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Published on Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Cruise lines' summer crime surge revealed in US documents






Cruise lines saw a surge in crime over the summer, with sexual assaults by far the most frequently reported incidents.

Figures from the US Department of Transportation Cruise Line Incident Report reveal there were at least 35 sex attacks reported between July 1 and September 30 on cruise ships that embarked and disembarked in the States.

Of the 35 sexual assaults reported, 27 involved passengers, five involved crew and there were three others that didn't specify who was involved.

In the same period last year, there were were 21 reports of sexual assaults on cruise lines.

According to the report, the majority of the alleged incidents were on Carnival Cruise Lines, with the company seeing 20 reports of sexual assault on its cruises this summer, with 17 of the allegations made by passengers.

Four passengers and three crew reported they were victims of sexual assault on Royal Caribbean cruise ships.

There were three reports of sexual assault against passengers on Norwegian Cruise Lines, two Disney passengers claimed they were assaulted, there was one report of sexual assault of a passenger on MSC and one crew member claims they were assaulted on a Celebrity ship.

The Department of Transportation's report also shows an increase in other crimes, including two reported disappearances from Carnival ships and two incidents of assault with serious bodily harm, also on Carnival.

There were five incidents of theft valued at $10,000 or more, three on Royal Caribbean and two on Carnival, although these were not from passengers or crew.


In a statment, Carnival said: "The safety and security of all our passengers is our top priority and each year nearly six million guests enjoy a Carnival cruise vacation in a safe and secure environment.

"We fully comply with the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act (CVSSA) and we are legally required to report to the FBI and US Coast Guard all alleged serious crimes that occur on board cruise ships pursuant to the CVSSA.

"Nearly 90% of our capacity and operations are from US ports which are covered under the reporting requirements of the CVSSA. Many of our US competitors sail from Europe and other non-US ports so they are not mandated to submit CVSSA data as part of the reporting process.

" In essence, we report a higher number of cruise operations than others because we have a much higher percentage of US operations than others. Not because we have more incidents.

"We maintain a high level of security through an onboard uniformed security force who work in tandem with our shoreside security team which is made up of many highly experienced former law enforcement professionals.

"Carnival is also certified by RAINN, the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization."

A Royal Caribbean spokesperson said: "The safety and security of our guests is our top priority, and we take every allegation of serious crime seriously.

"When an incident is reported, our policy triggers immediate notification to appropriate law enforcement authorities in compliance with mandatory reporting standards as well as CLIA industry reporting guidelines. Our shipboard security officers undergo extensive security training, and many have served as law enforcement professionals.

"Additionally, our security and medical teams are RAINN-certified, and we work closely with RAINN to train our Care Team members to provide victims assistance, medical care, and counseling services to guests or crew in need of support."

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  • Increase in incidents or reports?

    Is the increase due to more incidents or due to increased pressure on reporting? This is similar to the "sharp increase" in sexual violence in the US Armed Forces, which was later identified to be an increase in the reports. Otherwise one might say that "gosh, cruise travel was so much safer before CVSSA"

    By Dillon Pyron, Friday, December 6, 2019

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