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View Poll Results: Have you ever been the victim of a crime upon a cruise ship?
No, and I believe the crime rate on ships is over-rated 70 70.00%
No, but I believe the problem is bigger than the cruise lines admit 24 24.00%
Yes - I had a personal item go missing 5 5.00%
Yes - I was assaulted (sexually or otherwise) 1 1.00%
Voters: 100. You may not vote on this poll

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  #31 (permalink)  
Old March 23rd, 2009, 04:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Motter
. . . I think it is vastly important to separate sexual assault or other bodily harm from other crimes (theft) because the ICV seems to believe that assault is the primary form of crime on ships. I strongly disagree. . .
Thank you for your explanation Paul regarding the titling... It did give many of us an opportunity to lighten up a serious issue! I finished reading your March Blog for further discourse and explanation on the topic.

I agree with your statement above that "reported" assault is not the primary form of crime on cruise ships. However, at issue for me is the capability of the cruise lines to address, on site, and report all crimes. I question if the cruise industry adheres to ethical and behavioral standards in regards to the response to, and reporting of, all crimes that occur on the cruise ship.
I am not convinced that government regulation will have the consequences intended by the authors of the current legislative proposal(s) in front of the US Congress; to say nothing of the area of enforcement and legal challenge. My primary concern is that the cruise lines, of all nations and all flags, publish a strong statement that the security and welfare of their passengers is their priority. That statement must define complete adherence to investigative and prosecutorial procedures.
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Old March 23rd, 2009, 07:05 PM
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Namvet...

This is indeed a difficult subject and one where explaining the process helps. It sounds complicated, but it really isn't.

Our constitution sets up Maritime Courts under the jurisdiction of the Federal Government. Every soveriegn nation is supposed to have maritime courts.

In our case. the US has extended the jurisdiction of our Maritime Courts to cover all U.S. citizens on the open seas. Any US citizen victim may report a crime at sea to our Federal Government through the FBI. The FBI has the jurisdiction to investigate, bring charges and arrest perpetrators of crimes against US citizens.

(Google: Maritime Court - Miami)

Asking whether Cruise Lines can be trusted to do so brings up two points:
1) It is the complete independent right of a victim to report a crime at sea to the FBI personally, it does not have to go through the cruise line.
2) the cruise lines have already stated their complete intention to have all crimes reported to them re-reported to the FBI on the victims's behalf.

Whether or not one must "trust" the cruise lines to do so has to take into account the fact that there are attorneys advertising for cruise crime victims to come forward. Just Google "cruise crime". So, there are already plenty of ways to report cruise ship crimes without needing the cruise lines to do it.

However, not to be fully naive about the difficulty of timeliness in reporting a crime, the cruise lines HAVE agreed to report all crimes immediately as one is reported to them. Further, the cruise lines have outlined a complete process where the immediate onboard follow-up for a reported crime will be handled from shoreside, communicating with a trusted officer onboard trained to interface with shoreside, to run a protocol to isolate the parties involved, use evidence collection where timeliness is a concern (rape kit) and seal the crime scene for further investigation when the FBI can board the ship.

I asked about this, and one place where the 48-hour rule applies LESS is on a cruise ship where the population is limited and confined to a small space. Most evidence; hair, fiber, blood, fingerprints, are not so perishable.

Detractors will tell us about times when a cruise ship did not re-report a crime. When they "covered up." However, most of the cases people will cite are old by at least a few years or more, or else they were already investigated by the FBI and the victim is not happy with the results but the victims don't talk about that. They say "well, if the cruise lines had cooperated more it would be different." Well, you have never heard the FBI say they think the cruise lines were covering anything up.

Now we have a written agreement by the cruise lines to fully cooperate with the FBI (since the hearings in 2007). So, if our federal government is going to legislate anything that should make prosecution of cruise ship crimes more effective, doesn't it make more sense for our Congress to focus on what it has actual control over, our FBI? What about that stimulus bill? Instead of making the cruise lines the villians, why not set up an FBI task force permanently assigned to investigating cruise ship crimes? Why crack down on the cruise lines to police themselves - they have already agreed to - this last Princess case proves they can do so.

