caribbean (RCCL} with the Security and Exchange Commission on February 24, 2006}

A change in our tax status under the United States Internal Revenue Code may have adverse effects on our income.

We and a number of our subsidiaries are foreign corporations that derive income from a United States trade or business and/or from sources within the United States. Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, our United States tax counsel, has delivered to us an opinion, based on certain representations and assumptions set forth in it, to the effect that this income, to the extent derived from or "incidental" to the international operation of a ship or ships, is exempt from United States income tax pursuant to Section 883 of the Internal Revenue Code. We believe that most of our income (including that of our subsidiaries) is derived from or "incidental" to the international operation of a ship or ships.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Man and Woman rescued near Galveston after fall from Princess Cruise's Grand Princess

Houston Chronicle
GALVESTON — A couple fell overboard from a cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico early today, but both were rescued after a four-hour sear =ch and appeared to be in good condition, a cruise line spokeswoman said. The 22-year-old man and 20-year-old woman fell 50 to 60 feet from a cabin balcony, said Julie Benson, spokeswoman for Princess Cruises. She said the cruise line did not know how they fell overboard. Their ship, Princess Cruise's Grand Princess, was about 150 miles off the coast of Galveston at the time. The captain turned the ship around after friends of the man and woman notified the crew at about 1:30 a.m. CDT that they had gone overboard, Benson said. The ship's crew used high-powered spotlights and rescue boats in the search. One passenger was rescued by the ship's boats at 5:30 a.m. and the other at 6 a.m., according to a statement by the cruise line. The search was aided by the Coast Guard, said Lt. j.g. Jillian Lamb at the District 8 Command Center. A nearby cruise ship also offered assistance, she said. "They appear to be in satisfactory condition and we hope that no further medical attention will be needed," Benson said.

Friday, March 23, 2007

International Cruise Victims Association (ICV) Members to Testify at Congressional Hearing

Congress has scheduled a hearing on March 27, 2007 at 10:00 a.m. on "Crimes Against Americans on Cruise Ships." The hearing will be conducted by the Subcommittee on Coast Guard & Maritime Transportation, and will be held at the 2167 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington D.C. Congress has invited a number of members of the ICV to testify regarding their experiences, as well as experts on crimes on cruise ships. These include Kendall Carver and Laurie Dishman.
Kendall Carver of Phoenix, Arizona lost his daughter on the Celebrity cruise ship Mercury, owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises. Following her disappearance, the cruise line failed to notify family members or law enforcement and engaged in a cover-up of his daughter’s disappearance, Mr. Carver alleges. Mr. Carver is the President and one of the founding members of the ICV. Families of victims created this organization as a victims advocacy group to protect the members of the public who travel on cruise ships. The group now has members around the world including 10 difference countries and a separate chapter in Australia.
Ms. Laurie Dishman of Sacramento, California, was a victim of a violent crime occurred aboard the Vision of the Seas, a cruise ship operated by Royal Caribbean. According to Ms. Dishman, a security guard employed by the cruise line sexually assaulted and battered her while she was in her cabin. Ms. Dishman’s investigation has revealed that the security guard was originally hired to work as a janitor. The ship assigned him and other janitors security badges to work in the ship’s lounge because of an inadequate number of security personnel on the cruise ship.
The ICV will be discussing proposals to reduce shipboard crime, increase the conviction rate of criminals on cruise ships, and protect the victims from poor treatment by the cruise industry following the crimes. In addition to the ICV member, Congress invited a number of experts on cruise ship crimes to address the committee.
Professor Ross Klein is a Professor at Memorial University of Newfoundland in St. John’s, Newfoundland. His academic training is in sociology, and his interests include the cruise industry. He is the author of Cruise Ship Blues and has written and lectured extensively regarding the cruise ship industry.
Jack Hickey is a maritime lawyer in Miami, Florida, and has handled numerous maritime cases since his graduation from Duke University School of Law in 1980. After originally representing cruise lines, Mr. Hickey now represents passengers who have been injured on cruise ships due to accidents and sexual assaults.
Additional speakers will include representatives of the Federal Bureau of Investigations ("FBI"), the United States Coast Guard, and executives from Royal Caribbean Cruises and Holland America Lines.
For more information about the International Crime Victims Association, please visit www.internationalcruisevictims.org or write to info@internationalcruisevictims.org, phone 425-753-7711, fax 206-374-2944.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Coast Guard & Maritime Transportation Subcommittee to Hold Hearing on "Crimes Against Americans on Cruise Ships"


Hearing: Crimes Against Americans on Cruise Ships
March 27, 2007 at 10:00 a.m., 2167 Rayburn House Office Building. This hearing of the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee will be web cast live on Tuesday, March 27, 2007. Several members of the International Cruise Victims Organization are scheduled to attend.

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-cruise20mar20,1,255213.story?coll=la-headlines-business&ctrack=1&cset=true Congress revisits cruise crimes
Lawmakers want to know whether the industry accurately reports statistics.
By Kimi Yoshino, Times Staff WriterMarch 20, 2007

75 people have gone overboard since the year 2000. Last year was the worst yet with 22 persons going overboard.
When will the cruise lines take steps to improve safety and security for the millions of passengers they have each year. See http://www.projectsafecruise.blogspot.com/ for a plan for enhanced security for crew and passengers.

Members of the
Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
U.S. House of Representatives
110th Congress
Majority (507 FHOB) - (202) 226-3587
Minority (505 FHOB) - (202) 226-3552
Phone: (202) 225-4472 Fax: (202) 226-1270

Elijah E. Cummings, Maryland, Chairman

Gene Taylor, Mississippi
Rick Larsen, Washington
Corrine Brown, Florida
Juanita Millender-McDonald, California
Brian Higgins, New York
Brian Baird, Washington
Timothy H. Bishop, New York
James L. Oberstar, Minnesota (ex officio)
Steve LaTourette, Ohio,
Ranking MemberDon Young, Alaska
Howard Coble, North Carolina
Wayne T. Gilchrest, Maryland
Frank A. LoBiondo, New Jersey
Ted Poe, TexasJ
John L. Mica, Florida (ex officio)

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Man Overboard Survived in Ocean for 8 Hours but Carnival Glory Cruise Ship Stops Searching after only 3 1/2 Hours

And it sounds like the carnival cruise ship helped search for the minimum time required. http://www.cruisecritic.com/news/news.cfm?ID=1972
The ship notified the Coast Guard of the event at 12:45 a.m., and several Coast Guard cutters (smaller boats) and helicopters had been searching for the man along with Carnival Glory and a Disney ship that was in the area. Glory was released to continue toward its next port (Nassau) at 4:20 a.m.

''The time that they did spend was appreciated,'' Warr said. Warr said that ship and another cruise that assisted in the search left the area before Mankamyer was found. It seems that profit and partying is still more important to the Cruise Lines than the health and safety of their passengers. Having several hundred more eyes searching for another 5 or 6 hours would have given Mr. Mankamyer a chance of being found much sooner. When an elderly couple went overboard from the Carnival Destiny in May of 2005, it took the cruise ship over 12 hours to get back to where they fell off and they searched for only a few hours. http://safecruise.blogspot.com/2005_08_01_archive.html

Friday, March 16, 2007

Coast Guard finds man who jumped off ship

Crews rescue 24-year-old cruise ship passenger who went overboard
The man was aboard the Carnival Glory, which operates out of Port Canaveral east of Orlando, according to the cruise company’s Web site. The man waved his arms at crews when he was located at about 8:45 a.m., around eight hours after he was reported overboard, Coast Guard Petty Officer Jennifer Johnson said. She said he was airlifted to a hospital, but she didn’t know his condition. A witness saw the man run through a Carnival Cruise Lines ship cabin window and fall into the water, Coast Guard Petty Officer Dana Warr said, adding it was unclear if the window was open.

Over 70 people have gone overboard since the year 2000.
When will the cruise lines take steps to improve safety and security for the millions of passengers they have each year. See http://www.projectsafecruise.blogspot.com/
for a plan for enhanced security for crew and passengers.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Cruise ship crew arrested for cannabis

www.antiguasun.com Tuesday March 13 2007
Two Ukrainians are now in police custody after being arrested last Friday for possession of cannabis. The two, Shshchuk Igor, 26, and 28-year-old Shumouyah Ruslan were passengers on board the Carnival Destiny, which had docked in St. John’s on Friday. The men, who had disembarked the ship and were touring the city, were arrested after being found with the illegal drug. They are expected to make an appearance before a St. John’s Magistrate

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Carnival Cruise Lines Too cheap to Improve Passenger Safety and Save Lives but Chairman becomes FILTHY Rich

Cruise Exec Arison Earned $5.4M in 2006
AP via Yahoo! Finance - Mar 02 12:12 PMCarnival Corp. chairman Micky Arison made more than $5.4 million in base salary, bonuses and other compensation in 2006, according to a filing Friday by the world's largest cruise operator.

Over 70 people have gone overboard on cruise ships since the year 2000. 2@006 was the worst year yetwith 22 disappearances. Hundreds of sexual assaults, most not reported and few if any prosecuted. Shouldn't Carnival and all cruise lines have Sea Marshalls or other independent law enforcement staff - see www.projectsafecruise.blogspot.com

CRUISE SHIPS – Living Hell below the Decks
Despite the fact that the top three cruise ship companies earned over £8.5 billion in 2001, long hours and low pay are the norm for workers. A third of cruise ship staff work 12 hours a day, with bar waiters earning as little as US$50 a month. Contracts are short and insecure, with sexual harassment and racism rife onboard. In 1999, a law suit forced Carnival cruises to disclose the nearly 100 accusations of rape and sexual harassment against crew members between 1993 and 1998 – all ignored by the company.The anti-poverty UK charity War on Want has launched a new campaign together with the ITF exposing the appalling conditions of Third World workers on some luxury cruise ships. Researchers found seafaring families in India left more indebted, in greater poverty than when they started. This is because many crewing agents illegally charge workers fees just to get the job. The money often has to be borrowed at high interest rates and, if anything goes wrong with the contract, the cruise ship worker and their family are left in a spiral of mounting debt.In Sept 2002, the War on Want in conjunction with ITF has produced a scathing 30-page report called “Sweatships – what it’s really like to work on board cruise ships”. It can be downloaded from their website http://www.waronwant.org/.

h2 class="sidebar-title">Links