The Christmas holiday cruise season will soon get underway, and thousands of vacationers across the country will set off on a dream vacation on the sea. It is the right time for passengers to understand that there are dangers on a cruise vacation that they may not always be aware of.
MSNBC has a timely report on an increasing number of incidents involving food poisoning, sexual assaults, and rapes on cruise ships. Worse, it seems that an important piece of cruise safety legislation that was passed last year, is not being implemented to its fullest.
This year alone, there has been a massive outbreak of norovirus poisoning on a Holland America cruise vessel that sickened 140 people. Then, there was the mysterious death of a newborn baby on the Carnival Dream reported in October. Last month, the crew member of a Carnival cruise vessel was charged with sexual assault for having sex with a minor female passenger on the vessel.
These were just the cases that were reported in the media. There are many more incidents that passengers do not hear about, and all of this only confirms every cruise ship injury lawyer’s worst fear – cruise travel is not safer now than it was before the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2010 was passed.
The law outlined a number of measures aimed at keeping passengers safe. This included the mandating of 42-inch guardrails on all vessels, and the installation of peepholes on all passengers’ and crewmembers’ doors.
The law required vessels to enhance surveillance systems, and establish a better system for the reporting of crimes, including sexual assaults, rapes, and other assaults on a ship. These crimes have to be reported to the Coast Guard and FBI. However, cruise safety advocate groups believe that many cruise operators are only reporting those crimes in which the FBI actually gets involved and opens a file.