Last year at Cruise Shipping Miami, all of the cruise CEO’s talking at the "State of the Cruise Industry" presentation covered the CLIA talking points that cruising was "safe" and the cruise industry is also supposedly "highly regulated."
The hyperbole was extraordinary.
CLIA’s Christine Duffy began the cheerleading by first announcing that the Carnival Triumph fire was "rare." Carnival’s President Gerry Cahill topped her by saying: “Something like this is very rare." NCL’s Kevin Sheehan’s won the award by claiming that cruising was the "safest, safest, safest" vacation option.
Cruise executives never discuss actual statistics about fires, accidents and crimes on cruise ships. They would rather tell you their self-serving opinions than provide you with the actual facts and let you form your own opinions.
In truth, there have been over 90 cruise ship fires between 1990 and the present. That’s hardly "rare." The "safest, safest, safest" form of transportation does not catch on fire every 4 months.
The horrific sexual assault which recently occurred on the HAL Nieuw Amsterdam should be a reminder that sexual assault is the number 1 crime reported on cruise ships. There will be no mention of that.
And there will be no meaningful discussions about other current topics, like the controversy surrounding recently released video and photos of MSC Cruises crew members dumping bags of garbage and debris – allegedly into the waters of Brazil. Pierfrancesco Vago, Chairman of MSC Cruises, will be speaking this morning. I’m sure no one will ask him about that. I say that the chances are 50 / 50 he will claim that his cruise line is a "guardian of the seas" or something equally clueless.
Last year, Carnival’s Cahill told us that Carnival intended to conduct safety audit all of its ships. CLIA also promised regular audits as well.
I instantly tweeted "will the audits ever be disclosed of the public?" Of course not. This is just one of those things that cruise executives say. All the travel agents and vendors at CSM then politely clap.
So here we are at CSM again. Soon the CEO’s will tell us that everything is great.
Who will be the first executive to tell us that cruise accidents and crimes are "rare" and cruising is the "safest" vacation you can have?