Today the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will conduct a hearing on whether there needs to be greater Congressional oversight of the cruise industry in light of recent cruise ships mishaps.
There are two recent examples of cruise line conduct which the committee should consider in determining whether Congress should take a closer eye on the cruise lines.
Example 1: A luxury cruise line, Silversea Cruises, recently flunked a surprise inspection by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) of the cruise line's Silver Shadow cruise ship. What makes the incident so egregious is that the CDC found that the cruise line engaged in
"an organized effort . . . to physically remove over 15 full trolleys of dry foods, spices, canned foods, cooked foods, milk, raw meats, pasteurized eggs, cheeses of all types, baking goods, raw fruits, raw vegetables, and a variety of both hand held and counter model food equipment, pans, dishware and utensils to over 10 individual cabins shared by two or three galley crew members in order to avoid inspection by VSP (Vessel Sanitation Program) staff. All the out of temperature potentially hazardous foods were discarded along with most other foods that were not canned or in original containers. The lead VSP inspector poured concentrated chlorine liquid over all the discarded foods as they were dumped into garbage bags to ensure they would not be used again." Read the CDC report here. Look at the disgusting photographs here.
Yes, a luxury cruise line holding itself out as a 6 star cuisine experience was literally hiding meat, fish, eggs and cheese under the bunks in the crew quarters in order to cheat U.S. sanitation inspectors. Our investigation here and here leads us to the only conclusion that this deception is an industry-wide problem,
Example 2: After Congress passed the Cruise Vessel Safety & Security Act which was intended to require cruise lines to report crimes to the FBI and the Coast Guard in order to post crimes on an internet site for the public's consideration, the cruise industry and the FBI conspired to hide the information. Read this disturbing story here.
The President of the International Cruise Victims (ICV) organization, Ken Carver, exposed the cover-up when he sent a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the FBI and learned that of the 400+ crimes alleged on cruise ships in 2012 alone, the FBI decided to post only 15 crimes on the Coast Guard internet site. A great injustice to the victims and the public. Watch the video below:
It's high time that Congress intervene and protect American families from the cruise industry's hide-and-seek games.