Go Back   CruiseMates Cruise Community and Forums > People > Chit - Chat for Cruisers
Register Forgot Password?

Chit - Chat for Cruisers Open Forum for non-cruise posts. Please refrain from inflammatory rhetoric that could be considered offensive. We reserve the right to edit or delete for any reason.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old August 8th, 2009, 03:38 PM
Paul Motter's Avatar
Administrator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: in my office!
Posts: 10,872
Send a message via AIM to Paul Motter
Default More Woes for "Cruise Widow" Jennifer Hagel

http://www.connpost.com/news/ci_13017568?source=rss

Just as she was reportedly planning to remarry, her former husband's family has now come back yet again to try to overturn her settlement with the cruise line. This is at least the second time (maybe third, I don't really keep track) they have tried this having their claim rejected in a CT probate court just a few months ago.

And in the article is this...

Quote:
During the probate hearing, one of Hagel Smith's attorneys said Smith could have been the victim of a crime.

"My belief, I think there was foul play. I've always though that," maritime attorney James Walker said, according to a transcript of the hearing. "And as I go through this case, I'm concerned that there is foul play. I don't believe in coincidences."
If this is Jennifer's attorney, why is he feeding into the paranoia of her exhusband's family? Isn't he supposed to be on her side? Didn't he get his 30% (or whatever) of her settlement? I guess not, and now he maybe never will.

I just really don't get how these people think. The more I look at these "cruise victims" who are OBVIOUSLY being led along by the trial attorneys to always suspect foul play in every case on a cruise ship, the more I wonder why they torture themselves.

There will never be anymore evidence than there is now. There was no evidence of foul play. This case has been thoroughly investigated.

In this case and other overboards; I'm sorry, but it really wrenches me in the gut to see the anguish these people continue to go through when they could just let go. And these attorney's continue to egg them on with suggestions of foul play - inevitably trying to blame the cruise line in the end because that is where the deep pockets are. At what point do you decide enough is enough?

I don't know - but our society has gone SO far over to the side of people not wanting to accept personal responsibility for anything it is just getting depressing to me. It is now considered a joke on some TV channels I have seen to be labeled a "Christian." - At least Christians can admit they are not free of sin, but the new an American paradigm seems to be that you have to find someone to blame for anything bad that ever happens to you, and if it can be Wall Street or a big corporation then that's best.

Someone at TravelWeekly.co.ok wrote that they don't know whether to laugh or cry at the new American cruise crime bill (interesting that the European cruise lines don't seem to have the same "cruise crime problem" that some people in America have convinced themselves exists).

Anyway, I am beyond laughing. I am now just truly sad for the aggravation these people put themselves through with their unresolved finger pointing. I now see it as fitting that the ultimate cliche for a paranoid character is related to ships - Captain Queeg.

" Ahh, but the strawberries that's... that's where I had them"

And here is something weird to ponder. I was led to this article by a 'tweet' by the very lawyer quoted in the article as saying he believes in the possibility of foul play in this case - noted in the article as one of Jennifer's lawyers. That is the reason why the family is challenging their settlement. Why would he say anything to scuttle his own client's happy ending?
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
  #2 (permalink)  
Old August 8th, 2009, 06:12 PM
Trip's Avatar
Moderator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Boston
Posts: 19,799
Send a message via ICQ to Trip
Default

As an aside to this post..I watched a segment on tv the other day about her getting married. When they showed the groom, I said to myself...boy does he look like George oe what, no sooner than I thought it, the announcer said it...

Geoeges parents were aghast at the quickness of her wanting to move on with her life, and they were not happy..maybe continuing the lawsuit,will
not let her forget, and that's what they want
__________________


Trip, with her book & tea!
Chat Hostess & Board Moderator


Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old August 8th, 2009, 06:23 PM
Ron Ron is offline
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 2,290
Default

I, as a parent have feelings for anyone who loses a child. I've never been in that position and hope to never be, It has to be heartbreaking.
But--having said all that, It finally comes to a point with me that if people want to keep on and on and on trying to dig up something where nothing exists, then it seems like they have come to a point where they enjoy the self pity, they allow others, ( like some attorneys ) to take advantage of them and too, they just may be in it for money,
Sometimes a large check seems to suddenly heal physical and emotional problems right up.
Sad, sad situation, but in all probability preventable by some common sense
on both the bride and groom's part.
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old August 8th, 2009, 06:23 PM
Senior Member
Captain
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Central Louisiana
Posts: 965
Default

The lack of personal responsibility is destroying entire segments of our society. I see it in a volunteer job I have and it sends me screaming into the night some weeks. You cannot save people from themselves . . . but you can bet there is some lawyer out there with a 1-800 number who will be more than happy to convince them of their victimhood.

This may not be a permitted statement but I believe that some of our society's ills will not be solved until we have tort reform that quits rewarding bad behavior.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old August 8th, 2009, 06:42 PM
Delft's Avatar
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,790
Default

The womens husband died four years ago. Thats more than acceptable in terms of going on with her life.
__________________
"If your number one goal is to make sure that everyone likes and approves of you, then you risk sacrificing your uniqueness and, therefore, your excellence."
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old August 9th, 2009, 12:32 AM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 11,518
Send a message via Yahoo to Luanne Russo
Default

I remember when this happened and both parents and the widow were on the talk shows. I felt sorry for all involved, but I had no way of really understanding what the parents were going through.

I read the article differently from some of you. I see two parents who do not feel like they have the whole truth.

