safety on shore excursions zip lines, & stingrays etc...
Regarding ziplines. I myself have no desire to do this but one of my friends did it in Mexico and boy did the contraption look flimsy! She also did it in Alaska where the equipment was much better, the US has higher safety standards then many other countries. Having just read about the fatal zipline death of an NCL cruiser I was wondering your thoughts on this subject. I also wonder if the ships will still offer this excursion as I know it is very popular.
Also I realize stingray stings or deaths are pretty rare but they do occur, the sting rays maybe very tame such as sting ray city Grand Cayman, or Shark Ray alley in Belize where I snorkled with them but they do happen what are your thoughts about this. To me the sheer volume of people doing these excursion at a place like stingray city makes me feel accidents are more likely.
Carnival cancelled their excursion to Shark Ray alley I heard that was a liabilty problem meaning someone sued or tried to sue in regards to some kind of accident. So I wonder what makes cruise lines decide which excursions to keep and which to scrap.
Carnival Mardi Gras 1987 (Bahamas)
Carnival Legend 2005 (Exotic Western Caribbean)
Costa Mediterrenia 2005 (Eastern Caribbean)
Carnival Pride October 2006 (Mexican Rivera)
Carnival Legend 2007 (Western Caribbean)
Carnival Glory 2009 Western Caribbean
Carnival Liberty 2011 Eastern Caribbean
Norwegian Spirit 2011 Western Caribbean
Carnival Miracle 2012 Southern Caribbean
Carnival Breeze 2013 Exotic Eastern Caribbean
Carnival Valor 2014 Southern Caribbean
While no doubt that accidents do happen, they also happen here. They happen at home, on the road, etc., etc. I really think that the only real difference is that we tend to be more adventuresome on vacation. And that, as you said, other countries don't have our safety levels.
The excursion vendors in other countries are also not subject to the kind of insurance regulations that we have, nor are they particularly worried about lawsuits, since trying to sue in another country would be difficult at best. But, the cruise lines do care about lawsuits and bad publicity. So, I think that they drop excursions when passengers have bad experiences and "report" them, whether via lawsuits or just complaints.
Just my take on this,
i totally agree with Marty, the cruise line has your best interest and saftey is a main concern, if there were many complaints and it became a safety issue, the cruise line would definately eliminate that excursion.
The stingrays in Grand Caymen are basically tame animals, very docile, the incidents you hear about in the news, tragic as they are involve "wild" breeds of rays.
We had a group that did the zipline tour in Jamaica and they had a blast and felt very safe, good equipment and very infomative guides.
The risks with doing something a bit adventourous would be if you booked with an independant tour as opposed to the cruise line
The first time I did a zipline I was too afraid too actually enjoy it. I have mor of a fear of heights that i thought.
but I just got back from another trip and we ziplined in St Lucia, and I not only enjoyed it a lot, I got some great video of me going down the zipline I will post here shortly.
As for how dangerous it is, I admit that in Jamica I thought the attendents took the whole thing a little too cavalierly. Once I stopped a guy from joking around so much and made him doublecheck my straps. I interrupted his comic "flow" which went over like a lead balloon, but I felt better.
But when I think about the sheer (likely) millions of people who have probably been swimming with the sting rays in Grand Cayman (I have been out there with literally hundreds, up to a thousand, of people at the same time, and that happens almost every day) and I have not heard of a single accident there, then...
I am pretty sure some of the private island stingrays had their barbs removed - don't quote me, though.
In any case, life is an adventure. The scariest thing I have done was very close to my home - hot air ballooning. Being thousands of feet high with no safety backup in the open air was not a comfortable feeling for me.