When I created Cruise Law News back in September 2009, my goal was to raise awareness of safety issues on cruise ships. I wanted my articles to be interesting and, perhaps, provocative in order to spark debate about the cruise industry with the goal of making cruising safer for both passengers and crew.
Back then I really didn't care (and still don't today) whether readers agree or disagree with me. I care only that you have an opinion about issues like cruise ship crimes, people who vanish at sea, and exploitation of foreign crewmembers. These are dramatic issues and deserve an energetic debate.
My thought process about cruise issues has changed over the years. Some of my opinions have hardened, while other opinions have softened. I especially value the dialogue that I has developed with the "enemy" - those readers of my blog "in the industry" - cruise fans, cruise employees and travel agents. Not many cruise fans agree with me, but that's not my goal.
One thing I do like tracking is the number of people who write hate mail. I know that's a weird thing to do. The most hate mail comes after I write or appear on TV about crimes on cruise ships or in ports of call. It's the one subject that freaks travel agents out.
It's easy to spot the cruise line shills because they leave their IP address when they comment. I can't tell who reads my blogs but if you leave a comment here's a secret - I can see the IP address of your server. Its funny when an "anonymous" reader from Carnival or Royal Caribbean flames me (yes it happens). I know that I am on target.
Negative emails to me outnumber positive ones by a 3 to 1 ratio. Few people write just to say "good job, have a nice day." I find that many people in life are primarily motivated by anger when their interests are being challenged. If someone is going to take the time to write me, they are usually angry about something I wrote or said about their cruise line or their business of selling cruises. They are going to let me know about it.
But today I read a nice article about my blog from the cruise blog "Ship Detective - Cruise Travel News & Commentary." I don't know the people at this blog. But they seem to understand the point of Cruise Law News better than anyone else:
"I don’t always agree with Mr. Walker’s views but of course that’s not the point. Cruise Law News highlights passenger safety and reminds us of the realities of cruising."
Thanks Ship Detective. You have precisely articulated the purpose of my little blog. For that I am appreciative.
Here's the article:
"As much as I avoid listening to attorneys who advertise or promote themselves publicly, I did subscribe to the Cruise Law News feed, published by Jim Walker, a maritime attorney based in Miami. I didn’t want to like this guy, Jim Walker, and in my mind labeled him an opportunist lawyer in-search-of business.
Now I’m feeling a bit of shame for not giving Mr. Walker the benefit of the doubt, instead slapping a negative label on him as a guy who wanted to dramatize every maritime incident just to stir the pot. After a few months of reading his posts, I found Mr. Walker to be level-headed, even-tempered and he encourages cruise ship passengers to question authority. The commentary is informative, sometimes dramatic, and applicable to the culture of cruising - something we highlight considerably on our website. I don’t always agree with Mr. Walker’s views but of course that’s not the point. Cruise Law News highlights passenger safety and reminds us of the realities of cruising.
Thank you Mr. Walker for your valuable insight. Your posts keep track of all the legal goings-on in the cruise industry and helps me tremendously with my daily search for cruise news.
So readers, stay informed and check-out the Cruise Law News blog. Knowledge is power!