I am lucky that did get my sons body back, and I will soon know most of the truth of what happened. These people have been left with speculations, and if I remember correctly, half truths.

Don't you guys think that all they want is for this to go back to court, so that the widow might have to testify in court, as to the details?

I remember them having no contact after the hubby was assisted over the side of the ship, so I would imagine they could care less if she re-married.

Remember, she the widow was given all the details from the cruise line, as the closest relative. They were given very little details.

Put yourself in their place. If it was your child, would you be able to move on with your life, or would it nag at you 24/7?

I say take it to court, and give this family the details they have longed for. If it takes money for lawyers, then that says something about fairness.

I remember the Smiths on Oprah, and with huge tears, them begging the widow publicly, to meet with them, and tell them what happened.

After one of the night time shows did a show about what they had learned, the Smiths were asked their opinion, and both said they learned more about what happened, from the show, then they had learned on their own.

What is wrong with this picture.
__________________
Ecstasy 2005
Conquest 2005
Elation 2005
Conquest 2006
Conquest 2007
Ecstasy 2008
Valor B2B 2008

Conquest Virtual Cruise Topic Link
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old August 9th, 2009, 12:59 AM
Delft's Avatar
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,790
Default

I agree completely with Luanne. I also feel that there was foul play of some sort, even if alcohol and poor judgrment was involved. I personally don't read the reports the same was as Paul does either. I can well understand the parents pain and anguish and wanting to have some answers. This case is a little unique what with the arguement, the blood , and so on. He may well have just fallen, he may well have been pushed. This is one case that I personally feel was not handled correctly in terms of investigation. I also feel that while we are all responsible for our own behaviour, I personally have seen on the ships people being served alcohol when they are clearly intoxicated, I have seen it not once or twice but on each and every cruise we have been on just as I have seen it in many places on carribean stays . I also believe that it should be a legally liable act to serve alcohol,to some one who is drunk or who you know has drunk to much and is on their way to being impaired. I supported very strongly laws here that hold a person liable for serving to much alcohol in their homes, at a bar etc. All you have to do is be a young nurse and see a kid MVA come in with his brain coming through his nose due to alcohol. I will never forget as long as I live the screams of that mother that night. Was her son to blame? Sure he was, but so was the person who kept serving up the drinks . I will also say on the cruise, we personally wittnessed the server take the key card from the older person, and hand the drink to the person who was clearly under the age of 21, and that kid turned around and handed the cash to the person who gave the server his key card in front of the server.The server knew what was going on as the kid who ultimately got the drink even said what he wanted. They were on their way to being drunk, yet they kept being served. And yes, we did complain.

I am also a little taken aback at the jokes and humor about the wife, regardless of her behaviour, I do have empathy for what she has gone through and the ridicule she has suffered. She has never been named a suspect, and the reports I read have made pretty clear she was not in the cabin at the time of the "disturbance". Yet she has been the target of jokes and the like. That the parents of her husband feel it is to soon to marry, I can understand that, its a wound for them that is as fresh as it was when it happened, but every one else should leave her alone.
__________________
"If your number one goal is to make sure that everyone likes and approves of you, then you risk sacrificing your uniqueness and, therefore, your excellence."
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old August 9th, 2009, 01:33 AM
Senior Member
Captain
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Indiana
Posts: 561
Default

I have a strong feeling that arrests will be in this case, probably not far in the future. Unlike CSI Miami, these things take time in the real world.
__________________
Carnival Holiday (1999 ?)
RCI Sovereign of the Seas 2007
RCI Enchantment of the Seas 2009
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old August 9th, 2009, 02:12 AM
Paul Motter's Avatar
Administrator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: in my office!
Posts: 10,872
Send a message via AIM to Paul Motter
Default

There is no evidence that he was assisted overboard - quite the oppposite. In fact, evidence points to the fact that George went overboard while he was still alive (there is a bloody handprint where he fell) BUT not a single sound of a struggle was heard when it happened and no one was seen leaving the room after he fell. It seems to me he probably (drunk out of his skull) sat himself up on a railing to smoke a cigarette and lost his balance.

Does it seem feasible at all a strapping young man (30-something, over 6' tall) would allow himself to be pushed over a railing ALIVE and a neighbor who had reported hearing sounds in the cabin just moments before would not hear a struggle or even a sound of surprise? The neighbor reported seeing three men LEAVE earlier (they had helped George home), and then he described hearing more sounds with NO voices in the cabin like furniture being moved around and then what was described as a drawer being slammed and not long after a "sickening thud." He heard all that, yet no vocalizations.

No one was seen leaving the room after he fell. Soon Jen was returned to the room (found passed out in a hallway) by three ship employees. They entered and saw no one or nothing in the room that suggested foul play. Jen woke up in the morning and saw nothing unusual - no blood, etc, and went to her spa appt.

By all appearances he slipped, most likely while sitting on the railing. There was chair against the railing. The drawer slamming - he was probably getting a smoke or a drink, then the sound of furniture moving - pushing the chair up against the railing so he could stand on it and sit down on the railing. I am not saying I know what happened, it is just that if you look at everything that is known about those few minutes this is the most logical conclusion. Other theories don't correlate to what is known.

The supposed bad people who were onboard. What? does one think they poisoned him and left the room knowing he would somehow fall over the railing and leave no evidence of poison behind? What would their motive be? They were all friends before and during this night. They were having room service at the time he went overboard (that is documented).

