The Houston Chronicle has an interesting article about five passengers arrested in Galveston when a cruise ship returned to port.

The passengers were on the Carnival Magic cruise ship and were arrested because they all has outstanding criminal warrants. Three women and two men were arrested and handcuffed and taken to jail in Galveston.

The criminal offenses included forgery, felony tampering with government records, and felony property Carnival Magic Cruise Shipdamage.

The arrests took place after the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) ran the names from the cruise passenger manifest through various databases. If outstanding warrants are located, the CBP will make an arrest once the cruise ship returns to port after the cruise.

Arrests like this are common, according to the director of the port in Galveston, although five on one cruise ship is higher than normal.

I have always wondered why these checks are not conducted before the ship sails so that the arrests take place before the cruise. Otherwise it sounds like most families will find themselves cruising with one one or two criminals with outstanding warrants.


Photo Credit: Wikipedia / Thomas Doerfer

  • Suzanne


    When I was a dancer for Princess back in the 70’s, we sailed with a ‘hit man’. Didn’t know it at the time, as he was a lovely, fun, gentleman. I still have a group photo of all of us ashore together, just a passenger who was a lot of fun. He never returned to the ship in Acapulco, we sailed without him, only to find out upon returning to San Pedro that a warrant was waiting for him. Somehow he found out and jumped ship, as the expression goes. I was interested to read the Galveston authorities said this was common place as I always thought my ‘hit man’ story was an anomaly. Guess not.

  • Ester Herz

    The US Customs and Border Protection does not run a check at the airport or port when you are leaving the country; only when you enter into the USA.
    Unless they get word that a criminal is trying to leave the country, but in the last couple of years the cruise lines have been asking for the passport information in advance at the request of US Customs and TSA.
    But lately they are not doing it anymore. . . Too bad.

  • rich d

    I know you like to print negative cruise ship stories, but I think you are stretching it here. Does Disneyland do background checks when you go there. Does the airline check everyone on board, or how about the 5 star resort you go to stay at. There are felons among us all over the place. It is NOT the job of the cruiseline to check. This story is another example of a slow news day.

  • The motto of this blog is “everything the cruise lines won’t tell you.” Of course an airline or an amusement part don’t do background checks on the people who will be on a plane or in a park for a few hours. But a family can be on a cruise for a week or more and the cruise line touts that your personal safety is their highest priority. The cruise lines don’t even conduct background checks on their own crew members who are on the ship for 6 to 8 months! The only one doing a check is CBP and they don’t check until after the cruise ship sails. I think passengers should know that no one is checking anything before they sail and that there is one felon likely on every single cruise.

  • weaselspleen

    You pass felons every day on the street. Felons definitely live in your neighborhood. There are probably felons at your workplace. This notion that somehow the fact that a person with an arrest warrant being on the same ship as you constitutes some sort of grievous harm to you is ludicrous nonsense.