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Carnival Cruise Lines Has a Higher Rate of Sexual Violence Than 27 U.S. States


In January, the Department of Transportation released statistics related to incidents of physical assault and sexual violence aboard cruise lines. One cruise line, in particular, reported a much higher rate than the others. Carnival Cruise Line’s rate of sexual violence aboard cruise ships is now higher than in 27 U.S. states. The DOT data for the fourth quarter of 2023 revealed that, across all cruise lines, there were 33 instances of sexual assault. In total, there were 131 alleged rapes aboard cruise ships. In 2022, there were only 89.

Once again, Carnival reported the most sexual assaults on its ships in 2023. In 2023, Carnival reported a total of 45 sexual assaults. On an average day, there are around 108,500 passengers and crew members onboard its fleet. This turns out to be a per capita rate of 42 sexual assaults per every 100,000 passengers aboard a Carnival vessel. The average per capita rate of sexual assault in the U.S. is 40 per 100,000 citizens. Carnival cruise ships reported a higher rate of sexual assault than the national average and 27 U.S. states.

Alcohol sales appear to be a major factor 

The major reason why Carnival posts more physical and sexual assaults than other cruise ships is related to its alcohol sales. Carnival offers guests all-you-can-drink packages and does not pay bartenders or waiters a salary. Carnival’s bartenders and waiters rely entirely on tips from passengers for their wages. This incentivizes selling as much alcohol as they can and creates an environment that is rife with risk to guests.

Further, Carnival refuses to warn passengers about the rates of sexual violence aboard its vessels. They don’t want the threat of sexual violence to hurt their bottom line. Often, cruise ship passengers are unaware of the increased danger at sea particularly aboard Carnival vessels where alcohol flows freely.

Carnival responds to claims concerning violence aboard its vessels 

Carnival claims that it operates a larger fleet than many of its competitors and that’s why its rates of violence are higher than other cruise lines. However, Royal Caribbean actually carries more guests each year than Carnival does and has a much lower rate of violence aboard its vessels than Carnival.

Federal law requires cruise ships to report all instances of violence that occur aboard its vessels. The legislation was spurred by the fact that cruise lines in general see higher rates of sexual violence than other similar businesses.

Those who are sexually assaulted aboard cruise ships do have recourse to file a lawsuit under some circumstances. These lawsuits often allege that a failure of security, serving drunk patrons, or otherwise failing to accommodate those who have experienced sexual assault aboard their vessels led to a worsening of their trauma. In many cases, it is an employee of the cruise line who commits the sexual assault.

Talk to a Miami Cruise Ship Sexual Assault Attorney Today 

Miami admiralty & maritime lawyer Michael F. Guilford, P.A. represents the interests of those who have been sexually assaulted aboard a cruise ship. Call our office today to schedule an appointment, and we can begin investigating your allegations immediately.



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