Once considered one of the safest ways to travel, the cruise lines have voluntarily agreed to release crime statistics after a series of high-profile mishaps at sea. The policy change was announced at a hearing on cruise safety held by the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. According to the statement, all of the major cruise lines will participate, including Royal Caribbean Ltd., Carnival Corp., and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.
These three largest operators took the step after it was proposed by U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller (WV), who had earlier introduced legislation that would require full disclosure of crime data to the Department of Transportation. If approved, the legislation would put the government agency in charge of consumer protection on all of the major cruise ships.
Until the data is posted, it is impossible to know exactly how safe cruising is. In addition to headline grabbing cruise disasters like the wreck of Carnival’s Costa Concordia, individual crimes on cruise ships are not uncommon. Petty theft, assaults, robbery, and rapes have all been reported on cruise ships. It remains to be seen if cruising truly is the safety way to travel.