This weekend the cruise port in Fort Lauderdale, Florida broke a new record with the most cruise passengers entering or leaving the port. The Sun Sentinel reports that around 106,000 passengers will transit through Port Everglades on 24 cruise ships. Each day from Friday through Sunday will see 8 cruise ships return and then leave the port full of passengers.
The newspaper suggested an interesting visual perspective: If lined up bow to stern, the cruise ships sailing through Port Everglades this weekend are as tall as 22 Eiffel Towers, or as long as 72 football fields . . .
The heavy port activity is the result of New Year / Holiday cruise ships returning to South Florida.
Unfortunately not all of the cruises turned out to be safe experiences.
Multiple sexual assaults occurred on the world’s largest cruise ship, the Allure of the Seas, during a cruise over the New Year. We discussed the alleged crimes in an article last Wednesday. The alleged rapists were passengers from Brazil. It is interesting to note that they were not arrested by the FBI but by the Broward Sheriff’s Office. Florida is the only state where the local police or sheriff officers can arrest and the state can prosecute crimes on the high seas. In all other states, only the federal government can assert such jurisdiction.
The alleged crime was finally reported by the Miami Herald yesterday and the newspaper mentioned our previous article. It is good to see the the Miami Herald reporting on cruise ship crimes. The Herald historically ignores stories like this and does not seem to want to anger the local cruise lines here in Miami who are major advertisers with the newspaper. The Herald also included coverage on its Spanish edition, el Neuvo Herald – "Arrestado Hombre Acusado de Violación En Un Crucero."
Our firm was also mentioned in an interesting article about cruise ship norovirus and whether cruise line are taking adequate steps to sanitize their ships. E Turbo News (Global Travel Industry News) published an article "When Bugs Swim: Cruise Ships Provide Perfect Environment for Spread of Disease." I talked about my experience interviewing cruise ship cleaners who believe that the EcoLab spray disinfectants cause injury to their lungs. They admitted pouring the anti-bacterial solutions down the drain and replacing the solutions with water. So when they wipe the wet rags over the cruise ship surfaces, they are probably just spreading the nasty viruses everywhere. No wonder the cruise lines seem to have a problem with norovirus outbreaks.
The big news this weekend was the media hype surrounding DateLine NBC’s update on the disappearance of cruise passenger George Smith who went overboard in July 2005. Unfortunately, there was nothing new presented in the hour long show. You can read our last article about Mr. Smith’s situation here. I have always thought the case involved foul play and the four men last seen with George Smith know more than they have admitted. At least the DateLine program returned the public’s attention to this unsolved case.
With the renewed interest in Mr. Smith’s case the popular Cruise Radio program aired a prior interview with me which you can listen to here.
This blog started the new year out with our own record. According to Google analytics, over 20,000 visitors read over 67,000 pages for the first 8 days of 2012.
If you have a question about cruise ship law or want our perspective on a cruise related story, please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org