Since America’s major problems are largely whipped, Sen. Charles Schumer of New York wants to command the high seas with a “Cruise Ship Bill of Rights.”
Schumer, who likes coming up with various “Bill of Rights” ideas, wants the cruise ship industry to adopt a plan that would “guarantee sanitary conditions, backup power and medical staff in case of emergencies,” according to WENY-TV in New York.
Schumer’s plan was revealed after at least three incidents involving Carnival Cruise Lines in the last few weeks.
Other cruise ship lines, meanwhile, are probably wondering why they are getting dragged into Carnival’s bad PR maelstrom.
I follow the news pretty closely, and the last two major cruise ship stories have only involved Carnival-owned ships: Triumph’s stinky, extended stay in the Gulf of Mexico after an engine fire disabled propulsion in February, and the fatal sinking of the Costa Concordia in the Mediterranean in January 2012.
Thirty-two people died when the Costa Concordia, twice the size of the Titanic, hit rocks 62 miles from Rome. Captain Francesco Schettino, known as “The Chicken of the Sea” in Italy, faces charges of manslaughter, contravening laws of the sea and abandoning his ship.
The $570 million ship, still laying on its side in Tuscan Bay, will eventually be hauled away and sold as scrap metal.
The Carnival Legend (pictured) returned Sunday to Tampa, Fla., after missing a stop in the Cayman Islands due to propulsion problems. A few hours later, without repairing the problems, the ship took off again with a new set of passengers.
Last Wednesday, the Carnival Dream lost power and some toilets stopped working. Its 4,000 passengers, who were not allowed to get off the ship in St. Maarten, were eventually flown home.
The Carnival Elation, which shared food with the Triumph while it floated haplessly at sea, was escorted back to New Orleans by a tugboat earlier this month after experiencing steering problems.
Schumer, according to WENY, outlined six points in a proposed “bill of rights” for cruise ship passengers:
Sounds good, but capitalism usually means industries that wish to remain in business take these kind of steps without the U.S. Senate getting involved. And civil suits, many are pending, have a way of righting the ship too.
Meanwhile, Carnival, the world’s largest cruise ship line, earned $37 million last quarter on revenues of $3.59 billion.