How safe is going on a cruise?

10 million people or so go on cruises each year. Most of them have great vacations. However, there are some high-profile cases where people vanish:

The 24 missing passengers reported by cruise lines from 2002 to 2005 are a minuscule percentage of the roughly 10 million tourists who cruise every year. The cruise lines cite the statistic to show how infrequent such disappearances are. Many cases are declared likely suicides or “man overboard” cases with no evidence of foul play.

Kendall Carver, whose daughter is one of the high-profile missing persons cases, has started a group called International Cruise Victims and says: “If people really understood the risk, the cruise lines can no longer say we’re the safest vacation that there is.”

Filed Under: Cruises

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  1. Mike says:

    So she goes on a cruise without telling her family and “disappears”. And somehow this is the cruise lines fault? Clearly this is a suicide and could not have been forseen by the cruise line.

    As for the crimes comitted at sea, it brings up the point that is not unique to the cruise line. Just because you are on vacation does not mean that reality is suspended. You are traveling with other humans and you need to protect yourself.

  2. Joyce says:

    One issue I am concerned about is the reliability of the employees on the ship. From what I have heard, most of these people are from every corner of the world. Are background checks completed for each employee to determine that they have not been involved in a crime of some sort before employment with the cruise line?

    Also, I have been told that the cruise lines do not have a sick bay to treat illnesses, etc., that may occur to patrons while on the ship. If a physician is available, it is up to the patron to pay for their own treatment.

    In addition, it appears that there is no security on the ship manned by security police. So, who does one go to for help?

  3. lynda says:

    There is security on the ship. They are not always visible, but if there is a problem they respond very quickly.

    I am going on my eighth cruise in six years in April. Even though I am an older single woman, I have never felt unsafe. Of course I don’t get drunk and wander around the ship at 3:00am.You need to use the same comman sense you would at home.

    You just can’t beat a Carnival cruise for value.

  4. Cindy says:

    I agree with lynda. I just returned from a cruise on Royal Caribbean/Voyager of the Seas to the eastern Caribbean. There were security personnel, small jail, ship doctor and sick bay. The employees are from all over the world, very friendly and helpful, and complete background checks are required. I felt very secure.

    The ship was very elegant and cleaning was performed constantly. By every food place and every port entry to the ship there are waterless soap dispensers available to disinfect your hands. My only negative comment is that these were not mandatory which might have prevented the large flu outbreaks recently reported on both Carnival and Royal Caribbean.

    This cruise was my best vacation for the $ and I am already planning my next cruise…on Royal Caribbean, of course!

  5. Wendy Dando says:

    I work on board cruise lines and have been doing so for 14 years. I am a single woman and have never felt safer in any other vacation place. I get a back stage look at all the secuirty on board and can assure everyone that the employees are checked out not only by the cruise lines but also the local immigration officers of whatever country they fly into to board the ship. Every time a crew member gets on or off the ships they are screened and hand/body searched in order to make sure that no unauthorised items are being brought on board etc. There is no racism on board ships and we all get along very well with all nationalities and religions with respect. If you do not comply with this you are shown the door and flown back to your own country. Also, if you so much as raise a hand to another person on board you will have your employment terminated and flown home. There is not so much as a wolf whistle as sexual harrassment is also part of the zero tolerance rules. This has been a very happy and safe place for me for years and will continue to be so for some time. As for the comment on the medical facilites I am sure this person has never been on board a cruise ship as by law a ship is not allowed to sail without a doctor being on board and there are most of the time now two doctors on the bigger ships with a full team of 3/5 nurses with every kind of equipment that you would find in a regular emergency room..there is nothing that they can not deal with… I have even seen babies born on ships before. If the situation is life threatening and the team can not deal with it the Captain will re-route the ship to the closest port or helicopter them off the ship. most of the staff and crew on board work unheard of hours and for not a lot of money but the travel is great. There is no safer place to vacation. The security is tighter than at an airport!!!! Enjoy your next trip.. and maybe I will see you on a Carnival cruise.

  6. ruthy says:

    I had cruised with carnival twice 2004 with my 3 kids & husband, In 2005 only with my husband.Now in 2007 I’m cruising with my family again in the biggest cruise in the world FREEDOM OF THE SEAS of Royal Caribbean. Since the firts time I cruise I loved it, and I really don’t want cancel my vacation to the cruise but lately there,s so many things that been happening that my kids are afraid to go. 2 of them don’t want to cruise and that makes me nervous. In the other hand i don’t want to leave them with with nobody taking care of them, i want them to enjoy the cruise with us. The 2 that don’t want to go are 17 and 13 the 15 yrs.old that one wants to go. Really I,m afraid that something will happen to them but is due all the negative news that i keep hearing lately, people disappearing, food contamination,the noro virus e.t.c. Now I want to clarify that my past experience cruising was excelent, from the staff to the people on board. I will like to continue cruising. Maybe they should have staff watching people and SPECIALLY kids and teenagers 24/7. specially in the boat rails areas where people can fall out the ship and if they see people getting out of control they should be advice of diciplinary action againts them if they continue such behavior. About contamination I really think people should start being more careful and use the antibacterial gel available all around the cruise and every opportunity they have wash your hand with soap and water as simple as that. That way you don’t mess your vacation and nobody else, every body need to be in the same page. Thanks! Any respond to this comment?

  7. Diana says:

    The week of Dec 17th, 2006 will be my 10th cruise with Carnival. I have never experienced a problem with any of my vacations with Carnival, and I have been on several different ships. I always have had great service and respect. I have taken my son on 2 of the cruises when he was 14 and 15 years old and he enjoyed himself both times. My daughter, this will be here 4th cruise and she is only 3 years old. They give so much attention to the young kids. We have always thought this is the best vacation for the price, you can’t beat it. If you look to see everyone who has had a problem on these cruise ships alot of them have all been drinking the entire time they have been on the cruise. Alcohol has alot to do with all the disappearances. Ask them if they were out drinking all night and I bet their answer would be yes. You don’t need alcohol to enjoy the cruises there is so much more to do than to drink all day long and night. I have watched many people from early in the morning to late at night just drinking like there was no tomorrow. I have truly enjoyed all my cruises and will continue to enjoy my cruises, even with all the negative.

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