You can mandate that the cruise lines cooperate, but in fact they already are cooperating. Any law making them cooperate is not going to change the facts - that cruise crime is lower than the detractors want you to think, that they still could coverup if they wanted to, (but they don't).

Cruise ships are not the floating Sodom and Gomorrahs some people want to portray them as. Just this second I received an email asking me with cruise line is best for an 18-yr old who wants to party. Unfortunately, cruise lines won't serve anyone under 21.

I got a nasty email from someone calling me all kinds of unrepeatable names for what I said about this 4th round of hearings. Turned out he was listed in the ICV web site, but he is Australian (not a US Citizen hence our laws don't apply to him), his case was from 2001 and he definitely had an anger-management problem based on what he said to me and what he did to the "perp" he says the cruise lines let get away. Not before he bloodied the guy's nose. I don't know the truth in the case and neither did he. He said a guy had a hold of his 3-yo son's arm so he "was obviously a child molester" which he proceeded to pound to the ground. When the cruise line threw him off the ship - naturally none of the incident was his fault, it was the molester's fault and the captain who covered up the "actual" crime.

In other words - this continued effort to villianize the cruise lines is not about safety - it is payback by self-proclaimed cruise victims to punish cruise ships and future passengers. Quick example - they want 54-inch railings. That won't change anything. No one has accidentally fallen off of a cruise ship without putting themselves in danger first. Making railings higher is just a pound of flesh, not a realistic solution to any problem.

In other words - this is not a simple subject. Every case is different. There have been some very bad things happen, but lack of evidence of cruise crime is not evidence of cruise crime. Let me repeat that: lack of evidence of cruise crime is not evidence of cruise crime.

That is like saying you just don't trust certain people because they are "too clean."
  #33 (permalink)  
Old March 23rd, 2009, 07:28 PM
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Paul, 10% seems very high. I don't see how they came up with such a high figure. If crime was that bad on ships we would be reading about it in the news every day. I wonder what that ten percent figure represents. Losses in the casino or minor things. A few years ago I walked away from the pool leaving a shirt hanging over the back of the lounge. I checked lost and found later and nothing was turned in. I don't consider that a crime but some might. Mike
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  #34 (permalink)  
Old March 25th, 2009, 09:16 AM
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We've sailed well over 100 times, and NEVER had a problem....Cruise ship crime is vastly over rated IMO.

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  #35 (permalink)  
Old March 25th, 2009, 10:50 AM
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No never been a victim on a ship.

On my Celebrity cruise I had left my bag in the ladies room and had $200. in it. I noticed an hour later I did not have my bag went to guest services and there it was with the $200. in it. I thought that was great.

Still a great idea to be careful and aware as crime can happen anywhere and on ships also. Of course the basics don't get drunk, keep an eye on your drink making sure the person next to you does not throw anything in there, parents always know where the kids are going to be 24/7 and checkup on them too, and don't judge a book by its cover...the weird looking guy wearing a tshirt and torn jeans could be harmless however the guy with his wife wearing a tux could be trouble you just never know.

I learned something new today I did not know what a "roofie" is..

Happy Cruising everyone!!
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  #36 (permalink)  
Old March 25th, 2009, 03:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecruisequeen
No never been a victim on a ship.

On my Celebrity cruise I had left my bag in the ladies room and had $200. in it. I noticed an hour later I did not have my bag went to guest services and there it was with the $200. in it. I thought that was great.

Still a great idea to be careful and aware as crime can happen anywhere and on ships also. Of course the basics don't get drunk, keep an eye on your drink making sure the person next to you does not throw anything in there, parents always know where the kids are going to be 24/7 and checkup on them too, and don't judge a book by its cover...the weird looking guy wearing a tshirt and torn jeans could be harmless however the guy with his wife wearing a tux could be trouble you just never know.



