Last week I ran across an interesting blog article by a thirty-three year old woman who sailed aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship out of Tampa with her long time boyfriend. Around 2:00 AM one night, she craved a cigarette and proceeded to an upper deck to smoke and look at the stars. 

She encountered a naked man masturbating. He stalked her. She ran from the deck terrified. She immediately told crew members involved in cleaning a lower deck what happened. She then proceeded to the deck four service desk and made an official report of what happened. 

The article is about the indifferent, casual and almost bemused response of the cruise line to her Cruise Ship Deck - Cruise ship Crimeordeal. The comments to her frightening personal experience are revealing. Some comments seem to be from crew members accusing her of being hysterical and essentially telling her to "get over it."

Indecent exposure and public masturbation are crimes in virtually all U.S. states. But in most situations state law does not apply to foreign flagged cruise ships in international waters. Do the laws of foreign countries like Liberia and the Bahamas prohibit such conduct? Did the cruise line report the crime to the flag state? I don’t know but I doubt it. I’m sure no police detective from Africa or a small Caribbean island appeared to investigate.

The U.S. federal government theoretically has jurisdiction over federal crimes at sea where the victim is an American and a federal law was broken.  But I don’t think public masturbation or indecent exposure are federal crimes. Did the cruise line report the incident to the FBI?  Probably not, but even if it did, I am sure that the FBI declined to appear either.

Florida is the only state in the U.S. which has laws extending jurisdiction to local law enforcement to prosecute crimes which occur on cruise ships.  A state police officer or sheriff’s detective from Florida could make an arrest once the cruise ship returned to port in Tampa. But this assumes that the cruise line notified the local law enforcement officials and further assumes the cruise line saved the CCTV surveillance images of the naked man and turned the evidence over to the police.

In my experience, the chances of this cruise line taking such steps are between slim and none.

There will be no prosecution of this cruise pervert. The video images of the naked man on deck and the cruise ship guest running down the stairs in terror will never see the light of day. No mug shots depicting the pervert will ever make it onto the internet. No one from the Miami offices of the cruise line will reach out to the victim with an apology, or words of assurance, or an offer of assistance.   


Photo Credit: Daily Mail

  • John Hole

    Is so funny and pathetic to read this kind of comments about things that happen on board of cruise ships, now a day cruising is very cheap and every day are building bigger ships for over four thousands passengers so what people expect when they decide to take a cruise? find thousand of people from differents believes, likes, religions, ways of lifes perverts, pedophiles plus a huge amount to mention and how do you pretend that a cruise ship is going to control every single one? why people insist to play victims? if you don´t want to take a risk don´t take a cruise, stay home is safer I was crew members of Royal Caribbean for over 15 years and what a saw is a triggered behavior of passenger, they come on board to do everything they can´t do at home ,at work at school whatever,companies don´t check the moral or mental health of the customers so is a no man´s land and crew can´t do nothing they are employees of differents things, waiters, pursers, cleaners BUT NO POLICE!!! plus as I said passengers behaviors to the crew is most of the time very rude so employees don´t feel involved much with passengers other than working activities or duty circumstances. Regarding”The U.S. federal government theoretically has jurisdiction over federal crimes at sea where the victim is an American and a federal law was broken.” what does it mean American? as far as I know America is all the way from Chile to Canada, or you mean U.S. citizen? which completely different,any way in the middle of the ocean there is not much that FBI or any law enforcemnt can do so next time when you are onboard do as if you are in a big city do not trust nobody.

  • nedelko

    i still have the vid of the monach of the seas that shows deck 7 in total darkness

  • Jo Higham

    I have done 17 cruises mostly on Royal Caribbean and I have never found anything untoward. I guess you will get some problems as you would ashore but you cannot condemn cruises hips for the very rare thing of this type. However there are always lots of people on deck at all hours so I doubt if this story is not a huge fib.