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Brett Rivkind
Brett Rivkind
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International Cruise Victims Condemns Cruise Line for Unlimited Alcohol Package

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International Cruise Victims (ICV), an international organization with members throughout the world, is a not for profit corporation that was formed by victims and families of victims of cruise ship crimes. The group has been promoting safety aboard passenger cruise ships, with the leadership of its Chairman Kendall Carver, and it’s President Jamie Barnett. I have previously blogged about this organization, and how I had the pleasure of meeting Kendall Carver when I spoke before Congress during hearings addressing cruise ship crimes and safety. I then assisted Mr. Carver with the formation of International Cruise Victims Association, Inc., and have kept in close touch with him ever since.

I also blogged previously about Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines introducing an all you can drink package. Passengers are offered the option of paying a single price for unlimited drinks when they go on a cruise. In a recent article in Budget Travel Magazine, the chairman of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Richard Fain, was quoted as saying that this all you can drink package has been “hugely successful.”

The chairman of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines further said that, “It’s very dramatic how much people like buying the drinks package, for example, and not have to worry about that.”

I previously questioned this policy in view of the history aboard cruise ships of accidents and crimes that have been linked to the consumption of alcohol. Cruise lines promote the sale of alcohol as it is a big money maker for the cruise lines. Passengers feel that they can drink more aboard a cruise ship because they are not driving an automobile. I’ve been handling maritime cases for almost thirty years. There are too many incidents of disappearances, passengers going overboard, sexual assaults, and serious accidents, that have been linked to the over consumption of alcohol onboard a cruise ship. This policy of allowing passengers unlimited access to alcohol for a set price is simply irresponsible in the part of the cruise line. While the cruise line will say they monitor the consumption of alcohol onboard a ship, history has suggested that the cruise ships do not do a good job in doing so. Furthermore, passengers who have already purchased unlimited consumption of alcohol for a set price will not look kindly upon any employee aboard the ship who tries to restrict their access to alcohol after they have already paid for the right to unlimited consumption. This is simply an unsafe policy to have onboard the cruise ship.

In a recent press release, ICV condemned Royal Caribbean for this policy, pointing out that the F.B.I. has stated that excessive consumption of alcohol often plays a role in many crimes onboard cruise ships, including crimes of sexual assaults and individuals disappearing from cruise ships.

We applaud International Cruise Victims for taking a stand against this policy of providing unlimited alcohol consumption to passengers for a set price. We, too, believe it is irresponsible on the part of the cruise line. The new policy is likely motivated by profit, which unfortunately is often the motivation behind decisions made by corporations. Is this is a decision that puts profits ahead of safety? In our opinion, the answer is yes.

Our firm continues to be safety advocates for crewmembers and passengers that are harmed at sea.