According to Department of Transportation (DOT) data analyzed by Business Insiderassault has consistently been the most reported crime aboard major cruise ship lines, accounting for about three quarters of all crimes reported between 2010 and 2022.
Business Insider reports that of the approximately 500 documented incidents, 70% occurred on Royal Caribbean or Carnival ships. The report also notes that Carnival almost doubled Royal Caribbean’s numbers despite having fewer ships.
But in a statement to ukbusinessupdates.comCarnival Cruise Lines communications chief Chris Chiames called the report a “shallow interpretation of the DOT data” and that it is not “apples to apples.”
“It should be noted that Carnival handles millions more cruise guests than other cruise lines, and we operate many short itineraries, increasing the number of people boarding our ships each year,” said Chiames. “In addition, most of our capacity comes from U.S. ports of call, which is the data that the DOT collects. We have effective onboard safety measures and also use screening tools to promote a safe environment for everyone on board.”
Carnival is fully committed to the safety of our guests and crew and no circumstances allow mistreatment.
Insider reports that passengers, rather than crew members, committed more than 80% of the attacks.
However, a California woman, represented by maritime attorney Michael Winkleman, claimed in January 2022 that she was raped by — and contracted HIV from — a Princess Cruises crew member. DOT records indicate that Princess had more reports attributed to its staff than other cruise lines.
Speaking to Business Insider, Winkleman suggests that the DOT’s statistics may not reflect the true frequency of attacks, as many cases go unreported and victims may fear that their experiences are being minimised. Minors are also particularly vulnerable – estimates suggest they make up a third of victims of sexual assault each year.
Nonprofit organization RAINN told Insider that it creates training and safety procedures specific to preventing sexual assault. The organization works with cruise lines, including Royal Caribbean Cruises, which in 2015 became the first company to receive compliance certification from a RAINN program aimed at educating employees on how to prevent and respond to sexual assault.