On Twitter today, a travel agent bemoaned that a video entitled "Cruise Ship Nightmares" was airing. What particularly perturbed the travel agent was the fact that the CNN video first aired last summer and was recirculating as fresh news.
This particular video was well produced and quite provocative. Images of burned cruise ships and passengers sleeping out on mattresses on the decks, with the caption "Keeping Secrets on the High Seas – Crashes, Fires, Stalls Plague Secretive Cruise Industry."
I remember this video well. I was interviewed in it.
I had an opportunity to talk about a number of issues which the cruise lines and many travel agents don’t want the public to know. Like the fact that Miami-based cruise lines, such as Carnival and Royal Caribbean, are incorporated in places like Panama and Liberia and register their ship in other foreign countries like the Bahamas to avoid all U.S. taxes, labor, wage and safety laws.
So when a fire breaks out or a rape occurs on these cruise ships flying the flag of the Bahamas, it’s this little island which is incapable of keeping its own citizens safe that is responsible for investigating what occurs on cruise ships full of U.S. citizens.
It would be a joke if it was not so disgraceful.
My favorite CNN video involved Silversea Cruises caught hiding trolleys of perishable food down in the crew quarters in an effort to bamboozle sanitation inspectors for the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). Crew members complained to us about this nasty practice. We told them to notify the CDC about the cruise line scheme. We involved CNN after the haughty cruise line refused to communicate with us. The CNN video told the story beautifully.
CNN’s video of the Carnival Triumph disaster revealed that Carnival knew that there were major problems with not maintaining the ship’s engines and fuel lines but the cruise line intentionally sailed when the cruise ship was unseaworthy.
Other CNN videos worth watching:
You can complain all you want that CNN covered the Carnival "poop cruise" 24 hours a day, it seemed. But the coverage was thorough and the specials are excellent. People love to watch them. That’s why CNN plays them over and over.
So the next time that a ship catches on fire, or become disabled, you can bet that CNN will be covering the story.
And this travel agent will be complaining loudly.