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It’s traditionally been hard to figure out how frequent crimes are on cruise ships. Now, cruise lines are starting to open up about reported incidents.
“Before Thursday, people only had access to U.S. Coast Guard crime figures that were based solely on cases in which the FBI had concluded an investigation,” The Associated Press says. That figure, for incidents between 2011 and the first half of this year, was 44, the Miami Herald says.
The real number is more than five times higher. There were 237 alleged serious crimes in the past 2 1/2 years, the Herald says, citing new data released by major cruise lines. The reports fall into these categories:
- Sexual assault.
- Theft greater than $10,000.
- Tampering with the vessel.
- Assault with serious injuries.
- Suspicious death or homicide.
Norwegian Cruise Line reported 20 alleged crimes between October 2010 and June of this year, the South Florida Business Journal says. Royal Carribean reported 91 for that period, while Carnival’s four brands averaged a total of 41 reported crimes per year, the paper says.
The companies’ decision to disclose the information came after U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., introduced legislation that would force them to anyway, the Herald says.
The cruise companies emphasize these are incidents reported by passengers or crew, and don’t always turn out to be crimes. “The majority of these — more than 50 percent — are not substantiated as actual crimes after the initial investigation,” a Carnival spokesman told the Business Journal. “They are a fraction of the millions of passengers who sailed with us.”
You can look at the specific reported crimes at the following links:
- Carnival (including brands Princess Cruises, Holland America, and Seabourn).
- Royal Caribbean.
Crime reports aren’t the only thing you should check before booking a cruise. Check out the video below and learn what else you should know:
Does this extra transparency make you feel better about taking a cruise? Let us know what you think on our Facebook page.