I learned something new today I did not know what a "roofie" is..

Happy Cruising everyone!!
That's a great point that many times criminals can look and blend in just like anyone else. People tend to let their guards down while on vacation and you just can't do that.

I would say the crimes aboard that we probably rarely hear about are those that involve crew members against other crew members. There are bound to be thefts, aquaintance rapes and any number of other crimes in that type of atmosphere. But like the college dorm setting, most of it probably goes unreported...Especially for these folks who have so much on the line.
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  #37 (permalink)  
Old March 25th, 2009, 07:29 PM
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Any setting like a cruise ship or college dorm, summer camp, spring break city, beach campground... is bound to have some incidences that are most accurately described as date rape. But I contend cruise ships have fewer of them, and far fewer serious sexual assault, than the other places I mentioned because they have stiff penalties for violators and the people involved are more mature. I think the "problem" is vastly overated.

The Cruise Critic poll was somehow "doped" by people who wanted to skew it, or else the people responding just did not understand the question. Its a shame for a cruise site to give the naysayers so much ammunition.
  #38 (permalink)  
Old March 25th, 2009, 07:39 PM
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That could be Paul, or perhaps you just have a very savvy, alert bunch over here that refuses to fall victim to criminals. Really the only incident I have ever experienced even close to what I would consider theft, and not really, was on our first cruise, I went to cash a $100 traveller's check and check my account at the purser's desk and the young woman at the counter engaged me in casual conversation and at some point we concluded that all was well with my onboard account and bid me farewell. I asked where my cash was, and she claimed to have given it to me. It was a bit tense at that moment. I saw her count it and sort through papers and such on the desk but she never handed the cash to me. I asked her firmly but politely to empty the drawer where I saw her put a stack of papers while we were talking and guess what? My money was there.
Lesson I learned was to pay attention when people are handling my money.
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  #39 (permalink)  
Old March 25th, 2009, 09:45 PM
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beenie - that is funny. It is true, unfortunately, that hired help can sometimes do the most theft, but usually they steal from the company. She may have been trying to scam you, but it seems to me that particular event would be a little to easy to get caught - because the average person looking to get change would realize right away they didn't get it because they never put it away.

I wasn't there, so I won't make any judgements, but most people who steal are far more clever. They would short change you instead of trying to take it all.

I have caught myself walking out of stores where I signed for cash back and then forgot to get the money, I had to go back and say, "ummmm I forgot to get the money I asked for (or you forgot to give it to me)" but I didn't really think they were trying to steal it from me. It was just a lot of activith going on and it didn't happen.

You may be right though, I'm just saying if that was her scheme it wasn't very well thought out.
  #40 (permalink)  
Old March 26th, 2009, 03:43 AM
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I hope it wasn't intentional. and will have to give the young lady the benefit of a doubt. But really that is as close as I ever came to being a victim of a crime onboard. I always feel pretty safe on a ship. There have been many other trips I have taken over my lifetime, where I can honestly say I did not feel safe. So I guess I'll just keep booking cruises. It's a tough job, but somebody has to do it...
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  #41 (permalink)  
Old March 26th, 2009, 12:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike M
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollerdonna
Excuse me, but what is a "roofie"?
Donna,

A "roofie" is the slang term for a strong sedative called Rohypnol (ro-hip-nol). It can be slipped into a drink to make someone almost catatonic.

It can also be Ketamine (animal tranquilizer) or GHB (Gamma Hydroxy Butyrate) another strong sedative.

This is why women should never leave a drink unattended in a bar or other place.

I have never experienced any crime on a cruise ship other than leaving my sunglasses by a hot tub and when I returned they were gone. No one turned them. I chalk that up to my own negligence.