One made the comment "it was the room service that saved us." That is a logicial comment for an innocent person. Just like the husband of who jumped ovberboard said "I'm going to the casino to see if I can change my luck."

I'm sorry, but I get so tired of people citing things people said or did as "evidence" they are criminals. Unless they said "I did it," I say stop reading your own interpretations into other people's words. I know, because they do it to me, too. You wouldn't believe the email I get from these "poor victims" Here is a sample from just today,

You really are sad perverted prat you know that Motter, and now the who web and world will see you for exactly what you are - a looser.

One with no imagination to do your own thing, other than licking the BAD cruise companies ass to get your free trips. You're like whore you know that.


Why do people forget these cases ARE investigated? Why is that when it comes to cruises people always say, "well, it's a cruise ship - so it had to be a crime?" When in fact most cases are concluded NOT to be crimes after thorough investigation? Royal Caribbean answered all questions about when an how the crime scene was cleaned up. They were given permission by the authorities to do it.

That is the whole point of these cases - that when you look at all the evidence there is - as several people have done, there is no evidence of foul play. There is plenty of circumstantial evidence that points out less than stellar behavior by Jen and by George. But no evidence of foul play or a cover up.

Have you ever heard the phrase "a beautiful theory ruined by one simple ugly truth?" The fact that an aware neighbor did NOT hear a struggle and no one was seen leaving the cabin after the last sounds of life were heard in there only leads to one conclusion - he was in there alone and went overboard on his own. Probably not on purpose, but we know he was exceedingly drunk that night. Maybe he did it on purpose because he thought Jennifer was with another man (she wasn't but it is known he was very worried about her). Maybe he decided to teach her a lesson for being unfaithful (he thought). Or maybe he just make a dumb mistake and sat on the railing! We don't know and we never will - but what seems most likely?

There is no evidence of foul play, - and no motive (no fortune, no life insurance). What the family claimed was blood in the bathroom turned out to be makeup. Several examiners all looked at this case, including OJ investigator Henry Lee. No one could find evidence of a crime.

As a parent I would ask myself - what would my child want me to do? If I were murdered, yes I would want them to continue seeking justice. But if not, I would want them to move on with their lives and not devote it to a deadend investigation. This case has been exhausted.

There is a deal (If I read the settlement agreement hearing correctly, and I think I did) whereby *IF* the Smith family agrees to let the settlement go through they will get access to all evidence Jennifer and the FBI had access to from the cruise line plus more. That was built into the settlement agreement by JHS's lawyer out of deference to the family and part of the reason why the agreement was made. The downside is that if they agree to let the settlement agreement go through they forfeit their right to sue the cruise line. That has to do with the law, not a stipulation by Jennifer.

All I wish for is the truth. The people who call me names because I do not always back the side of the "cruise victims" are blind to the fact that I do back the victims when it is warranted. Annette Vilborg is still unanswered, and the women who have been raped by crewmembers like Laurie Dishman deserve all the justice they can get.

But in cases where all known evidence logically just does not indicate a crime occured it is wrong to continue to incite the families, media and public with incendiary misinformation.
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old August 9th, 2009, 07:05 AM
Delft's Avatar
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,790
Default

Paul, I am going to be blunt and say I think you are making assumptions and feeding the frenzy. You were not there, you don't know what happened, no one side is completely innocent, as I said I have seen staff on board cruises be very inapropriate with its serving of alcohol, which no doubt contributed to the events of the night. ( alcohol) and have contributed to other mishaps on board a cruise line. Selling of alcohol is one of their money makers, and it's fine to have a good time, but it goes to far often times.

I was not there, you were not there, enough commentary and just leave these people alone to deal with what they need to deal with. The law and those who are supposed to deal with these things will deal with it, eventually. Some times Paul, while I respect what you write, you go to far with your defending, it's like the cruise lines can never do anything wrong, it must allways be the PAX fault. I am sorry to be so blunt but some times the old saying thou dost protest to much applies, the more you defend, the more it seems like something is amiss. I am really sorry to be so blunt.
__________________
"If your number one goal is to make sure that everyone likes and approves of you, then you risk sacrificing your uniqueness and, therefore, your excellence."
Reply With Quote
  #11 (permalink)  
Old August 9th, 2009, 08:55 AM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Greeneville, Tennessee
Posts: 4,524
Default

Delft,

I too feel the pain of the family, ANY family who must go through what they have gone.

However in one way, I believe you are committing the same "sin" as you accuse Paul of doing. You are "assuming" by also taking public statements as if not "whole cloth" at least consider them reasonable and are thereby also "feeding the frenzy" if simply from another angle.

As an example, you saw someone being served "alcohol" who was clearly under the age of twenty-one. You probably were right but by just your statement are you "assuming" the person is under twenty-one? You are if you had no personal knowledge of that individual (a close friend, acqaintance or you had seen their ID) but you didn't say that. For instance there was a baby on television the other day in her automatic rocker. If they weren't told, there is probably no one out there who would EVER believe this three year old is actually sixteen years old!!!

The Smith case has been thoroughly investigated, especially for something that was really new to modern cruising and as a result of which millions of dollars of changes have been made to try and prevent the questions you and others are still asking from again occurring. But we all know they shall.

Please take it from one who was not only a law enforcement officer but one who was also an instructor for a major department in this country, for the investigation to be reopened or to continue, there should be actual "hard" or overwhelming "soft" (that being circumstantial) evidence that a crime may well have occurred. From all the information I have gathered from public and my friends still in the trade, IT JUST ISN'T THERE! Maybe some day it will surface but it has yet to do so and I personally don't believe it ever will.

