March of 2012, the CEO of Royal Caribbean appeared before the Senate of the United States, to discuss greater transparency in the cruise industry, including reporting the true number of crimes on board the big ships – that goes for Carnival and Norwegian as well. The new standards are supposed to begin August 1st, 2013. Since that hearing, Carnival Triumph had its engine fire that left passengers stranded for days, passengers went overboard of the Carnival Spirit, there was a fire on Royal Caribbean’s Grandeur of the Seas, and a sexual misconduct onboard the Disney Dream. The Senate is now writing The Cruise Passenger Protection Act of 2013.
You’ll notice there is no mention of the small ships. Service on small ships usually tries to go above and beyond to make sure the needs of passengers are met, even when itineraries change and ships have problems. Also, small ships generally are on a river or stay close to shore – even if there is a problem with a small ship, they aren’t days away from shore.