Bad news piles up in cruise industry

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Allure 0002 News this week brought especially negative news about an industry that prides itself on a highly positive experience for their customers.  Especially troubling about these bad news reports is that these events were spread out over a number of lines.   That they were not isolated to one line, could chip away further at the industry’s “cruises are safe” image.

We begin with the headlines of this wild week, the elements of what might be a bigger problem down the road:

Princess Ship ignores plea for help– In Passengers Say Cruise Ship Saw Drifting Boat, Didn’t Stop To Help Stranded Men, The Consumerist says

“This is one of those terrible stories that makes you want to scream and yell at your fellow human beings for being so awful. Two men are dead after their small fishing boat lost power in the Pacific Ocean, and now passengers on a passing cruise ship say they alerted the ship’s crew when they spotted the small vessel. But the ship didn’t stop, and only one man survived the ordeal.”

Cunard child care worker a pedophile– The BBC reports Cunard cruise ship worker Paul Trotter admits abusing children, saying

“A man has admitted sexually abusing 13 boys in his care while working as a children’s activity supervisor on luxury cruise ships. He admitted 12 counts of sexually assaulting a child under the age of 13, one count of sexual activity with a child under the age of 13, five counts of taking indecent images of a child, five of making indecent images of a child and one of possessing indecent images of a child.”

Fire on Allure of the Seas- In Engine room fire reported aboard Allure of the Seas, the Miami Herald tells us

“The latest mishap to bedevil the cruise industry hit a giant Friday night: Royal Caribbean International’s Allure of the Seas, which shares the title of the world’s largest cruise ship, reported a “small and short-lived engine fire,” according to a spokeswoman.

The ship was sailing from St. Maarten to Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale when an engine fire broke out at 7:45 p.m. Friday, said spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez.

“The ship’s high fog system was immediately activated, which contained and extinguished the fire,” she wrote in an email.”

17-year old girl strip searched–  The story reads Carnival Sued For Strip And Cavity Search Of Minor from NubNews quoting the Huffington Post

“A passenger who was underage while aboard a Carnival cruise last year is suing the cruise line after security staff allegedly forced her to strip, urinate, and have her genitals examined under suspicion of marijuana possession.”

While individually, any one of these incidents is indeed cause for concern, that they are spread out among so many lines has the potential to force travelers to consider other vacation options.


Chris Owen is a travel writer from Orlando Florida charged with sharing frank, inside information on cruise vacations with travelers. Certified a Master Cruise Counselor by the Cruise Lines International Association, Chris can be found via the popular travel blog, and on the long-running cruise information website,

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