There will always be those who don't and will never believe the official version of events in any criminal matter not matter what the outcome (even those caught on tape!)

As for alcohol being served to those who are intoxicated, realistically if one were to ration drinks, including on a cruise ship, millions of people working in that industry would lose their jobs. And anyway, just how do we determine if someone is too intoxicated to be served? Is it by the way we perceive their actions or behavior? If so, where would you draw the line; slight glaze in the eye; slightly slurred speech; a little "wobbly" or basic falling down drunk. What if someone else's "cut-off" point differed form yours? Should the venue have anything to do with the issue? I think you can see Delft, where I'm going with this.

I think the best way to address the above is to promote, "All thinks in moderation." Will tragedies occur? Of course they will even sometimes on cruise ships. But as Justin Wilson from way down there in Baton Rouge LA would say, "I gar-rontee" that percentage will be far less than the average population's if only because that is a "proven."

Todd
Reply With Quote
  #12 (permalink)  
Old August 9th, 2009, 09:58 AM
nlb1050's Avatar
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Fort Pierce, FL
Posts: 1,655
Default

I think that this statement in Paul's reply says it exactly why the Smith family is trying again.

"There is a deal (If I read the settlement agreement hearing correctly, and I think I did) whereby *IF* the Smith family agrees to let the settlement go through they will get access to all evidence Jennifer and the FBI had access to from the cruise line plus more. That was built into the settlement agreement by JHS's lawyer out of deference to the family and part of the reason why the agreement was made. The downside is that if they agree to let the settlement agreement go through they forfeit their right to sue the cruise line. That has to do with the law, not a stipulation by Jennifer."

The bold is me.

I agree that any one in this situation would have a very hard time accepting the outcome. But have always felt his family could not understand why it was not them that would get any settlement. And they just can not stand to see her happy again. They want her to stay as miserable as they are.

It has been long enough for her to get on with her life and find someone new. Now if she had tried to remarry less than one year after then you could say "she had to have something to do with his death" but that did not happen.

i may be off the mark but these are just my take on it.
__________________
Nancy



Guadeloupe Accommodations



Star Princess 2005, Sun Princess 2005
Caribbean Princess 2006, MSC Lirica 2006 , NCL Pearl 2007, Majesty of the Seas 2008, Carnival Destiny 2008, MSC Lirica 2009, Carnival Valor 2009,Carnival Legend 2010, Carnival Liberty 2010,Carnival Fantsay 2011,Carnival Valor Feb 2012, MSC Poesia Dec 2012, MSC Poesia April 2013, Carnival Legend Nov 2013, MSC DIVINA Jan 2014
Reply With Quote
  #13 (permalink)  
Old August 9th, 2009, 09:58 AM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: new orleans, la
Posts: 7,074
Default

I think we have to agree to disagree about this topic..however, I agree with Luanne, the family needs closure
Reply With Quote
  #14 (permalink)  
Old August 9th, 2009, 11:42 AM
nlb1050's Avatar
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Fort Pierce, FL
Posts: 1,655
Default

venice, yes the family needs closure, but I really think that until they let go and leave Jennifer alone with out more court time they won't get it. It will just keep eating at them.

Some times families never really get closure, especially when there is no body to bury. No matter the circumstance of death.
__________________
Nancy



Guadeloupe Accommodations



Star Princess 2005, Sun Princess 2005
Caribbean Princess 2006, MSC Lirica 2006 , NCL Pearl 2007, Majesty of the Seas 2008, Carnival Destiny 2008, MSC Lirica 2009, Carnival Valor 2009,Carnival Legend 2010, Carnival Liberty 2010,Carnival Fantsay 2011,Carnival Valor Feb 2012, MSC Poesia Dec 2012, MSC Poesia April 2013, Carnival Legend Nov 2013, MSC DIVINA Jan 2014
Reply With Quote
  #15 (permalink)  
Old August 9th, 2009, 12:13 PM
Delft's Avatar
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,790
Default

Todd, For the record, The person served was UNDER 21, they were drunk, we did complain, and we were right. Not only that, but the server knew it, and that's why he got into trouble for it. I am not going to go into what happened that cruise, but the servers were terrible, the ship was full of college kids and the drunk disorderly behaviour was incredible and every where. We had much of it on video, as I always carry a camera, every day, all the time. It was bad enough our cruises were almost completely refunded. You cannot refute whats on tape. As for spotting underage kids, it's quite easy, if you see their pass, you can see it is clipped in the corner, and I saw that right away, and for the record, when I saw the server take the order, and take the card from the over 21 year old, I even confronted that server and said "you are clearly serving a drink you know is going to some one underage and drunk, he laughed and handed over the drink".......it did not take me long to get up and report them.

Many would loose their jobs if they were no longer alloud to serve alcohol to a person who is drunk or on the way? How would it be determined, Oh I dont know, the same way people do so in bars. When you see some one barely able to stand let alone walk, No thats a clear sign you dont give more. If people loose their jobs then so be it. Then so be it. As a medical person, I have seen to often the effects of alcohol, and law enforcement, you should have also. I am also not assuming anything. Unlike Paul, I have not taken either side except to say leave this poor women alone.

