Last time, we talked about how cruise lines have been hiding a grim reality from passengers for many years – the fact that cruise ships are not as safe as travelers might imagine. It took major accidents like the Costa Concordia and Carnival Triumph incidents to really shed some light on what was really happening within the cruise industry. Little by little, these accidents showed the world that cruise lines don’t necessarily have the strictest maritime safety laws in place, nor do they always abide by the highest standards of safety. The accidents also revealed that there are many more tragedies that were not being reported to the public. Though the efforts of some legislators, like Sen. John Rockefeller, have made drastic improvements to the cruise industry as far as safety goes, there is still a lot that needs to be done. And even though crime and accident reporting is much more transparent these days, it’s still not 100 percent accurate.
Why is that? Well, for one, because many accidents and crimes that occur on board a cruise ship are the result of negligence on the cruise operator’s part, and this means that the cruise line may be held liable if someone was hurt or killed. If a cruise line is held liable, then they will most likely have to pay a settlement to the victim or their surviving loved ones, and thus, lose money. Add to that the negative press the cruise line would receive from the matter itself and the public’s realization that the cruise company may not be as safe as they thought, and you’ve got even more revenue loss in the long run.
But then why don’t cruise lines just invest money to improve safety before an accident or crime occurs in the first place? Again, the answer is money. Because of the loopholes that are in place for cruise lines (i.e. registering ships in foreign ports, including fine print in cruise ticket contracts that allows cruise lines to avoid liability in the event of an accident, etc.), the cruise lines have a pretty big safety net and they know this well.