When choosing to take a cruise, one of the top issues on your mind may very well be cruise safety. We understand. After all, since you are placing your life in the hands of your cruise line, it only makes sense that you want to be able to rest assured you have made the right choice. As a result, you may be wondering, “Which is the safest cruise line?”
Our firm frequently fields questions regarding cruise line safety. Thus, we wanted to take the time to more formally address your safety questions here. In this particular situation, the answer is twofold. In order to thoroughly examine cruise safety, it’s helpful to look both at the CDC’s Vessel Sanitation Program Report as well as the number of incidents that take place on a cruise line during any given year.
Unfortunately, not all cruises are transparent with their crime reports, making it difficult to conduct a thorough and accurate comparison amongst all major cruise lines. However, we hope the information below will help get you up to speed on the most current information available.
A Brief Comparison
The CDC gave ships with Disney Cruise Lines a score of 96 or above on their 2016 inspections. According to their voluntary disclosures in Q2 of 2016, there was 1 claim of theft exceeding $10,000 and 2 claims of sexual assault. However, they are careful to articulate that no charges were filed for any of the above allegations.
Ships with Celebrity Cruise Line scored 93 or above on the CDC’s sanitation inspections. As for crime rates, the cruise line reported 1 case of assault with bodily harm and 3 sexual assault allegations in Q2 of 2016.
Carnival ships scored anywhere from 88 to 100 on their CDC inspections. Their voluntary crime report includes ships with Carnival, Princess, Holland America, and Seabourn and revealed 1 missing U.S. National, 1 assault with serious bodily injury, 1 theft exceeding $10,000, 14 reports of sexual assault, and 6 reports of rape in Q2 of 2016.
Royal Caribbean’s fleet received marks ranging from 86 to 100 on their CDC inspections. The most recent voluntary crime reports for this line are from Q2 of 2014, when there was 1 reported theft exceeding $10,000, 2 reports of sexual assault, and 2 reports of rape.
How This Impacts Your Vacation
So, what does this mean for you? Ultimately, we cannot definitively say which cruise lines are more or less safe. Due to the lack of consistency with voluntary disclosures and the potential inaccuracy of reported data, it is near impossible to evaluate each cruise line’s safety in terms of crime rate.
For example, while rape and sexual assault are the most highly reported crimes aboard cruises, we know that there are still many of these cases that go unreported, for a variety of reasons. As a result, we urge you to take this information into consideration, but to know that no reports will ever be as precise as we would like them to be.
From this brief evaluation, one thing is clear: accident, injury, and even death can take place aboard a cruise, regardless of which company owns the ship, or where you are in the world. Also it is an unfortunate truth that even the best made plans can go wrong. And while you may have taken all of the necessary precautions to ensure your safety, there is no guarantee that your measures will be enough.
When this happens, you can rest assured that a maritime attorney on our team is here to help. So do not hesitate to gather your questions and contact us.