As for the family, they need to let go, but it will indeed be hard to let go as they dont have all the answers. It will haunt them forever. I feel very sorry for them.
__________________
"If your number one goal is to make sure that everyone likes and approves of you, then you risk sacrificing your uniqueness and, therefore, your excellence."
Reply With Quote
  #16 (permalink)  
Old August 9th, 2009, 12:13 PM
Delft's Avatar
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,790
Default

Todd, For the record, The person served was UNDER 21, they were drunk, we did complain, and we were right. Not only that, but the server knew it, and that's why he got into trouble for it. I am not going to go into what happened that cruise, but the servers were terrible, the ship was full of college kids and the drunk disorderly behaviour was incredible and every where. We had much of it on video, as I always carry a camera, every day, all the time. It was bad enough our cruises were almost completely refunded with voucher towards another cruise which we did take.You cannot refute whats on tape. As for spotting underage kids, it's quite easy, if you see their pass, you can see it is clipped in the corner, and I saw that right away, and for the record, when I saw the server take the order, and take the card from the over 21 year old, I even confronted that server and said "you are clearly serving a drink you know is going to some one underage and drunk, he laughed and handed over the drink".......it did not take me long to get up and report them.

Many would loose their jobs if they were no longer alloud to serve alcohol to a person who is drunk or on the way? How would it be determined, Oh I dont know, the same way people do so in bars. When you see some one barely able to stand let alone walk, No thats a clear sign you dont give more. If people loose their jobs then so be it. As a medical person, I have seen to often the effects of alcohol, and law enforcement, you should have also. I am also not assuming anything. Unlike Paul, I have not taken either side except to say leave this poor women alone.

As for the family, they need to let go, but it will indeed be hard to let go as they dont have all the answers. It will haunt them forever. I feel very sorry for them.
__________________
"If your number one goal is to make sure that everyone likes and approves of you, then you risk sacrificing your uniqueness and, therefore, your excellence."
Reply With Quote
  #17 (permalink)  
Old August 9th, 2009, 01:17 PM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Greeneville, Tennessee
Posts: 4,524
Default

Delft,

I never said you didn't know the person's age, what I did was ask a question if indeed you knew that for a fact and then offered what may have happened had you not know.

Paul is a journalist and a pundit and as such, he is supposed to report what he hears and sees, regardless of its popularity and to offer his opinion which, in things such as these, he is far far more knowledgeable than either you or I ever will be. He isn't fueling the fire, the family is fueling the fire. All he's doing is reporting on it and providing his opinion.

As Paul says, at some point people have to become responsible for their own actions and behavior. Additionally, as nib1050 stated, sometimes one never receives closure. and that indeed makes things doubly sad.

Todd
Reply With Quote
  #18 (permalink)  
Old August 9th, 2009, 02:00 PM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 11,518
Send a message via Yahoo to Luanne Russo
Default

Wow, You guys were doing some talking while I was asleep.

I avoided the statements about alcohol on that night. I agree that it probably played a big part in what happened. But it matters little now.

Todd, You could write about the paint drying on the wall, and I would read every word. What a great writer you are.

Paul, Don't listen to them. You are a winner, not a loser. I for one know what a caring considerate person you are. You have surely been there for me.

My prayers go to the widow, and her future. I wish her well, and hope this time she will listen to the vows which says that where thou goest, I will go.

My thoughts and prayers to the mother and father, who one minute had a loving son, who they thought had a future, and the next they had lost it all. I know how they feel, and I hope the hole in their hearts will one day heal.

When it comes down to it, this whole story has very little to do with a cruise ship. They could have been anywhere on that night, and he could have fallen, or was pushed off of any number of balconies in this world.

As someone said, it is all about personal responsibility.
__________________
Ecstasy 2005
Conquest 2005
Elation 2005
Conquest 2006
Conquest 2007
Ecstasy 2008
Valor B2B 2008

Conquest Virtual Cruise Topic Link
Reply With Quote
  #19 (permalink)  
Old August 9th, 2009, 02:56 PM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: new orleans, la
Posts: 7,074
Default

Luanne..very well stated...Paul...I think we sometimes forget that you are a journalist and just think of you as the cruise person..Todd...when you write your observation of paint drying on the wall, be sure to include a quote from one of my state's rogue politicians.."I have an honorable explanation for all of this'
Reply With Quote
  #20 (permalink)  
Old August 9th, 2009, 03:35 PM
Delft's Avatar
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,790
Default

As Journalists they must try at least to be partial and always show at least the differant sides to any story, Theres always two sides and differant people view things differantly.
__________________
"If your number one goal is to make sure that everyone likes and approves of you, then you risk sacrificing your uniqueness and, therefore, your excellence."
Reply With Quote
  #21 (permalink)  
Old August 9th, 2009, 03:35 PM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Greeneville, Tennessee
Posts: 4,524
Default

Venice,

Was that Congressman Jeffers or Huey Long?

