It need not be a group of rowdy cruisers, but one mad cruiser, off his meds, as this story I read today on aol attests to. The part that got me was, that security passed the buck, as did the front desk. The saftey of this woman, seemed to swing in the wind, and, no one was interested at all
My husband and I decided to take a cruise in June 2010 to celebrate our anniversary. We booked an
an eight night cruise from New York to Turks & Caicos and the Bahamas on the Carnival Miracle
. In the middle of the cruise, we took a shore excursion to Half Moon Cay, a private-island stop. We did a kayak adventure and afterwards were exceptionally hot, so we went straight to the beach. I was in the water cooling off while my husband found us a beach chair when an individual in his 20s walked past me and blew his nose into the water right beside me. I live in New York City, and when someone does something disgusting like that my instinct is to pipe up. This individual became instantly aggressive and angry and we had a brief exchange of words. At that time, my husband found us mid-confrontation and I said to him, "We need to just get out of here." We left the situation for a spot in much deeper water and way down the beach, but I had a feeling it wasn't over.
Sure enough, this man followed us down the beach and began making threatening gestures. He was using his index finger to make a slicing gesture to me and was punching one hand into the other while gesturing to me to get out of the water and confront him again. The whole time this was happening, it seemed so absurd. I kept thinking to myself "I'm a 32-year-old mom...and he wants to fight me? Really?" We ignored him, hoping he would relax and go away, but soon he came charging into the water toward us. He was beet red with fury and was blowing his nose everywhere, snorting. This time there were a lot of people around, safety in numbers at least. But he was furious that I had called him out. He screamed at us that he was bipolar and that he hadn't taken his medication since the cruise began. "You don't even know what I want to do to you right now!" he yelled. My hands up, I just kept telling him to calm down. When he began barking and grunting and spitting like a rabid animal, my husband gestured for back up from another passenger. This passenger was a large individual and we succeeded in getting him to leave. We watched him return to his beach chair, where an older man, whom I took to be the father, placed a towel over the guy's head while he rocked back and forth.
The only people who were on the beach that day were passengers on our ship. And while he had left our vicinity, I was still concerned for my safety. We went right to the lifeguard who said he couldn't help but called someone from island security who also explained that she wasn't able to do anything but offered to walk us back to our ship so we could tell security onboard. We tried to talk to the security guards who checked us back onto the boat but they also said that there wasn't anything we could do and that I should go tell someone at guest services. The agent working at guest services was disinterested, to say the least. After pretending to take notes, she told us to tell someone in security. At this point, with my nerves rattled, I got frustrated that there didn't seem to be a system in place for dealing with dangerous individuals. I told her that my only goal was to have the incident recorded in some official capacity because I was concerned for my safety and wanted to have something on record. I asked to have security call my room instead of wandering all over the ship and risking another run in. She asked for my room number and wrote it down. No one ever reached out to me from security or otherwise.
As it turned out, the individual who had been harassing me was on our floor and we continued to see him every day on the ship. We tried going for walks, and we would see him and his family lounging. As soon as they noticed us they would begin taunting us, trying to get us to have a confrontation again. We avoided it as much as possible and spent the remainder of our trip in our state room.
This thoroughly ruined my vacation. I felt like my safety was not a priority to the staff or the company.
At the very end of the cruise, I filled out the customer comment card and explained the entire story, providing my telephone number and email address asking for someone to contact me. We disembarked the boat and I waited a week and a half before I did anything more. In frustration, I started a blog.
In response, I got a form letter, obviously cut and pasted, basically saying that sometimes when you put people together from different backgrounds, there can be tension