Cruise Lines Problems

By pjain      Published June 14, 2020, 8:52 p.m. in blog Invest   

Why NOT to go on Cruises, User Risks, Abuses and Problems in Cruise Lines

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Cruise Lines Are A Perfect Place To Sexually Abuse Children - Rapists are Rarely Charged!

Cruise lines are not legally obligated to report sexual assaults of children, or any crimes for that matter.

Sexual Assault esp. by Third Contractors - Minors Main Victims of Rapes

Rape and sexual abuse are the most common crimes on board and minors make up a “significant percentage” of the victims.

Dr. Klein testified before our U.S. Congress several times and concluded that "Your Risk of Being Sexually Assaulted is Much Higher on a Cruise Ship Than in the Average American City."  Based on data we obtained in court cases, Dr. Klein concluded that at least 79 children were sexually assaulted or harassed on Royal Caribbean cruise ships alone from 1998 to 2005.

Rapes are Frequent not Rare!

Court orders allowed criminal attorneys for raped plaintiffs access to secret internal studies by Royal Caribbean which concluded that sexual misconduct on cruise occurs "frequently." At the same time, the cruise line’s PR people were telling the American public that sexual assaults during cruises was "rare." We also obtained spread sheets which revealed that there were 273 incidents of sexual Teen Activity Center - Sexual Assault - Sexual Abuse - Childrenmisconduct on the Royal Caribbean fleet for a period of three years, including rape and sexual abuse of minors.

1999: A pedophile crew member gave a 14 year old boy a dozen glasses of champagne and took him back to his cabin. He shaved the boy’s pubic hair off and molested him when was was unconscious. The cruise line responded by offering the family 50% of their cruise fare for their troubles.

Swimming Pools, Water Parks don't have Lifeguards

Alcohol Pushing for profits is a KEY PROBLEM - Age limits far lower, not enforced, Enables Binges, Abuses

Cruise lines earn literally hundreds of millions of dollars a year selling booze.
Most cruise ships have hundreds of waiters, assistant waiters, bar tenders and bar servers who work on only $50 a month plus tips, and whose job it is to push alcohol sales.

Older teenagers or young men can entice 15 and 16 year old girls to go back to their cabins and drink.

Parents who have zealously watched over their children for 15 years can find themselves with no clue where their kids may be during much of the cruise.

The Oasis of the Seas, for example, has several thousand cabins. A lot can go wrong by behind these closed cabin doors.

Very few Security Guards - Crews cost, take up valuable Rooms

Cruise ships have few security guards. Sometimes as few as two guards are on duty at night, and they do not actually patrol the passenger hallways.

Most cruise ships have hundreds of waiters, assistant waiters, bar tenders and bar servers who work on only $50 a month plus tips, and whose job it is to push alcohol sales.

But very few security guards? Maybe 2 or 3 are on duty at any one time, and they are responsible for the safety of 2,000 – 3,000 guests?

THREAT CAUSES

You are in the worst downtown Streets/Bars of the Third World 24 hours a day

Reality is you have signed up ALLOWING ANY CREW MEMBER TO ACCESS YOUR CABIN.

  • You can actually be confined to your cabin by the crew at any time - for disrupting entertainment of other guests > Heck of a way to silence complainers or the raped!

Unhappy over-worked Crew and Third Party Contractors can be a Danger

Lowest, Cheapest Labor - No Background Checks

Cruise lines do not perform background checks on their crew members.

They claim they rely on the hiring agents around the world to (hopefully) do that for them.

Key Problem - what kind of a pre-employment investigation can be done in Nicaragua, India, St. Vincent, or Belize? There are no computer databases or depositories of information for criminals or sexual predators in countries like these.

No prosecution of Frequent Predators

The core problem is that cruise lines do not share their crime data. When Royal Caribbean fires a sexual predator, he can find work on another cruise line, like Princess Cruises, within a few months.

Perps especially Crew Members are let off ship at next Port of call quietly

  • If Perps are allowed to be let off ship at next Port of call quietly, then the "investigation" ends. They will simply disappear in the third world, "cannot be found" or even identified at all! End of case!

They do not want the legal liability or public spectacle of a crew member being led off their cruise ships in handcuffs. They will defend their employee and accuse little And as long as no one gets convicted, sexual predators know that nothing will happen to them if they go on a cruise. Its the perfect place to sexually abuse a child.

Abuse of Labor - 70 hr/week at $1.7/hour wages

Cruise ship employees often work 70-hour weeks without any days off. Base salaries can range from $1,000 to $1,500 a month. For more invisible jobs, such as in laundry or the warehouse, that number dips to $600. Those who depend on tips have guaranteed wages as low as $500 a month, and for some waiters just $50. The majority of employees come from Southeast Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Eastern Europe. Their contracts depend on the labor laws where the company is registered. Since a 2006 court ruling, workers haven’t been able to file any claims in U.S. courts. Instead, their contracts say they must resolve issues through a private arbitrator paid for by the cruise line and based outside of the U.S.

Royal Caribbean Cruises, has an abysmal track record, with employees facing conditions comparable to slave labour and receiving a score of D from “Friends of the Earth” in its 2014 annual report card on environmental impact. ... Royal Caribbean bypasses U.S. labor codes and benefits from weaker rule of law in Liberia to employ crew members from lower income countries without providing them with proper work permits, often confiscating identification documents including passports, and requiring them to work below deck for well over 10 hours a day, if not longer, for pay that is dismally low. Pay can be as low as $1.25 an hour with tips often withheld. Savings get passed onto passengers in the form of cheap tickets and perks. Meanwhile, employees suffering from inhumane treatment and the lowest wages are kept out of sight below deck, where tourist eyes and tips cannot reach them. Consequently, the average tourist only sees the front-end staff and has little idea of the slave-like conditions occurring below their feet. - ethical travel

Law of the Seas - No Protection for

Strong Political Lobbies - Payola by Cruise Industry to Buy Way out of Trouble

The companies have a powerful influence in Washington D.C. and millions of dollars in lobbying and donations have likely helped block attempts to more strictly regulate the industry.

In the last decade, the cruise industry spent over $31 million lobbying the U.S government. Several legislators believe this has allowed them to flout environmental regulations and avoid federal taxes.

Revolving Doors, Inside Agency Knowhow

The cruise industry has hired several lobbyists who used to work on security, crime, and the environmental impact of cruises for federal agencies like the Coast Guard and the FBI.

Legislation Blocked in US committees

Several legislators tried to get Congress to approve the Clean Cruise Ship Act, which would ban them from dumping waste near the U.S. coast. They tried in five separate years but failed to get enough support each time.

Crew are biased and likely trained to Control Leaks, Risks, Silence guests - Evidence is Destroyed

Simply put cruise ships hide Information and proactively destroy evidence before next port of call.

When a crime happens on board, crew members — who don’t have legal jurisdiction — collect evidence and carry out an initial investigation. Only in some cases do they preserve the evidence until the ship docks.

  • In the U.S., you can obtain a crime grid for every business and residential address in the U.S. If you want to know whether the local child care facility or sleepover camp has had a crime in the past, just ask the local police to run a crime report and the information is there for the asking.

But cruise lines keep the crimes secret.
This enables them to white-faced lie: Trust us, they say. We will take care of your kids. Don’t worry, have fun.

That’s why some cruise lines, like Royal Caribbean, have never had a single crew member convicted of sexual assault of a minor in the company’s 40 year history.

When things goes wrong, the cruise line will treat victims and their family like criminals

There is no independent security or police authorities aboard the ship. You are on the high seas – a no man’s land – often thousands miles from the closet FBI office. Cruise lines are notorious for covering crimes up.
Little Susie will be interrogated without any parent or attorney present, and accused of making things up.

Very Flaky in Practical enforcement - Murders, Rapes mostly unreported

Most passengers don’t realize that if they’re a U.S. citizen they can call the FBI, police, or the embassy at the next port. But for those who aren’t U.S. citizens, like the majority of crew members, they can only report the crime in the country where the company is registered.

Even though most cruise ships are owned by American companies, they might not be protected by U.S. law. Cruise behemoths deliberately have complex operational structures in multiple countries to sidestep the U.S. labor laws that protect workers and the environment.

Crimes that occur onboard — of which rape and sexual assault are the most common — occur in a perilous legal limbo.

International law on maritime Conventions => Defers to National Laws

These are really "conventions" or typical practice meant to legislate safety, labour, and environmental concerns in international waters.

  1. International Labor Organization (ILO) Conventions

  2. International Maritime Organization

  3. International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea

  4. The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships

  5. The 2006 International Maritime Convention, that requires “the certification of seafarer’s working and living conditions.”

However, as with human rights and labour law generally, states are responsible for holding cruise lines accountable to international requirements and standards. Unfortunately, it has proven near impossible for states to enforce domestic and international laws on cruise lines when they are in international waters.

Resources for Crime and Danger

Legal Loopholes enable Cruise Lines

US Law => Allows Ships register in Flags

Major U.S.-based cruise lines take advantage of a provision in U.S. tax code that allows shipping companies to incorporate overseas and sail under the flags of foreign countries. Carnival, is headquartered in Miami, but incorporated in Panama; its British subsidiary, Princess Cruises, is incorporated in Bermuda.

  • A good U.S. Senate attempt blocked - the Cruise Vessel Safety and Security Act, which would have required – for the first time – that crimes be reported to the FBI and the U.S. Coast Guard. When this law is enacted, cruise lines will also be required to reveal the crimes to the U.S. public via a link on their web pages. So at the current time, the only sources of information are when courts order the cruise lines to reveal the crimes during lawsuits.