Todd
Reply With Quote
  #22 (permalink)  
Old August 9th, 2009, 05:09 PM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: new orleans, la
Posts: 7,074
Default

Todd..Long would not have included the word "honorable"
Reply With Quote
  #23 (permalink)  
Old August 9th, 2009, 05:38 PM
Ron Ron is offline
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 2,290
Default

I certainly don't know what happened and I doubt anyone ever will. I seriously doubt the cruiseline is withholding info. When something of this magnitude happens, the authorities have to be notified and it's basically in their hands. In this case the first authorities were of a foreign Gov. and what they did rightly or wrongly was up to them, not the cruisleline. Simply because the F.B.I was called in doesn't mean they can work magic. They even had the highly touted " DR. Henry Lee " to try to reconstruct the event to no avail. It's amazing to me that something can happen on a cruise ship and it gets people over the edge on everything. It has to be murder--has to be a massive cover-up by the cruise line-- Has to be a conspiracy-- the wife did it--the cabin steward did it--the crew were all involved and so it goes. Yet, at home there are thousands of unsolved cases that have people grieving that are never solved--but again, on a ship--now that''s different. Here in my state the remains were found a few months ago of a 15 year old girl who has been missing for 15 YEARS. Skull showed she had been shot and bludgeoned.Where's the outrage??? That's only one case in thousands. Sometimes things just aren't solved--period.

I would remind those who mention holding people ( in this case the cruiseline ) accountable for too much alcohol consumption --how many posts do you see over and over and over about how to smuggle alcohol aboard a ship? It's rare that a week goes by that someone isn't posting asking how to smuggle it on and getting all kinds of advice on how to. Even if the cruiselines quit serving alcohol there would still be people drunk out of their mind because of smuggling it aboard.
First and foremost, if people would use more common sense and be personally responsible for themselves, there would no doubt be a lot less grieving by families left behind, whether it be on a ship or ashore.
Reply With Quote
  #24 (permalink)  
Old August 9th, 2009, 11:05 PM
Paul Motter's Avatar
Administrator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: in my office!
Posts: 10,872
Send a message via AIM to Paul Motter
Default

Delft ...

Please do not think I take offense if you want to tell me I have gone too far in defending the cruise lines. I certainly understand why you would say that, but just let me say this is my defense. My writings are not intended to sway people to my point of view. If you disagree with me I completely respect that. I just want to say that I am not writing from an uninformed opinion just because I feel I have to protect the cruise industry.

I write what I write because I genuinely like this industry and I feel it is unfairly maligned, and so I took a LOT of time to read about this case, including most of a 2200 page settlement hearing, so I could have an informed opinion about what happened.

I really do not want anyone to think I defend the cruise industry because I have to. That just is not true. I could dummy up on this subject as most of my fellow journalists have done and my salary would not change by one iota. That would be the easy thing to do, but not the right thing in my opinion.

In my opinion not enough people are defending the cruise industry - and I think someone should. If you think I am just doing it for job protection then I feel like I have failed. That means the industry bashers have had more of an influence in people who come here than we know, and that is very disturbing to people like me who know differently.

Delft, you rightly cite your personal experience on ships. I also have plenty of experience on ships - as a cruiser and crewmember. For people who want the truth about cruise ships here it is: (and this would normally take a book)

Bad things have happened on cruise ships. There have been coverups. That was especially true before the Internet age when cruise ships did not have direct communication with the home office every day - say in the 1970s through mid-90s. For years there was nothing but telexes and faxes between ships and shore. The press did not jump on every incident, and captains could get away with covering up "crimes" and so they sometimes did.

But most people are good people by nature. most captains are pros who would not cover up a crime. Most of us cruise peeople are spiritual and live by the Golden rule.

Anyone who thinks there is still a vast industry conspiracy to cover up all crimes on cruise ships to this day has a very negative view of humanity, because real people man these cruise ships, not monsters. Doubters also need a better appreciation of the impact today's technologies and media have had on the modern cruise industry. The industry figured out years ago, with the hearings in 2006 being the final blow, that it could no longer afford even the hint of a coverup. They now fully cooperate with authorities to the point where the new 'open crime reporting bill' has virtually no effect on them because it doesn't change their protocol at all.

Do they promote drinking? yes, but no one is driving home. I have owned bars myself. I know that most people do not over-indulge, most people have self control. I feel booze-related accidents are sad, but I don't believe you can make someone else an adult's caretaker. Adults do not become absolved of all personal responsibility just because they are on vacation. George Allen Smith sneaked cognac onboard, he drank so much of it he was literally "blind drunk" the day they visited Florence, he was so hung over he told his wife he could not see for almost 90 minutes. Is it the ship's responsibility when he was drinking smuggled cognac onboard? Of course not.

Do problem drinkers need help? Of course, but you can't realistically make a third party resonsible for their behavior. I understand our lawmakers have tried, but ask members of Alanon what their philosophy on being in relationships with problem drinkers is. It is that they are powerless over their loved one's drinking. If a loved one is powerless, how can a cruise line possibly be more empowered?

Yes, some bartenders have overserved, but some passengers involved in cruise incidents have also gone around bartenders who cut them off. The bottom line is this - how much effect would cracking down on cruise ship drinking really have? Would it end these tragedies, would it end suicidal thoughts? I doubt it would have much effect at all.

It is this shifting of responsibility that I want to end. You cannot prevent every bad thing from happening in advance - we are not God.

In the end won't the most effective answer be to tell everyone - "We will do our best to keep you safe, but in the end you are responsible if you hurt yourself?" Isn't that a more effective message than "if you get so drunk you hurt yourself don't worry, the cruise line will be responsible?"

A cruise line is essentially a hotel. A hotel is a temporary home. Cruise lines are considered "common carriers" with responsibility like airlines, but I say there is a difference. If a person can't blind drunk by choice in their own home - where can they do it?

It all boils down to who is responsible for the passenger - the cruise line, the passenger, or both? Both is the only logical answer, but lawyers want to make it just the cruise line.

I agree with Ron - the very fact that this happened on a cruise ship blows EVERYTHING out of proportion. That is also part of the reason why I get so incensed about all off this - where is the perspective?

