A Cruise Liner Captain’s Perspective on Recent Events

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I don’ t know. There are two sides to every story

I’d guess the ethics of the cruise industry are more or less in line with other big multi-national corporations. I’ve been reading Private Empire; ExxonMoble and American Power. Are the cruise lines worse than big oil?

There’s only one side to this one. Big business is too big to fail and the little people just need to take what we give them and STFU. The mentality is “Without us they’re nothing”. Plenty more of the servant class in the third world.

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To stay on the topic you posted, not Exxon or any of the other unethical practices/companies which are rampant. I do try to look at both sides. If they “knowingly” boarded passengers with sick people already aboard (also knowing that fact) who weren’t getting off the vessel, that kinda smells. And in a well informed I hope media circus, they had to know shit was getting ready to hit the fan. Are they important to the economy, yes, particularly South Florida. Do they pay taxes to our country, in a small way with services while in port. I think they knew and tried to grab every dollar they could before the door slammed shut. . JMHO

Sorry commodore but there are a lot more skid marks in the cruise industry toilet bowl since you left. All the good memories in the world won’t clean that filthy industry or change the facts of what the owners and captains of those ships did before they were shut down or kicked out.

The world will be better for it if they never come back.

Steamer, the cruise industry does serve select clients, and they have fun, I’m ok with that. Do I wish that business to go away? No. I do wish more would register in USA but don’t see that happening. Don’t ask for USA money for bailouts. What happened here was not ok. Lot of lessons learned here I hope.

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That’s alrady been documented.

Yes, just making a point Lee_Shore. I can fish on the nice Grady I sold to my brother. He is the captain now, I am the bait boy. LOL

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He glossed past the worst thing those cruise ships do while playing up a few, certainly laudable, talking points.

My beef is how those companies use their considerable money to buy corrupt politicians to damage the society of small, poor Caribbean nations. The coronavirus was just the grand finale on how they corrupt, infect and destroy for profit.

Probably (certainly?) worse. Prior to the Exxon merger Mobil wasn’t a bad place to work. Pay and vacation were the same as MEBA and benefits maybe better. They paid for my masters degree and one semester of law school. But Exxon Valdez was in my second semester, and things changed.

From the article:

“When social gathering is once again acceptable and protocols in place, cruising will be ready.”

Sounds good to me. But for now I say forget it. Especially since, from my observation, the cruise industry doesn’t have practical contingency plans for preventing sick people from boarding or departing their ships. Pulling in the most convenient ports & demanding services doesn’t cut it IMO. If their passengers & crew had to jump through the same hoops that my company voluntarily came up with for me I would likely have a different opinion.

The cruise lines get plenty of government support. Up until 2017 the port of Miami facilities were built with taxpayer dollars. Currently the port is 1.1 billion in debt with the cruise lines promising to pay them back over 30 years. Unless they can’t afford it due to declining revenues. How I wish personal finances and bankruptcy had the same benefits corporate finances and bankruptcy does. But corporations are better than human beings with more rights and less responsibility


Not all Cruise Lines are the same and not all are owned and operated from USA, managed by US citizens or residents. nor operate out of US ports.
Likewise, not all cruise lines depend on US origin passengers, or cater especially to their taste (or lack there off)
In fact German and Chinese passengers are the mainstay for many cruise lines. (Incl. some that are subsidiaries of US owned and based corporations)

I know it is a sore point with many here that US based corporation take advantage of laws that allow them to register their cooperate HQ in tax havens and register their ships under foreign flag.
But that does NOT include every cruise lines. Quite a lot are “foreign” corporations, owned and operated by “foreigners” and carry mostly “foreign” passengers, so don’t equate US corporate practice with “all cruise lines”.

Viking Ocean Cruises (commercial HQ in the US, corporate HQ in Switzerland and maritime management by Willhemsen Ship Management) was the first cruise line to cancel all cruises due to the outbreak of Covid-19.(No known cases on any of their ships)

Their Cruise ships are still in lay-up. One of them here in Aalesund, together with three ships from Hurtigruten:


I’m not trying to defend the cruise industry here. I just don’t see how they are any worse than many other industries. Big oil props up dictators but nobody here has blamed tanker captains for that.


Princess, Disney and Viking all announced suspensions of service on the same day, March 12th. This was followed by Carnival, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean on March 13th. And the reason given by Torstein Hagen the CEO of Viking were passengers aboard one of the river cruises that were exposed to the virus. So… how different are the cruise lines from each other?

Is there a link?

From this article in Cruise Critic:

PS> Cancellation extended to 30. June, 2020.

The English captain of the Netherlands registered MS Zaandam bypassed Dutch islands in the Caribbean where it was a simple matter to evacuate sick passengers days earlier than it took to reach the American port of Fort Lauderdale where his ship was fictionally “home ported” and scheduled for the next cruise shortly after arrival.

Captain Brett Crozier risked his career and reputation in order to protect the men and women onboard his ship.

The facts speak for themselves. The cruise industry is a dirty business and the filth covers all of those who participate.



The only reason that Viking suspended cruising was because they realized that they had already exposed passengers to the disease. Does the voluntary suspension make Viking a good company?

Were the Dutch islands going to allow the passengers to disembark? Typically commercial ship captains don’t choose which ports they call.