Last month Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) pulled its cruise ships out of Tunis after Tunisian officials at the port prohibited Israeli passengers from entering the country.
It could have been confusion over visa and immigration issues, but NCL issued a stern public statement condemning what it perceived as discrimination against its Jewish clients.
“We want to send a strong message to Tunisia and ports around the world that we will not tolerate such random acts of discrimination against our guests. We are outraged by this act . . . "
Yesterday we were the first to report that a Filipino crew member was shot and killed in Roatan. A bandito gunned the crew member down for his cell phone. The crew member bled to death on a main street near the port.
No, the crime was not unforeseeable. No, it was not rare. The U.S. State Department has issued a critical crime warning. Since 2010 Honduras has had the highest murder rate in the world. The New York Times wrote about crime problems in Roatan in January. We published articles this year like this and this about the escalating armed violence in Roatan against U.S. citizens. Women and children have been terrorized by armed criminals in this deceivingly idyllic island. Now a crew employee is dead.
How will NCL react?
Will NCL be outraged? Will NCL tolerate such violence? Will NCL send a strong message to Roatan?
Is a Filipino crew member killed in Roatan worth the same as two dozen cruise guests discriminated against in Tunisia?
I certainly think so.
Roatan has done little to address the armed robberies against cruise passengers and tourists this year. Its reward of a paltry $5,000 (U.S.) for the bad guy responsible for the death yesterday seems awfully meager. I suppose that an island where a criminal will kill for a $250 cell phone will be motivated by a $5,000 bounty for the killer.
NCL’s CEO must act decisively. Sheehan must pull his ships from Roatan. A message must be sent that this is unacceptable.
Anything less will be an in insult to the NCL crew members and to the memory of Filipino crew member "Jacob."
April 8 2014 Update: NCL just posted this on its Facebook Page:
"Norwegian Cruise Line is shocked and saddened by the tragic death of a crew member from Norwegian Pearl in Roatan, Honduras on Sunday, April 6, 2014.
Police reports indicate the crew member was killed during an attempted robbery while in Roatan. Local officials are investigating and have the alleged suspect in custody.
In an abundance of caution for our guests and crew, we have cancelled calls to Roatan this week for Norwegian Dawn and Norwegian Jewel.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the crew member."
April 10 2014 Update: Honduran Police Arrest Bay Islands Resident in Murder of NCL Crew Member
Read our prior article: NCL Crew Member Shot & Killed in Roatan, Honduras