Delft - I fully appreciate you telling me when my credibility isn't showing and I sound like an apologist. That is the last thing I ever want to be.

If a crewmember commits a crime then I say expose him and give him the strongest punishment possible. That makes it better for me and furture passengers. Does anyone think the cruise lines don't agree with that? Don't you think they see the wisdom of plucking out the bad seeds as early as possible and exposing them to the light of day so they cannot breed any longer? Everyone wins with that approach - and so, cruise bashers, stop telling me I am covering up crimes and making excuses, I'm not, I am fully against cruise crime!

But all I want is for there to be accuracy in the information that is put forth. There are a LOT of people out there telling huge lies about the supposed dangers of even being on a cruise ship, and they hurt my sensibilities. I am tired of their distortion and sensationalism going unanswered.

And to you Luanne. God Bless You! I know He will because you are due.
Reply With Quote
  #25 (permalink)  
Old August 10th, 2009, 12:00 AM
Paul Motter's Avatar
Administrator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: in my office!
Posts: 10,872
Send a message via AIM to Paul Motter
Default

First of all - let me say this. In thios message I am generallt just thinking out loud.

My style is to present two sides (that is how I tend to think) amd weigh both sides. I realize it may sound like I have a conclusion in mind before i write it, but I don't always. Sometimes I am just putting thoughts out there and trying to get feedback.

This is a leisure business, not unlike Las Vegas or a Ski Resort. People commit suicide in Vegas, they break their backs or hit trees on ski slopes.

Cruise ships are places where people can indulge in alcohol with little fear. There are NO cars anywhere. It is part of the experience. Is that a stupid statement? Not if you consider that Las Vegas is about gambling and ski resorts are about skiing - both highly dangerous activities. What if I said "cruise ships are about having a safe and legal place to drink?" That is part of the experience. You virtually cannot get hurt because there are no cars.

If you take away a bartenders incentive to sell drinks (he is paid the same) won't he just laze through his job? If you really wanted a drink, would you appreciate a bartender who only poured 25% as fast as he is capable of doing?

Cruise ships sell the drinking experience - as any night spot does. They can't make money on food or entertainment.

In fact, there are cruise lines where people do not drink that much - Holland America, many smaller ships, because people are there to see the sites and sleep in.

But on Carnival, for instance, drinking is a big part of the experience. Carnival already has strict rules about underage people. I have also seen the teen staff on Princess staying up all hours to monitor the teens in the disco, etc. I have never seena more dedicated team. I saw them plan to sneal into dark areas of the ship to see if any couples they hadn't seen in some minutes might secretly be making out. A lot of parents are not that dedicated.

Anyway - I was just twittering with Jennifers lawyer. He says he wants the settlement agreement to go through and I agree. He says it won't stop further investigation in the case, but it will limit the right of George's family to sue RCL. Bottom line, do they want closure or money? Does money bring closure? (arguably yes to a certain degree) but does knowledge bring more closure.

And it also brings up whether the cruise line is at fault for anything that happened? If by any stretch someonefound out George was murdered by his somewhat wild fellow passengers (friends) is that the cruise line's fault? Bottom line - is what the Smith family ultimately wants is for RCL to pay them. Do they deserve that? A Luanne says this could have happened anywhere, but because it was a cruise ship the question of making the cruise line pay always comes up.

Why?
Reply With Quote
  #26 (permalink)  
Old August 10th, 2009, 12:25 AM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 11,518
Send a message via Yahoo to Luanne Russo
Default

Hopefully, you will get the chance to also speak to The Smith's lawyer.

I wonder if his story would be different.

I have to tell all of you. We are thinking very hard about suing the girl and her family that set up Joe's murder. The only hold out is I am not a believer in suing, but we might be forced to do so.

If you interviewed their lawyer, he or she would say it was all about money. If you turned around and interviewed ours, they would say it's to get info, and to punish, when the law could not.

Any money collected would go to a fund for scholarships for other students. I will be willing to sign something saying so.

The reason her family would be involved is because she was only 19 at the time, and not of legal age.

It was my understanding that the Smith's had money, and although I guess you can never have to much, I still wonder if their reasoning is not something other than the money.
__________________
Ecstasy 2005
Conquest 2005
Elation 2005
Conquest 2006
Conquest 2007
Ecstasy 2008
Valor B2B 2008

Conquest Virtual Cruise Topic Link
Reply With Quote
  #27 (permalink)  
Old August 10th, 2009, 12:41 AM
Paul Motter's Avatar
Administrator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: in my office!
Posts: 10,872
Send a message via AIM to Paul Motter
Default

Luanne - murder is an entirely different subject. it is the ultimate sin. I say do what your heart says is the right thing to do. It is a matter of what will make you feel better in the long run. Sometimes the first feeling is a good indication of what the long term feeling will be (you feel better immediately with a decision) and sometimes it isn't (different feelings come up you didn't expect).

It is a serious decision but ultimately I think you know whether or not there was some culpability there, even if it was just bad parenting. You also have to weigh your odds of winning and how you will feel if you don't prevail.
Reply With Quote
  #28 (permalink)  
Old August 10th, 2009, 12:48 AM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 11,518
Send a message via Yahoo to Luanne Russo
Default

I think even if it failed, it would be better than sitting around and doing nothing.

As you say, it is something that we have to think very hard about. Most likely after she has taken the stand at the trial for the alleged killer of Joe, we will know whether to proceed or not.

