Carnival Cruise Line's per capita sexual assault rate is higher than most U.S. states

On January 6, 2024, the Department of Transportation (DOT) finally released data on crimes alleged to have been committed on cruise ships in the first nine months of 2023. They released the final quarter's data on January 17, 2024. 

The Cruise Vessel Safety & Security Act (CVSSA) of 2010 requires cruise ships that use U.S. ports to report shipboard crimes—including homicides, suspicious deaths, physical assaults resulting in serious bodily injury, and sexual crimes—to the Department of Transportation. The Department of Transportation is then supposed to publicly share crime data every quarter on its website. Cruise Line News reports, however, that the DOT didn't release any crime data throughout the entirety of 2023, and just recently updated the full 2023 data. They also explain that the purpose of publicly reporting such crimes is "to educate and warn the traveling public of dangers on cruise ships." But that can't happen if the crimes aren't being disclosed.

In an article posted earlier this week, Cruise Line News shares some of the findings from the DOT cruise line crime data from 2023. One of the big takeaways is that Carnival Cruise Line's per capita sexual assault rate (42 per 100,000) is higher than 27 U.S. states, including New York (29.4), Florida (30), and California (37.4). Cruise Line New provides more details:

Yesterday, the Department of Justice (DOT) finally released the fourth quarter of last year's cruise crime data. The DOT data for the fourth quarter of 2023 reveals that fleet-wide for all cruise lines there were thirty-three (33) sexual assaults / rapes. This brings the total number of sexual assaults / rapes on cruise ship for 2023 to a total of one hundred and thirty-one (131) such alleged crimes. There were eighty-nine (89) sexual assaults reported by cruise lines in all of 2022. 

Carnival Cruise Line again has the most alleged sexual assaults / rapes on its ships in 2023. In the last three months of 2023, there were nine (9) sexual assaults / rapes on ships operated by Carnival Cruise Line. Last year Carnival Cruise Line had a total of forty-five (45) sexual assaults / rapes. Considering it has around 108,500 passengers and crew members onboard its fleet on an average day, this turns out to be a per capita rate (per 100,000) of over 42. 

The average per capita sexual assault rate in the U.S. is 40 (per 100,000). Carnival Cruise Line's per capita sexual assault rate is higher than twenty-seven states in the U.S. 

In addition to sexual crimes, last quarter Carnival Cruise Line had five physical assaults leading to serious bodily injury, bringing Carnival to a total of fourteen (14) physical assaults with serious bodily injury for 2023. There were ten (10) physical assaults on all other cruise lines making the fleet of Carnival cruise ships by far the most violent cruise ships sailing on the high seas.

Cruise Line News argues that the high rates of sexual assault and violence on Carnival Cruises are linked to the cruise line's "fun ship" and party reputation, the massive amounts of alcohol sold onboard, and the lack of independent police forces on the ships. Cruise Line News also outlines Carnival's long history of high crime rates, including sexual aassault, along with ther cruise line's affinity for damage and reputation control:

When Carnival pled guilty to the second revocation of its criminal proceeding in January of 2022, the Department of Justice stated that the cruise line has "a culture that seeks to minimize or avoid information that is negative, uncomfortable, or threatening to the company, including to top leadership." This is an integral part of the problem with the sexual and violent crimes alleged to be committed on cruise ships it operates. A recidivist corporate cruise felon like Carnival, with its culture of cover up, lies & misinformation, will inevitably try to cover-up the crimes, blame the victims and lie to the public.

To read more, check out the rest of Cruise Line News' two excellent articles—here's the first, and here's the second—detailing the latest crime statistics on cruise lines.