Miami New Times Chronicles Ways the Cruise Industry Puts Profits Before Safety

Last week the Miami New Times covered the cruise industry, naming five of the most prominent times that cruise companies have put profits before their customers. We’ll take a brief look at the New Times’ list, which can be found here.

  1. Cruise companies refusing to station lifeguards at their pools – It is virtually inexplicable that, until recently, almost all major cruise lines refused to station lifeguards at onboard pools. Disney was the first to change this policy, followed by Royal Caribbean, after children drowned and were seriously injured in the pools of these companies’ ships. But Carnival continues to refuse to offer lifeguards
  2. Cruise companies providing under trained medical staff – Over the years many cruise passengers have been seriously injured and even killed as a result of cruise ship medical malpractice. The New Times article mentions Cynthica Braaf, who died after cruise medical staff improperly treated her. Braaf is just one of several people every year who suffer at the hands of inexperienced cruise ship medical workers. 
  3. Cruise ships sailing into dangerous storms – It seems that every hurricane season at least one ship sails into the midst of the storm. Online videos abound which depict the danger passengers face when cruise captains sail their ships into dangerous waters.
  4. Excursion accidents – The New Times report mentions how Royal Caribbean continued to promote a ziplining excursion, even after people complained to the company that the attraction was dangerous. A man was later killed on that very zipline excursion. The fact is that cruise companies have a long history of promoting dangerous excursions, and this is one particularly tragic example of that fact. 
  5. Failing to install man-overboard technology – Every year dozens of people fall overboard from cruise ships. Most are lost at sea and presumed dead. There is technology that could allow cruise ship authorities to better detect when and where passengers fall overboard. But such technology has not been widely deployed. It seems that the companies have made a business decision not to install this potentially life-saving technology.