Today, Frommer's travel website published an article "Best Cruise Ships For Kids."
When I saw the title, I thought to myself: oh no, not Frommer's. The Frommer's people didn't include any of the Cunard cruise ships on its "best for kids" list did it? I prayed not. I held my breath and clicked on the article - Cunard's Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria - two of the "best cruise ships for kids."
There are times I become so angry at the way that cruise lines and travel writers work that I want to rip my monitor from the computer and smash it against the wall.
For the past three months I have been writing about the disturbing case case of a Cunard youth supervisor, Paul Trotter, who was investigated in January and arrested in February of this year for the sexual abuse of a child on a Cunard cruise ship. I was the first one in the U.S. to write about it. You can read the articles here and here.
Where there is smoke, there is fire.
Where there is an arrest of a sexual predator for victimizing a child, there are at least a dozen victims.
I asked in a follow-up article two months ago how many other children did the Cunard youth counselor sexually molest? After all he worked on several Cunard cruise ships for 4 to 5 years. Many thousand of little kids were dropped of by their unsuspecting parents in the "play zone" managed by "certified" children specialists like Trotter.
Since then I have corresponded back and forth with the English press. Our firm has represented around 80 children and women sexually assaulted on cruise ships, including several women who have testified before our U.S. Congress. "Do you represent other victims of Trotter?" the British press inquired. "What do you know about how many children were involved? I responded. There was little known about the extent of the harm to children on either side of the Atlantic.
The police officers in the U.K investigating the issue kept mum, but clearly they were onto something big.
Last week we learned that that the investigating police officers were going to release a statement. The truth emerged: Trotter molested at least 13 boys. To boot, the sick pervert took video of himself abusing some of the children, the police stated.
I immediately blogged about the serial Cunard child predator. I posted my article on facebook, tweeted about it to my 9,000 Twitter followers, emailed the blog to 1,000 subscribers and sent it out on the RSS feed. For the past week, I have written additional articles about the Cunard predator who worked on Cunard's Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria cruise ships.
The police said that Trotter molested the children when he was assigned to the children's "play zone" on the ships.
The same kid friendly "play zone" from the Queen Mary 2 that Frommer's depicted in its article.
It might as well be called a "prey zone" if truth be known.
Most U.S. travel writers and supposedly reputable newspapers looked the other way. Only a couple of cruise bloggers touched the story. Why upset their cruise sales or anger the cruise line advertisers, especially with so much bad cruise news these days?
There are many travel writers and journalists who are unabashed shills for the cruise industry, the Miami Herald being at the top of the list. (The Miami Herald has not written about the Cunard child sex crimes even though Cunard is owned by Miami-based Carnival.)
But Frommer's is not in that bunch of unethical vagabonds and cruise cheerleaders. Arthur Frommer was one of the few travel writers who congratulated the International Victims Organization for its five year struggle against the cruise industry to obtain the passage of the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act which President Obama signed into law to protect cruise passengers. Arthur Frommer is a man of integrity, known for his straight moral compass. He is certainly not the cruise lines' bitch.
So how did Frommer's pick two Cunard cruise ships where unspeakable crimes against children occurred? The best cruise ships for kids? Why not just pour salt into the wounds of the parents grieving the loss of their children's innocence? Why did Frommer's include a photograph of the crime scene where Trotter abused the little innocent victims, for Christ's sake?
I'm don't know. Perhaps someone at Frommer's can explain?
Photo credit: QM 2 "Play Zone" - Cunard via Frommer's