United States Warnings About Bahamas Important for Cruise Ship Travelers

This past Friday the United States Overseas Security Advisory Council, managed by the U.S. State Department, posted warnings for United States citizens traveling to Nassau, Bahamas. It is well known that the Bahamas is a popular destination for cruise ships to take their passengers.  Over the years, I have written about the dangers of shore excursions in foreign countries, that cruise ship companies promote and sell tickets to.  Many passengers traveling to these foreign ports have no knowledge whatsoever about the potential dangers that exist at each of the ports.  Although the cruise ship companies point out that every city has dangers of crime and other problems, the fact is that these smaller ports have known dangers that the cruise ship companies know about, or should know about. However, the cruise lines fail to post warnings or inform passengers about these dangers because of how this will impact their whole persona of a fun filled cruise vacation, which includes these exotic foreign ports.

nassau-300x225The dangers that exist at some of these exotic foreign ports include known criminal activity.  For example, in this posting by the United States Department Bureau of Diplomatic Security, there is a warning about participating in jet ski operations in certain islands in Nassau because of the known danger of being sexually assaulted by jet ski operators.  This would surely be something that a passenger would not know, but clearly is obtainable information for the cruise lines. Cruise ship companies should be charged with investigation into each of the ports that they take the passengers to, in which they enjoy hefty profits by selling shoreside excursions in these foreign ports.

The posted warnings about Nassau also discuss that many criminal activities are the results of the excessive consumption of alcohol, as perpetrators look for easy prey victims who have become intoxicated. Criminal activity, including sexual assaults, can occur also onboard cruise ships.  The cruise ship companies have been aware of the numerous reported sexual assaults on cruise ships over the years, which have risen to such an alarming level that Congress intervened and passed safety legislations for passengers addressing sexual assaults onboard cruise ships.

These security warnings about Nassau, Bahamas, would be a good idea for cruise ships to present to passengers boarding their ships, along with any other warnings about the foreign ports they are planning on traveling to. Cruise lines should also present their passengers with known dangers that passengers are subjected to every time they take a cruise, which includes the potential to be a sexual assault victim when you walk onboard a cruise ship.  Most passengers do not even envision that possibility, nor the possibility that they could fall overboard onboard a cruise ship, or be the victim of criminal activity.  The posting made about Nassau, Bahamas, warns passengers that most of the criminal activities including sexual assaults, occur when the perpetrator can find an intoxicated person to take advantage of.  The same is true aboard cruise ships.

Many of the sexual assaults, and other criminal activity I have seen over the years working as a cruise ship attorney representing victims who have been harmed at sea, involve the excessive use of alcohol.  The cruise ship companies promote the sale of alcohol onboard their cruise ship as this is a major revenue item for the cruise ship companies.  They make sure the ship is well staffed with bartenders and they even sell packages now, which include unlimited consumption of alcoholic beverages.  Even though it is true individuals must assume personal responsibility, the cruise ship companies are in a much better position to guard against known risks that passengers are subjected to every time they take a cruise.

Yes. cruise ships are a great way to have a vacation, even a family vacation, and Nassau, Bahamas is a beautiful place to visit, but when dangers and risks are known, or should be known, all reasonable measures should take place to warn those visiting these places, or those taking cruises, about these risks and dangers.