You have to wonder sometimes what planet some of these cruise executives think they are on.

 "We are just a few hours before placing 2015 is in our rear view mirror as we start upon a fresh New Year. So what are the memories which come to mind when we think of taking a cruise in 2015?  And what are the lessons that the cruise industry learned in 2015 which will ensure that history does not repeat itself in 2016?"

"But all of these incidents, no matter how tragic, don't come close to the scope of the death and mayhem associated with the murder of two dozen cruise passengers by terrorists in Tunis, Tunisia."

"The day before the massacre, the cruise executives presented a “state of the cruise industry” speech at the annual trade convention on Miami Beach, Cruise Shipping Miami. The CEOs of Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), and MSC Cruises discussed building bigger ships and expanding into new markets such as Cuba and China. The CEO of NCL, Frank Del Rio, remarked that “Libya, Syria, Egypt, and Lebanon could be more lucrative than Cuba.” The convention audience politely applauded and the other cruise executives smiled. I couldn’t help tweeting “have you heard of ISIS?"

"NCL's executive Del Rio, who salivated over record profits in Tunis and other risky Arab/Middle Eastern ports earlier this year was interviewed by Travel Weekly last week. Of course he remains bullish about cruising in 2016 but said that terrorism is always the "elephant in the room."  Well it's time that the cruise lines began talking about the elephant."


8 Answers

I know that ports of call on my upcoming voyage have been changed and Egypt was one that was changed.None of the places that we visit have a travel alert on them. I checked. I hope that the entire cruise industry does make the safety of its passengers a top priority. If passenger don't feel safe on the cruise ship, they will stop cruising. Thanks for posting this issue. It needs to be addressed.

Hmmmm profits over clients safety ???? Sounds like profits.

Sad but true I believe.

It was this comment from Jim Walker that concerned me :

But my thoughts are that a family looking for a relaxing vacation who picks a cruise vacation to the Mediterranean on a huge cruise ship filled with thousands of other passengers is just asking for trouble.

Was he serious?

Jim Walker has on occasion raised some valid points. I fear, however. that his view is too twisted at times, he has a real dislike for many of the cruise companies. That being said, I will check with the foreign affairs office for travel advisories and warnings before I travel.

It does seem strange though that the threat of terrorism some times does not enter the profit equation.

Does anyone know precisely what good "checking with the foreign affairs office for travel advisories and warnings" before the Tunisian massacre would have done? I'm not certain what the foreign offices were recommending at that time, hard to find out.

From what I can glean from accounts, apart from Jim Walker's blog, was that the visitor industry was pretty much in a "happy go lucky" posture, regardless of radicalized groups and their specific threats. As far as Jim Walker's integrity or reliability goes, I don't know, I will save my judgement until evidence is presented with regard to specific issues.

I would caution however, beware of shooting the messenger. (Remember the Lusitania in 1915 and that "The Imperial German Embassy placed a warning advertisement in 50 American newspapers, including those in New York"

"Tunisia terror attack: fanatics warned Brit tourists a MONTH before the bloodbath on the beach"

"Ansar al-Sharia was not the only group to issue a warning ahead of the Sousse massacre; ISIS threatened that 'Ramadan will have a lot of surprises'."

"Passengers had been told prior to the trip to the Bardo Museum, they were told that Tunisia has been a democracy since 2011 and was quite safe."

"Meanwhile it has emerged that four armed police officers tasked with protecting the Bordo museum as two terrorists attacked 'were having coffees and a snack' according to one of Tunisia's senior politicians."

"Foreign Office travel advice to Brit holidaymakers has been updated with details of the attacks, but has not changed the overall threat level, despite the massacre, apart from advising tourists to check conditions with their tour operators."

My former boss and his wife contacted external affairs prior to booking a cruise. They changed their minds after the report and changed cruise based on the information received. They would have been on that cruise.

The MSC and Costa cruise guests were killed on March 18th, 2015 as two gunmen in military fatigues stormed the Bardo Museum in the Tunisian capital. Interesting, what your former boss did, especially since we also canceled two Mediterranean cruises as well. They were on HAL and both involved TAs for the final portion, total of about 86 days in all.

The first involved ports all along the southern and eastern Mediterranean this last fall, including all the countries in question here. We canceled that one in mid October 2014. The reason was due to my concerns over the terrible political, ethnic and sectarian unrest in that area based upon world events. I didn't check with any foreign office for their opinion either. In my circumstance it doesn't help much when one has an extensive background in air carrier and airport security, makes me paranoid when it comes to travel of this nature. Besides, we had been to almost every one of those ports more than once before.

The other HAL cancellation didn't involve security concerns, as that voyage involved the northern Mediterranean coast and into the Adriatic. We had simply become disenchanted with a number of HAL's professional shenanigans to the point we decided to cut loose from them after about 200 days of sailing on HAL all total.


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