RCL the worst - Liberia, West Africa

Royal Caribbean is also headquartered in Miami, but incorporated in Liberia; meaning that it too pays virtually no U.S. taxes and it is held to less stringent Liberian labour and safety laws. Ironically, Royal Caribbean does not offer any cruises to countries in Africa, let alone to Liberia.

CCL HQ Miami - Panama Law

Carnival is registered in Panama

Bahamas Law - Norwegian in Bermuda

Norwegian is registered in Bermuda

Criminal Law very weak - Panama/Bahama Laws - not enforced or reported

Docking - Port of Call Inspections are Possible

All ships have to dock at some point, opening a window for states to act. Consider a recent example when Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas underwent labour inspections while docked in Rotterdam, in the Netherlands. Dutch labour inspectors ultimately fined Royal Caribbean €600,000 ($760,000) for violating Dutch labour laws and the International Maritime Convention, citing that at least 85 employees, mainly from the Philippines and South America, lacked proper work permits and were working excessive hours. However, it seems unlikely that Royal Caribbean will change its behaviour any time soon, as the company subsequently rerouted a cruise ship scheduled for dry dock repairs in Rotterdam to Cadiz in Spain. Perhaps Spain will undertake similar actions, but as long as there are states that turn a blind eye to violations, the cruise industry does not have much incentive to improve.

Environmental Impact

Environmental abuses, like pouring tons of hazardous material into the ocean go unpunished.

More emissions than entire Europe

Food Wastes

Emissions

  • Cruise ships produce at least twice as much in emissions per capita as airplanes. Cruise ships also pollute through oil seepage (it is estimated that nearly one-third of the more than 300 million gallons of petroleum products that reach the world’s oceans each year is the result of marine transportation discharges unrelated to collisions and other accidents)

Dump sewage and hazardous waste into the ocean

  • A ship traveling for one week with 3,000 passengers and crew can generate:
  • 210,000 gallons of sewage
  • 1 million gallons of gray water (from showers and sinks)
  • More than 130 gallons of hazardous waste
  • Up to eight tons of solid waste
  • 25,000 gallons of water contaminated with oil residues.

Currently, 265 ships run almost every day of the year carrying an average of 1,200 passengers.

Old and incomplete Treatment - Sewage treatment is Expensive!

About 40 percent of the ships operated by most cruise lines are old and sail with thousands of defects that compromise both the environment and passenger safety.

Cruise ships treat sewage before discharging it into the sea, the U.S. EPA has found that many cruise ships are treating sewage with old technology, resulting in discharge that often contains significant amounts of fecal bacteria, heavy metals, and nutrients in excess of federal water quality standards. Friends of the Earth Hong Kong recently denounced Royal Caribbean, estimating that the company committed upwards of thirty violations between 1992 and 2009, receiving fines of more than $30 million. Its industry counterparts are no better, of the sixteen in Friends’ ranking, Disney Cruises scored the highest with a “C+.”

Bad Corporates

Captive Resorts Scam : Cruise Lines exploit weak and unstable states

  • Royal Caribbean actively takes advantage of weak and unstable governments to make its billions not only where it is incorporated, but where it takes passengers. For several years, Royal Caribbean promoted its resort Labadee as an exotic oasis on the island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean. Labadee is actually in Haiti, a beautiful but extremely poor country that has been plagued by political strife, economic ruin, and natural disaster for decades. After much public outrage, Royal Caribbean now more accurately advertises Labadee as being in Haiti. However, the company continues to blatantly exploit and exclude the Haitian people in running its resort. Labadee is an isolated strip of Haitian coastline that Royal Caribbean rents from the government in addition to paying $10 per tourist visitor. At the Labadee resort, passengers use their cruise ship cards for all purchases except for at an “authentic artisan market” where Haitians sell various tourist trinkets. Beyond those “artisans,” who are the only Haitian workers present, the Haitian people are left out of the economic benefits of such a lucrative resort. Royal Caribbean exploits the Haitian landscape while paying an ineffectual and corrupt government who certainly is not trickling down economic gains to the population.

  • Carnival also does this as next year, Haiti’s Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe approved a deal with Carnival to develop a similar resort in Tortuga.

Cruise Lines Pay little Taxes

Cruise behemoths deliberately have complex operational structures in multiple countries to sidestep that also keeps their income largely tax-free.

CCL pays little in US Taxes

Carnival’s late founder, Ted Arison, was worth an estimated $5.6 billion in 1999, after paying next to nothing in U.S. taxes during his career. Arison renounced his U.S citizenship in 1990 and relocated to Israel, ostensibly to avoid estate and inheritance taxes. According to Forbes, his son, Micky Arison is now worth $7.3 billion.


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