Yesterday the Nassau Guardian published an interview of me discussing the crime situation in Nassau which cruise passengers face when disembarking at the port.
You can read that interview here: “U.S. attorney raises alarm over crime – Bahamas ‘one gunshot away’ from cruise line exit says maritime lawyer who represents victims.” My opinion is that Carnival and the other cruise lines will let matters in Nassau play out as they long as they can. But an armed robbery of a passenger ending in death will probably result in the cruise lines pulling out, as they have done in the U.S. Virgin Islands (St. Croix) and Mexico.
Today the cruise line responded to my interview. A representative of the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) was interviewed in an article “Passenger perception is the key for cruise lines.” Her opinions were interesting. She said that its not the crime, but the passengers’ perception of whether Nassau is dangerous, which is important. I suppose that raises the issue of whether the cruise lines and travel agents are warning passengers before they buy their cruises, which doesn’t seem to be the case.
As matters now stand, most travel agents don’t warn passengers about Nassau. When challenged on social media whether they issue warnings to their clients about armed robbery in Nassau (which the U.S. Department of State warns about), most travel agents didn’t want to talk about it.
Carnival warns passengers before they cruise into Nassau. The FCCA representative disputes the term “warning.” She said that the advisories are “merely information the cruise lines are obligated to provide.”
So we are left with the reality versus perception game. Expect a renewed effort in the media from the Bahamas tourism officials to convince the U.S. public that cruising to Nassau remains safe, irrespective of the actual crime rate.