Health, safety history of cruise ships tough for customers to assess
MIAMI — A byzantine maze of maritime rules and regulations, fragmented oversight and a patchwork quilt of nations that do business with cruise lines make it tough for consumers to assess the health and safety record of the ship they're about to board in what for many is the vacation of a lifetime.
Want to know about a ship's track record for cleanliness? Want to assess the food preparation? It's not that easy to find, in part because there's no one entity or country that oversees or regulates the industry with its fleet of ships that are like mini-cities floating at sea.
In the case of Carnival Cruise Lines, the owner of the Carnival Triumph that spent days in the Gulf of Mexico disabled by an engine fire, the company is incorporated in Panama, its offices are based in Miami, and its ships fly under the Bahamian flag — a matrix that is not unusual in the cruise line industry.
For potential passengers seeking ship information, there's no central database that can be viewed to determine a track record of safety or health inspections. No one agency regulates everything from the cruise line's mechanical worthiness to the sanitation of its kitchens.
These are not new issues — they had been raised in Congress before the Triumph incident.
“This horrible situation involving the Carnival Triumph is just the latest example in a long string of serious and troubling incidents involving cruise ships,” said Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., who led a committee hearing on cruise safety last year.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Kentucky clerk invokes ‘God’s authority,’ still refuses gay marriage licenses
- New Orleans slow to heal 10 years after Hurricane Katrina
- Less sleep increases your chance of catching a cold, researchers say
- Clinton: Women ‘expect’ extremism from terrorists, not GOP candidates
- Thousands in New Orleans became targets of unscrupulous contractors
- Russia, China ply cyberdata to exploit U.S. spies
- Lost hiker survived 9 days with broken leg in California’s Sierra Nevada
- Supreme Court rules against Kentucky county clerk on gay marriage licenses
- CDC lauds schools for better nutrition
- Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Fischer open to interest rate hike
- Postal Service falls short of slower mail delivery standards