Take care,
Mike
As a former medic in NYC we would get at least 2-3 calls per night on the weekends for women who were slipeed roofies or GHB. It always turned out that they had met someone who bought them a drink or they left there drinks unattended. So if it happens in bars on land it can surely happen on a ship. You just need to be aware of everything and everyone. Be careful and you wont become a statistic.
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  #42 (permalink)  
Old March 26th, 2009, 01:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Motter
Namvet...

This is indeed a difficult subject and one where explaining the process helps. It sounds complicated, but it really isn't.

Let me repeat that: lack of evidence of cruise crime is not evidence of cruise crime.

That is like saying you just don't trust certain people because they are "too clean."
I agree Paul. . . lack of evidence is not evidence. It is convoluted thinking!
To the issue of the legislation. This is not the time for reactionary federalism to inject itself into private enterprise. You very concisely explained the existing laws that cover the issue. And, after due thought and bearing in mind that we live in a litigious society, there is a mechanism in place, while not perfect, to address crime committed aboard a cruise ship. All the posters who offered common sense advice on how to avoid becoming a victim reinforces the concept that the cruising public has a forum available to educate themselves about the potential pitfalls.
  #43 (permalink)  
Old March 26th, 2009, 10:14 PM
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I came across this tonight...



http://uk.sys-con.com/node/890105
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  #44 (permalink)  
Old March 27th, 2009, 11:06 AM
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Trip...

This gets complicated, but it all goes to the ICVs contention that cruise lines (like a city) have a public obligation to divulge their records. In fact, they don't. They are a private enterprise whose first obligation is the keep a passenger's records private.

A lawsuit is the proper way to get private information about a third party from a cruise line - it gives the third party a hearing in which the accuser has to prove a right to that private information.

This statement by ICV, "A person should not have to sue to get the records of a cruise line" is disingenuous. Yes they should. An allegation alone is not enough to compel the cruise lines to divulge private information about their customers.

Did this man file a report with the FBI or with the cruise line while onboard? If he had, then the FBI could subpeona that information.

If all that was required was a "request" just think of the potential damage that could be inflicted upon you just because you innocently took a cruise. Someone could ask about your personal information and get it and then sue you for whatever. That isn't right.

In addition - if the cruise line is NOT cooperating it is usually because the cruise line does not see any reason to give up the information (lack of proof, no official reports made, etc). Also, the person suing has become adversarial, most likely also naming the cruise line in the law suit. If you were getting sued would you give up any information at all without being legally obligated to do so?

Would you want to be the cruise line's equivalent of the McMartin preschool case - where someone made an allegation against you, had experts to testify against you and it was up to you to prove a negative?

I am glad the cruise lines don't take my personal information and give it away - I would be getting phone calls from every marketer who wants to sell me cars, furniture, timeshares, etc, if they did.
  #45 (permalink)  
Old March 27th, 2009, 02:01 PM
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Paul, your points were valid for sure..I posted this because of the nature of the thread, and, the article pertained to crime on ships.
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  #46 (permalink)  
Old April 2nd, 2009, 09:49 PM
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14 cruises and have never had any problems.
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Old April 9th, 2009, 05:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by felix_the_cat
Just because you have personally had anything happen, doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

I believe there are far more "soft" crimes on cruiseships than people realize. Thefts, for the most part, go unreported. One must always be careful but also, don't hide your head in the sand - it happens.

To my way of thinking, the problem usually lies with the cruiselines who want to sweep it under the rug and pretend it didn't happen.
If that is the case, the cruise lines should hire high school principals and administrators. Best "rug sweepers" I've ever seen.
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Old April 9th, 2009, 05:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by namvet4
I have not read the pending legislative position; I do not know the details of how it will impact the industry.
Neither have I, but a little voice in my mind keeps saying there's probably some taxation involved, plus a little "skim" for one or more businesses based in MA.
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Old April 9th, 2009, 05:56 PM
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The Poll at the beginning reveals responses much like what you would expect to see ashore -- i.e., have you ever been a victim of a crime in your hometown? You are probably less likely to be a crime victim on a cruise ship than at home. But if your are, especially if it is a mere property crime, it is less likely that the crime will be handled or investigated property. Cruise ships lack properly train criminal investigators. It's just the nature of the beast.

