The Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act (CVSSA) statistical FBI compilation for the last quarter (April 1, 2012 – June 30, 2012) is out.

And if you are inclined to believe the FBI statistics, being on a cruise ship is the safest place on planet earth.  According to the crimes disclosed by the FBI, over the last three months of the reporting period only two crimes occurred on the 200 cruise ships or so operated by the twenty-six cruise lines operating under the trade banner of the Cruise Line International Association (CLIA).

Cruise Ship Crime - Rape - Sexual AssaultThe crimes which the FBI chose to disclose? One suspicious crew member death on a Carnival cruise ship, and one sexual assault on a Royal Caribbean ship. You can look at the database here

If you can read the microscopic text of the database, you may think: Wow, 3 – 4 millions passengers cruising a quarter and only one or two crimes?

But the truth is far different. We know from attending non-stop Congressional hearings over the last 7 years, that these two incidents are only a small fraction of the actual crimes which historically occur. Our little firm alone represents more cruise passengers than this victimized over the last six months.

We represent young women violently raped by two men on both a Carnival and a Royal Caribbean cruise ship. But you will find no mention of these violent and devastating crimes by the FBI or cruise line, anywhere.  The FBI database is bogus.  And you can read about other cruise crimes here, here, here, herehere, herehere.  But don’t bother to look for them on the FBI list of cruise crimes. There is no mention of them.  And that is exactly how the cruise lines want it. 

In years past, we listened to Congressional testimony and read FOIA requested information where literally hundreds of sexual assaults on cruise ships were revealed.  So why have only 2 crimes been reported in the last quarter and only 5 crimes reported for all of 2012?

As we explained in prior articles, the cruise industry and the FBI teamed up to alter the language of the crime reporting bill which cruise victims had approved by both houses of Congress.  But before the cruise crime bill passed into law, the cruise lines – with the assistance of the FBI – altered the language to exclude over 95% of crimes on cruise ships from being reported on the Coast Guard database.

What the FBI discloses now is a small fraction of the actual number of crimes. 

In the U.S., the Uniform Crime Reporting ("UCR") requires all alleged crimes be disclosed to the public. But the cruise industry wants to keep the number of crimes secret. Behind the scenes, the cruise lines changed the law regarding cruise crimes such that only those crimes reported by the cruise lines, and disclosed to the FBI, and investigated by the FBI, and then closed by the FBI are included on the FBI database.

Crimes hidden from the FBI, or reported to state agencies or other governments, or those crimes reported to the FBI and ignored / not investigated by the FBI, or crimes reported to the FBI and the FBI keeps the files open indefinitely are not reported.          

Cruise Crime - Sexual Assaults on Cruise ShipsThe bottom line? The FBI and the cruise lines are hiding 95% of the crimes from the public.

This serves as a great disservice to the cruising public.

If you are a travel agent, cruise specialist or concerned member of the public, email me at or call me at 305 955-5300. I’ll be happy to discuss with you how we can work together to educate the public about the actual number of sexual assaults against women and children which occur routinely during cruises.   

I have spent the last decade of my life watching the cruise lines try and hide dozens of crimes a year.  It won’t work. They will never get away with it, no matter how many innocent people are hurt in the process. Help me keep the cruise lines honest, and your customers safe.

The next family with teenage girls and little kids walking up the gangway to a cruise ship deserve to know the truth.

  • Astrogal

    I just recently started cruising, really my first cruise was this year on board the Disney Dream, which we really enjoyed. Now we have booked a second cruise on RCI’s Allure of the Seas for next year. Before that, the only time I had been on a cruise was in 1992 on board a dinky little ship from Starlite cruises (I believe it was) and a one-day “cruise” on board a Discovery ship in 1994 or 1995. I would like to know in general how to keep yourself safe from cruise ship crimes. We are a family of three, two adults and a 6 year old (soon to be 7) girl. We keep away from the bar scene and don’t go on our own on shore excursions. On our Disney cruise we didn’t get off at Nassau and just got off at Castaway Cay which is Disney-owned and safe, and these were the only 2 stops on the 4-night cruise. Next year’s cruise will be 1-week to the Eastern Caribbean (St. Maarten, St. Thomas, Nassau). I read a lot of these crimes unfortunately occur to people who are drunk, going off with strangers or inviting them to their cabin, or in dangerous bars, or at night. How can we keep safe then aside from avoiding those places and behaviors, which we already do?

  • Astrogal:

    Sounds like you are taking responsible steps to make yourself aware of dangers.

    A couple of safety tips:

    Don’t leave your daughter alone in the cabin. Some responsible parents let their guard down and think its okay to let their children stay in the cabin for a short time while they go to breakfast or stay out late to go to the casino or a nightclub. Don’t do it. Cabin attendants can enter the cabin with their key cards.

    St. Thomas and Nassau are dangerous ports of call. St. Thomas has about the highest homicide rate in the world. Bahamas has one of the highest rates of rape.

    Most passengers have a safe cruise.

    Happy cruising.

    Jim Walker

  • Russia
  • Dear Russia:

    Maybe 3 or 4 dark tinted SUV’s will appear in the middle of the night at my house and the FBI agents will put a hood over my head and throw me in an airplane to Guantanamo Bay detention camp for punishment?

    Seriously, the only consequence of criticizing the FBI is probably that it increases my chances of a Federal tax audit. But that’s okay. Unlike the offshore cruise lines, I actually pay U.S. taxes!

    Regards to you!

    Jim Walker

  • Astrogal

    Thank you Jim for replying to my questions. I have been subscribing and reading your blog for the past few weeks and find it fascinating and scary that so many crimes happen that are never reported. We would never leave our daughter alone in the cabin. Only in the kids club where I would hope at least there she is safe. I guess St. Maarten is pretty safe, as you didn’t mention it. Keep up the good fight, brother!

  • Mike215

    After 49 years and 12,000 books published on the Kennedy assassination, we still do not know the truth of this crime. Why? Just read how the FBI deals with crime on cruise ships to see why the real murders of the president had nothing to fear from that agency. They were never interested in solving this crime.