Will NCL Ignore Captain Kirk?

Captain Kirk William Shatner, who played Captain Kirk in the 1960 classic science fiction television series Star Trek, reportedly recently urged Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) to stop offering "swim with dolphins" excursions on its upcoming Star Trek themed cruise.

According to the Hollywood Reporter (THR), Mr. Shatner is hosting the "Star Trek: The Cruise" voyage aboard the Norwegian Jade this coming January. He and the animal rights group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), asked NCL to end the swim-with-the-dolphins outings supported by the cruise line. He wrote a letter to NCL's CEO Frank Del Rio, saying: 

"Aboard the USS Enterprise, it was Captain Kirk's duty 'to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations' in order to advance and diversify our own. The exploitation of any species for profit and entertainment would have violated the Prime Directive. 

THR writes: "Shatner argued he's 'happy' his fans can sail on the themed-Norwegian Jade voyage, but insisted condemning captive animals to a 'lifetime of suffering' for entertainment cannot be justified. Surely, Star Trek fans would appreciate the decision to allow dolphins to remain in the wild — and prosper." 

NCL, of course, could not be reached for comment, according to the article.

NCL was last in the news for its exploitation of rare macaws in its development in Belize at Harvest Caye. The cruise line reportedly obtained numerous birds (toucans and other macaws) and animals and reptiles from the Belize government from the wild and/or rescue and rehabilitation centers for NCL Frank Del Rio display in cages for the benefit of cruise visitors. 

The prospect of CEO Del Rio responding to the commander of starship Enterprise? Between slim and none, in my opinion. Del Rio, who collected over $30,000,000 as CEO for NCL in 2015 alone, has a well deserved reputation for looking for every possible way to put money in the cruise line's coffers. 

NCL is just one of many cruise lines which sell exploitative swim-with-the-dolphins excursions to its guests.

Del Rio is probably the least likely cruise executive "to boldly go where no other cruise CEO has gone before."

Have a thought? Please leave a comment below or join the discussion on our Facebook page.

Credits: Captain Kirk - Star Trek.com; Frank Del Rio - Mark Elias/Bloomberg via Getty Images and Storify.

Death on NCL's Norwegian Jade

Norwegian Jade Cruise Ship Katakolon GreeceAccording to a news account in Greece, a 25 year old Filipino crew member aboard the Norwegian Jade died when the cruise ship was in Katakolo, Greece.

In addition to the skimpy information contained in the newspaper, we learned that the incident occurred early this morning when cruise passengers were preparing to disembark for sightseeing ashore (including visiting the ruins of Olympia).

A mooring line snapped while the crew member was standing on a mooring deck platform (at the level of deck 7). The crew member was violently struck by the recoiling rope. He was knocked overboard and into the water at the port.  According to the news account, divers took several hours to retrieve the dead man's body in the murky water. 

The crew member was not fitted with either a harness or a life vest and he was not wearing a hard hat. (Some people say that his hard hat was subsequently found floating in the water).

This afternoon, the Norwegian Jade (previously named the Pride of Hawaii) continued on to its next port of call in Piraeus.  The Jade is flagged in the Bahamas.  It appears that the ship sailed without a representative of the Bahamas Maritime Authority conducting an inspection of the rope or analyzing the NCL Norwegian Jadeaccident and taking statements from the crew and witnesses.  The ship is now continuing to sail to Pireus this evening.   

Cruise lines like NCL have worked hard to strip crew members of their rights.  Crew members from the Philippines, in particular, are limited under the Philippines Overseas Employment Agreement (POEA) to very small death benefits even in cases like this where the cruise line failed to enforce basic safety procedures.  

You can read our article about the POEA here. NCL took the lead in enforcing unfair arbitration clauses which deprive seafarers of their rights under maritime law.

Without significant financial consequence to the cruise line in cases like this, there is no incentive to improve safety of the ship's hard working crew. 

If you have information about this fatality, please leave a comment below.     

Photo credits: Norwegian Jade - janiahola.fi; web cam - NCL; scene of accident - ekathimerini.com

NCL Norwegian Jade Death Greece

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Cruise Line Shills, Norovirus, and Murder on the NCL Jade?

This has been another exciting week in the strange world of the cruise industry.  I thought that I would spend this Friday recapping some of the interesting cruise stories this week.   

Cruise Shills?

CLIA - Cruise Line International Association - Cruise Shill The week started with the travel site Tnooz picking up our article Cruise Crime and the Indifference of Travel Writers and asking Are Travel Writers Shills For The Cruise Lines? 

A number of prominent travel writers, including Pauline Frommer of the Frommer Travel fame, left comments.  Ms. Frommer was right on point in discussing the provisions of the new cruise safety law, which will be signed by President Obama next week.  And she was gracious in thanking the International Cruise Victims for pushing the new cruise law forward over intense opposition by the cruise industry and its shill organization, the Cruise Line International Association (CLIA).  Other travel writers joined the debate, including a few cruise travel writers who could not help taking a cheap shot against our blog.

Royal Caribbean Norovirus

Readers of Cruise Law News continue to comment that Royal Caribbean is struggling with norovirus aboard its cruise ships.  There are 50 comments to our article Norovirus On Royal Caribbean's Jewel Of The Seas?  The last comment today reports that the Celebrity Constellation continues to have Cruise Ship Norovirus - Passenger Sicknessnorovirus on board, following the usual ill-fated last minute "additional sanitizing."

Stay tuned.  You will continue to hear stories of sick passengers - followed by "enhanced cleaning" - and then more sick passengers.  When will this cruise line release the test results of the potable water on its ships?  Tired of this cruise line always blaming passengers for not washing their hands?  Consider reading Cruise Ship Norovirus - Something in the Water?   

Murder on NCL's Jade? 

Several sources are reporting that a passenger was murdered aboard Norwegian Cruise Line's Jade cruise ship earlier this week.

Canadian sociologist and cruise crime expert Dr. Ross Klein and the ever gossipy Cruise Critic community published passenger accounts that a passenger murdered his wife on the Jade.   

Did it happen?  I don't know.  I hope not.  But NCL will never say.

NCL Jade - Norwegian Cruise Ship JadeThis is one of the classic problems with the cruise lines.  They are terrified of bad press so they sweep the bad news under the rug.  But when the truth comes out, they look like they are hiding the ball.  The new cruise law will address this issue.  Cruise lines will be required to report crimes at sea and also provide a link on their web sites to the crime data. 

When the new cruise law takes effect, the public can cut through the gossip and finally take an an accurate account of cruise ship crime.   

 

Were you aboard the NCL Jade?  Do you have information to share about the alleged murder? 

Were you aboard the Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas or the Celebrity Constellation?  How is the cruise line handling the latest bouts of norovirus? 

If you have some information to wish to share, please leave a comment below.