Of more concern to me is the issue of security. Cruise ships IMHO, remain ripe targets for terrorists.
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Old April 9th, 2009, 06:07 PM
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"It is the complete independent right of a victim to report a crime at sea to the FBI personally, it does not have to go through the cruise line."

Paul, please believe someone with 20 some odd years experience in federal law enforcement, Neither the FBI nor the United States Attorneys have the time, the inclination, or much interest in investigating penny ante property crimes that occur aboard a cruise ship. Murder and rape -- yes, theft of money or jewels -- forget it. They simply have been assigned too much to do in the bigger fish category.
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Old April 9th, 2009, 06:12 PM
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Rich,

As a former LEO, I am definitely on board with you on the security issue. It might be handled extremely well. The problem is, we don't know and we'll never know given the nature of that beast as well.

I am at some point going to try and find out enough behinds the scenes stuff to assure at least yours truly that the issue is being treated with the seriousness it should. As it stands now, I've no reason to believe that's not the case.

Todd
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Old April 9th, 2009, 06:35 PM
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Oh I think they treat it seriously, but I doubt they have the heavy weaponry and certainly not the training it would take to fend off an attack by a well armed group of terrorists. I have this theory, that 2500 cruisers, should be protected as well as, oh say the Vice President of the U.S. I have talked to people on cruises, who refuse to cruise in certain parts of the world, including the Med. because of security concerns. The cruise lines should confront the issue squarely and compete based on security preparedness. This is no longer a safe world. Just my opinion.
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  #53 (permalink)  
Old April 13th, 2009, 01:10 PM
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Rich & Todd - with both of you as former LEOs I would appreciate comment on my blog about arming cruise ships
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Old April 19th, 2009, 08:01 PM
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We have 28 cruises under our belt. I only recall one incident in 1982 where a crew member acted friendly to a passenger and they shipped him out at the next port. We also thought it was suspicious because we were present during this so called incident. This was a Costa Ship
Anyway we use common sense and never have any problems.
Also, on security CNBC has been showing a program on the cruise industry and during one segment showed the ship had over 1100 cameras throughout the ship. Seems to me they have the ship covered in all the general areas.
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Old April 20th, 2009, 03:49 PM
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Strangely enough - hearings on cruise ship crime in Congress were scheduled by Doris Matsui - she updated the cruise crime bill of 2008 as the "Cruise Crime Bill for 2009"

But I never heard a peep about the outcome of these hearings. It is as if they never happened. The truth is the had almost nothing new to talk about since the 2008 hearings, as far as cruise safety is concerned, so i suspect they didn't do anything.

If they held them at all there was no determination. And since then not a peep has emerged.
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Old April 21st, 2009, 08:44 AM
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Link
The link will take you to H.R. 1485, The Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2009 for further information.

This link will take you to Washington Watch, where you may comment on the Bill!

You can explore further from these sites, if you have the interest!
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Old April 26th, 2009, 12:39 PM
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This topic is now locked because we reached 100 responses. The one thing I wanted to do was repoll an independent group of cruisers since Cruise Critic ran a similar poll and (somewhat neglectfully in my opinion) did not make any differentiation between type of crime onboard, and also, in my opinion, somehow allowed it to be skewed to have it read that a full 10% of readers responded they had been victims of crime onboard.

Our poll shows that only 1 person in 100 claims to have been assaulted on a cruise ship. It is not that we believe 5% of people who go on a cruise ship get assaulted, it is that we believe the anti-cruise industry element watches our site and when they saw our poll at least one of them registered with our site in order to vote on the poll.

I consider something of a victory that they were not able to raise the notice of more anti-cruise industry proponents and also get them to skew our poll as they did on Cruise Critic.
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