My point in bringing this up is that people's motives can be more than just money.
__________________
Ecstasy 2005
Conquest 2005
Elation 2005
Conquest 2006
Conquest 2007
Ecstasy 2008
Valor B2B 2008

Conquest Virtual Cruise Topic Link
Reply With Quote
  #29 (permalink)  
Old August 10th, 2009, 01:00 AM
Paul Motter's Avatar
Administrator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: in my office!
Posts: 10,872
Send a message via AIM to Paul Motter
Default

Thank you for pointing that out!
Reply With Quote
  #30 (permalink)  
Old August 10th, 2009, 07:56 AM
Delft's Avatar
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,790
Default

Paul I appreciate your words.

I Guess I just feel that some times, I saw some real bashing of the widow, and it really upset me because it's been enough time in the spot light and it truly bothered me to see people make fun of her for getting married so soon after the death. I don't think four years is to soon for a very young women. Its time to move on, it will be something the parents have a very hard time to do as it is their son.

I don't agree about the alcohol on board and the analogy no one is driving a car. That's only because I have seen far to much harm with alcohol. Suicide, inapropriate sexual encounters, not to mention vomitting and passing out at my cabin door was not such a treat....what a way to meet some one. That one cruise was alcohol horror , and they clearly were targetting those college kids. It was a cruise that was almost spoiled to be honest. We really had a hard time with it, and it took away from what we thought we would have. I kept trying to stay positive, but with the passage of time, I realize it really made it our worste cruise. I do believe that once some one is flagged as drunk, theres computers on board, they should be prevented from having more drinks. We also owned a bar in the family , and there were laws, and it was not only about driving because many didnt even drive to the bar.

The problem is there are many people on board who like to drink, but don't like to be around inapropriate behaviour. They drink but they dont get drunk nor do they want to be around that. I dont agree that a cruise should be about selling alcohol, or that I paid for that. it sure is not what we take a cruise for, and I feel sorry for any one who takes a cruise for the purpose of getting sloshed, or the permission that they can now get sloshed. Life is so much more than achieving the goal of getting plastered and the consequences that come with that. Vegas sells itself as gambling, as "sin city", but when I book a cruise I dont get get "alcohol ship", I thought I am getting a cruise to take me to new and wonderful places, to be a little pampered, not make my bed for a weeek and low and behold come in the cabin and it is made any ways. Many cruises market themselves as a family fun vacation. That to me doesnt include getting sloshed. No where in my cruise booklets does it promote it as a place to get drunk. Vegas clearly promostes it self and its why we dont go there.

Personal responsibility, it's the one thing I personally see many people lacking in their lives. It is such a sad fact. If I have tried to teach my son anything in life, it is to take responsibility. He once drank too much at a party, and he called me, as he said he wanted to go home early, I knew something was up. he got home and he got SICK to his stomache. He actually never got to the drunk stage at the time, he was fully aware of all his misery caused by two shots and two beers on an empty stomache in 2 hours. He took responsibility of it, and he never did it again. We all make mistakes, the problem is when we keep repeating them. I would say that more than half the misery we often suffer in life is self manufactured. Sadly he has many friends who repeat this cycle weekend after weekend, never learning.

You are in a difficult position because you have almost lost your "right" to post personal thought and individual opinions that are not showing both sides, because people take so much weight in your words and respect your knowledge which you deserve as you clearly have knowledge in the industry. This I mentioned with Swine Flu at the time. Because your words carry so much weight, its not the same, you are much more vulnerable to just sharing thoughts or expressing an opinion as many readers will just take it is fact and absolutes not to mention just pick a few words and ignore the rest in what you write. . I know I came down hard on you at the time with Swine Flu, but it was because people hold so much weight in what you say. It could have been nothing, you were right about that, and I also didnt agree with the MEDIA HYSTERIA, and you were right to say there was a feeding frency media hysteria for sure, Which I did not like BUT, I did agree with the urgency of this virus, and we know now it is here to stay. The problem with the media, is they sensationalize something till the next story comes( I think Jackson's death replaced swine flu) and then it's like it never happened, versus a steady unbiased reporting, giving actual information in a non hysteric way. I find actually American Media to be the worste for Hysteria type reporting.

Is it fair that you almost loose the "right" we all have on this board to share almost all feelings? It sure isnt.......I appreciate that that must be hard and unfair. As for emails with personal attacks and smears towards yourself, its simply unacceptable and I would not wish that on any one.

I appreciate this site, and I appreciate words of wisdom, from all posters.
__________________
"If your number one goal is to make sure that everyone likes and approves of you, then you risk sacrificing your uniqueness and, therefore, your excellence."
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
alcohol, case, cruise, cruisemates, hagel, him, jennifer, methods, oprah, present, proven, pushed, ship, ships, smuggle, truth, whore

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
"Reading a review on "Glory" cruise gone bad& Hot Nail Carnival Cruise Lines 2 February 11th, 2006 05:37 AM
"Pride" roll call jan25,2004 "solo" free sprit Carnival Cruise Lines 0 January 17th, 2004 08:45 AM
New "Norway" & "Pride of America" pi Raoul Fiebig Norwegian Cruise Lines 1 January 17th, 2004 06:46 AM
"Oceana" cruise lines "R" u afraid??? Chuck Palm Chit - Chat for Cruisers 10 October 17th, 2002 06:36 PM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


 

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:55 AM.
design by: Themes by Design

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1