Last night, CNN Anderson Cooper's program AC 360 took a look at the safety of women and children on cruise ships.
The program began with an interview with a girl who alleges that at age 15 she was sexually assaulted by who she describes as a uniformed Royal Caribbean crew member aboard the Rhapsody of the Seas cruise ship. The crime occurred after the cruise employee let himself into the child's cabin while her parents were at a different part of the cruise ship. Like most cruise ship crime cases, the FBI did not arrest anyone and the crime remains unsolved.
A former U.S. Customs and Border agent and a former cruise ship security officer were interviewed. They stated that there is a 85% to 100% chance that a cruise ship leaving a port in Florida has a sexual predator aboard. Cruise ships are "magnets" for sexual predators and criminals know that cruise crimes are rarely reported and rarely investigated by the FBI.
The cruise industry, predictably, released its talking points and stated that the safety of its guests is its highest priority. The cruise industry trade organization, Cruise Line International Association (CLIA), also stated that ship crime is rare. It went as far as to state that there are only a "handful" of crimes which occur during cruises based on the database required by a new cruise safety law.
Remarkably, the cruise industry did not mention that the cruise law was watered down to require the disclosure of only a fraction of the many hundreds of crimes which occur each year. We suspect that CLIA was behind the alteration of the cruise law in order to cover-up crimes like the one involving the girl on the Rhapsody of the Seas.
Watch the video below: