Sexual Assault

Mother of Victim, a minor

It is extremely hard to find the words to describe the shock, the anger and the frustration that results from having a child become a victim of sexual assault on a cruise ship during a family vacation. It is unconscionable that the cruise lines, Royal Caribbean, in this case, spend more time and money focusing on covering up their faults instead of working to improve their service and safety to the passengers who willingly go on board their vessels.
In the United States, there are laws to protect the public against such crimes. When you board a cruise ship, and that ship enters into international waters, the laws change. You are no longer entitled to the same protection. The cruise lines know this, the crew members know this, but the passengers are left in the dark.
It is mandatory that ALL passengers attend the “muster station” drill prior to the ship leaving the dock at the beginning of the cruise. You are told some rules that are not necessarily enforced on board ship. You are given a quick summary of what to do in case of an emergency such as a major problem with the ship itself.
Never, ever are you given any warning or advice as to what to do if you are sexually assaulted while onboard their vessel. This happens so frequently, the FBI even admits this, that you would think the cruise lines would WANT to be notified that they had a sexual predator on their vessel, or worse, on their crew.
Instead of monitoring their crew, they erase evidence, withhold vital information in identifying the perpetrator and deny any responsibility or liability to their paying passengers.
If the pubic were warned of these dangers, don’t you think that they would still climb aboard? A warning or alert that danger lurks is just a detour along the way, not a deterrent. You might be a lot more conscientious of your actions and your surroundings, but that leads to fewer incidents, don’t you agree?
A company with ANY scruples would act in a manner to protect their assets AS WELL AS their people. Safety comes first in any bottom line to successful business. The public needs to be informed that the cruise lines do just the opposite and therefore will continue to lose the appeal of “The Relaxing Family Vacation” the cruise industry tries so hard to portray.