This month marks the three year anniversary of my blog, Cruise Law News ("CLN").
I started this blog in September 2009 with the goal of writing about "everything the cruise lines don't want you to know." There has been a lot to write about.
Shipboard rapes. Molestation of children. Mistreatment of foreign crew members. Overboard passengers and crew. Cruise line cover-ups. You can read it all here.
Three years later, CLN has now published over 1,100 articles and received over 3,200 comments from our readers. The CLN Twitter feed has over 10,000 followers, plus those who subscribe to the blog via email, RSS feed, or Google reader.
Perhaps the most exciting thing about CLN lately is the explosion of our readership on our Facebook page. Over 18,500 people have "liked" CLN's Facebook and are spreading the word.
All of the drama following the Costa Concordia disaster has driven our readership up considerably. So far this year, 724,328 people have read 2,575,675 pages of Cruise Law News.
Being popular is nice, but being influential in shaping cruise news is where the real satisfaction comes from. The national and international press have carried our message to the public You can read about the over 35 major newspapers, television and documentaries which have mentioned our firm and/or cited our blog this year, below.
Just this this week Fort Lauderdale's Sun Sentinel quoted CLN in an article about the latest passenger overboard from a Royal Caribbean cruise ship. While Royal Caribbean was boasting that it "immediately" notified the Coast Guard, we pointed out that in truth the cruise line waited over 2 hours to do so. A few days later we were the first in the U.S. to report on a crew member who disappeared from another Royal Caribbean cruise ship, the Serenade of the Seas.
The Concordia fallout led to two Congressional hearings this year which we attended and blogged from Washington D.C. about the cruise industry's strategy to bamboozle the public about the safety of cruising. (Photo above right, with members of the International Cruise Victims' organization).
Chris Owens, a popular cruise blogger who writes for Gadling, characterized our blog as follows:
"Jim Walker’s Cruise Law News adds a sobering tone to what can be an industry that sometimes gets a bit wrapped up in itself, asking and answering tough questions about current maritime matters. First on the doorstep of cruise lines when things go wrong, Walker also does not hesitate to jump into the conversation when passengers have unreasonable demands."
This year we have been very vocal about the sad state of affairs of the cruise industry post Costa Concordia, as well as the plight of families of missing loved ones on cruise ships. Below is a video from Australia's Dateline regarding the disturbing disappearance of Disney youth counselor Rebecca Coriam from the Bahamian-flagged Disney Wonder. This is a case where, in my opinion, the Bahamian police and the Disney corporation have stonewalled the grieving family at every turn.
A heartfelt thanks to the readers of this blog. Many thanks to those I don't know but who send me anonymous tips about things that the cruise lines are trying to cover up.
Finally, thanks to everyone who helps me write about "everything the cruise lines don't want you to know."
In this year (2012) alone, CLN and our clients have been featured on CNN's Wolf Blitzer & Erin Burnett, Wall street Journal's "Cruise Safety, a Century After Titanic," Australian Sun Herald's "Boozy Cruises a Recipe For Disaster Expert Warns," Travel Agent Central's "Lawsuits Target Carnival in the U.S. But Will They Succeed?," Examiner's "Costa Favolosa Dancer From South Africa Lost At Sea," USA TODAY's "Stats Don't Fully Account For All Cruise-Ship Crime," ABC News' "Vacation Danger: Is Cruise Ship Liable for Perils on Shore Excursions?," Virgin Islands Daily News' "Court Rules Lawsuit Over Slain Teen Tourist Should Be Heard," Washington Post's "Dumped in the Caribbean," Newsweek's "The Hidden Horrors of Cruise Ships," CNN's "Cruise Victims Get Minimum Compensation," CNN's "Cruise to Disaster," Daily Business Review's "Lawyer Wins $1.25 Million in Arbitration For Employee Injured Aboard Cruise Ship," South Florida Business Journal's Is Salon Article A Smoking Gun On Cruise Line Crime Stats?, Greenwich Magazine's "Who Killed George Smith?," PBS / NOVA Cruise Special: "Why Ships Sink," Houston Chronicle's "Court Leaves Galveston Cruise Ship Departure Uncertain Until Last Minute," Date Line's "Lost at Sea," Herald Sun's "Cruise Ships Perfect Ground for Predators," 20/20 "Costa Concordia Crash," CNBC's "Travel: Do You Need Medical Evacuation Insurance?," CTV / Canadian Television's "Crime, Fires Compromise Cruise Ship Safety: Experts," International Herald Tribune / New York Times' "Disaster Cripples Cruiser, Not Cruising," Washington Post's "Costa Concordia Sinking Leaves Other Cruise Ship Passengers Alarmed — And Out Of Luck," Cleveland Plain Dealer's "Cruise Ship Accident Prompts Questions About Industry Safety," Examiner"s Passengers Blame Carnival Corporation for Costa Concordia Wreck," Washington Post's "The Ship Sailed, But They Didn't;" and Barbados Free Press' Cruise Ship Horror Stories Good for Island Tourism?