Paul, you're not alone. The lawyers see a cash cow in the cruise lines so their going to milk it however they can. It's basically an untapped gold mine to them and they and their cronies in D.C will see that congress and the public are led to believe that cruises are dangerous hot beds of sin and crime.
Everyday here in my home town it's something in the news about a robbery, shooting, beating, rape or something and I live in a city a little under 300,000 people. Multiply the crime we have in the streets all across the U.S. each day and compare that to TRUE crime that actually happens on cruise ships that haul approx. 12 million people each year and the figure is miniscule.
I know I'll catch some heat from what I'm about to say but I think some of these so called crimes--rape among them-- are a stretch. No doubt there is some true crime on ships but to try to paint a picture of the cruiselines in the way that some are is simply ridiculous. It's all about money because once they breach the dam on suing the cruiselines everytime someone has a beef or cries wolf, the lawsuits will fly.
Expect in the not too distant future to see balconies enclosed with plexi-glass and no open railings at all. We'll sail in a cocoon--breathe recycled air and then sue the cruiseline because we got sick.