Portland, ME (PRWEB) December 23, 2009
CruiseLineFans Top 5 Most Noteworthy Cruise stories of 2009 include:
1. Man Overboard
2. Weather Hurricane
3. Cruise Passengers Arrested
4. Nassau Robberies, Increased Crime
1. Man Overboard: 2009 wasn't a great year for passenger safety and a fair amount of discussion at CruiseLineFans revolved around new safety regulations (or the lack thereof) put in place by the House's passage of the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2009. Silver Shadow staff reacted quickly enough to recover Ronald Shulman, a passenger who reportedly jumped off the ship into icy waters. However the story of Angelo Faliva, a chef working aboard the Coral Princess grabbed most attention due to Princess Cruises' lack of a clear response to the matter, as well as the Faliva family's assertion that foul play was involved. CruiseLineFans remains dedicated to monitoring the story and progress made via the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act, but also sends our condolences to the family and friends of the passengers and crew lost at sea in 2009.
2. Hurricanes: Weather, and, of course, hurricanes and tropical storms are ever present threats against the smooth sailing of the cruise industry. 2009, despite several tropical storms and minor hurricanes, was almost storm free. Record low cruise ship itinerary disturbances were recorded and many passengers disembarked in exotic destinations, as planned. In typical fashion, CruiseLineFans constantly monitored weather alerts throughout the popular cruise regions and continually updated its membership as to possible weather disruptions.
3. Cocaine Smugglers Caught: While crime against passengers increased, at least in it's coverage by the media, passengers committing major felonies while on cruise ships is rarely reported. Late 2008 and 2009 saw their fare share of drug smuggling grandmothers, young couples and middle aged women trying to smuggle the illegal narcotic amongst unsuspecting tourists. Two passengers were detained by UK Border Agency officers on suspicion of drug smuggling, while on the Fred Olsen's Black Watch. The Black Watch, heading into drydock upon the completion of this voyage was thoroughly searched and in excess of $100,000 worth of cocaine was found in the cabin of the male passengers being detained. On the other side of the Atlantic, three women suspected of drug smuggling were arrested on the cruise ship Norwegian Spirit when they were found to have 20 lbs worth of cocaine strapped to their bodies.
4. Increased Crime Against Cruise Passengers: Occurring in several short bursts late in 2009, cruise passengers were subject to somewhat increased violent crime while visiting destinations such as Nassau and St. Lucia. In the last three months of 2009, 43 cruise passengers from Royal Caribbean and Carnival had been robbed at gunpoint. Bahamas and St. Lucia, and Antigua officials have all pledged to fight to reduce crime against visitors and cruise passengers.
5. Here, Piggy...Piggy: "Swine Flu" or H1N1 has invaded not only our immune systems, but the core of popular culture and media in 2009. It's all over the place, apparently. One place it isn't is on cruise ships, since during the peak of the H1N1 epidemic in Mexico, every major cruise line in the area disrupted their regular itineraries in favour of more sea days or tours of the Pacific coastlines. While norovirus was still present on many cruise voyages, this year's outbreaks appear to be decreasing. Hopefully, increased awareness as a result of H1N1, increased monitoring and reporting by outside health agencies and the cruise line companies strict adherence to ship cleanliness and food preparation will help continue to keep a lid on any CruiseLineFans least favourite souvenir, norovirus. CruiseLineFans continually reported on any viral outbreaks reported onboard ship and offered readers a variety of methods to stay healthy and happy while on a cruise vacation.
Quote: Alex Saint: "Despite the inevitable ups and downs of the past year the cruise industry has continued its strong rise in popularity among the general public and media alike. The emergence of super-ships such as Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas and Carnival's Dream along with massive price reductions due to the current financial climate has hugely boosted the industry"
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