Sure, your chances of getting ham-handed on a ship by some drunken lout from Des Moines are slim, but ... oh wait, reportedly it turns out you're actually 50 percent more likely to be sexually assaulted on a cruise ship than on land (as long as the land you're talking about is Canada). Royal Caribbean seems to be an industry leader in this dubious regard (which makes a certain amount of sense, at least from what I know about royalty), but at least they're doing something about it. And so is Congress, finally. Or perhaps I should say "eventually." I'm sure they'll get around to dealing with it, once they're done sorting out the other vitally important issues facing our nation today, such as preventing kids from strangling themselves with window curtains and protecting the Mexican wolf. Or maybe, you know, combine all three into one piece of legislation and then send it to Guillermo del Toro for a script treatment.
There May Be No Recourse When Your Voyage Turns Into A Disaster
I feel that I should emphasize something here: I would never want to imply that you should completely write off taking a cruise for your next family, pride, or hedonism function. The aforementioned "Poop Cruise" was an anomaly, after all, and certainly not every ship will catch fire and leave everyone stranded in the middle of the ocean, wallowing for days in their own filth. But you sure as hell can count on the fact that at least a few ships are going to light up like a Great White concert, every single year.
Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images News/Getty ImagesThankfully, most crews are highly trained in fire-quenching emergency maneuvers.
There have been around 80 cruise ship fires in the last 20 years, not to mention stuff like accidental groundings, rogue waves (with or without vengeful sea monkeys), and any number of factors that could potentially place you in the middle of a Roland Emmerich movie. And should you manage to crawl your way onto shore after such a harrowing experience, you can apparently expect for the cruise line to fight like hell against reimbursing you for your misery, even if they were at fault. Because, after all, you bought a ticket. And that means you unknowingly signed a contract, you dope.
Via titanicclasses.weebly.comAnd if you agreed to ride in steerage, you're implying consent to be the first one on the lifeboat to get eaten.
When aggrieved victims of the "Poop Cruise" (wow, CNN was right; that thing is the gift that keeps on giving) tried to gain some kind of compensation for the time they spent in the eye of the shitstorm, the lawyers for Carnival claimed in no uncertain terms that the passengers were entitled to exactly Jack and squat, aside from the cost of the trip (and a voucher good for another cruise sometime in the future). And speaking of the tickets, the lawyers made the case that by buying them the passengers had essentially agreed to a contract that does not guarantee them a safe voyage. And even though the ruling judge almost immediately determined the crew to be negligently responsible for the fire, he also totally agreed with the defense lawyers that Carnival did not have to pay damages to the plaintiffs, regardless of their claims of injury.
Hulton Archive/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
A decision clearly based on the precedent set in the famous case of Christian v. Bligh.
Subsequent lawsuits saw a few of the passengers squeezing some money out of the cruise line, but after lawyer fees and travel expenditures, most of them didn't break even. But hey, at least they got something, right? And maybe that, plus the cost of the tickets, might be enough to at least buy a shack somewhere in the middle of the Mojave Desert, or some other place that's as far from Neptune's shitty realm as possible.
E. Reid Ross also entertains himself by watching deadly bloodsport over at Man Cave Daily. Feel free to follow him on Twitter here.
As if you needed more cause to worry about vacationing on a cruise ship, find out why cruise ships are giant poop boats that pollute the ocean in 3 Dark Facts Cruise Lines Don't Want You To Know. Then again, not even a horrifying pollution factory that will probably kill you is enough to stop a lonely person from a theme cruise. See some of the saddest in 5 Bizarre Theme Cruises For Unspeakably Lonely People.
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