Congress Studies Cruise Ship Disappearances

On Tuesday, two Congressional subcommittees will hold a joint hearing on the subject of cruise ship disappearances and crimes that take place aboard the vessels.

My wife M.C. Moewe, a reporter with the Jacksonville Business Journal, spent six months tracking down information on cruise ship passengers who disappeared or went overboard, an elusive subject because most incidents happen in international waters or foreign jurisdictions. She found 12 passengers since 2000, including five within the preceding year. Though the majority are believed to be suicides -- anyone who looks over the rail of an oceangoing ship knows you could disappear forever in those waters -- clues suggest that a few, horribly enough, might be homicides.

Since then, the number has grown to at least 17, including Jill Begora, 59, a Canadian woman who vanished Saturday before the 2,100-passenger Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas arrived in Nassau, Bahamas.

Moewe will be traveling to Washington to cover the hearing. I'm hoping that when C-Span posts tomorrow's full TV schedule at around 5 p.m. today, the hearing will be one of the events they televise. I want to record for posterity the moment at which she became too big-time to associate with her husband the blogger.

I love reporters who poke around the byzantine bureaucracy of Washington, looking for overlooked stories while their peers are hanging out in the White House hoping the president gives them a nickname. I wanted to be I.F. Stone when I grew up.

Since her original story ran in June, Moewe keeps getting contacted about the subject. She's heard from four TV news producers, one family member of passengers, and two guests on ships where incidents occurred.

Tomorrow's hearing was called by Rep. Christopher Shays of Connecticut, who knew George Allen Smith IV, a 26-year-old honeymooner whose July disappearance from another Royal Caribbean vessel is being investigated by the FBI.


Death, exciting and new
Come Aboard. We're expecting you.
Death, life's final reward
Let it go, it floats back to you.

Death Boat, soon will be making another run.
Death Boat, promises something for everyone.

Set a course fer misadventure
Yer mind on a dead romance.

Life won't hurt anymore
It's an open grave on a friendly shore.

Spud thinks it was Isaac in Stubbins Cabin with a candlestick.

Admittedly that's just a guess...

Be Well.

Well, that means the pressure's on Max to find a way to be a guest on Good Morning America.

Our prayers are with all families that have suffered any
type of loss during a cruise.

On May 12, 2005, we were passengers on the Carnival Destiny traveling between Barbados and Aruba when an elderly couple disappeared without a trace. The crew searched all cabins on the ship the next morning around 3:00 AM, There was no investigation that we were made aware of and the only information Carnival would give us was that they turned the ship around 8 hours after the people were found missing and we searched for them in the water for a couple hours. We had enough time to stop in St. Maarten but not Aruba. We saw and heard from no law enforcement. Three days later when we got off the ship in San Juan all passengers were given a flyer to report anything they knew to the FBI. We did not know if there was foul play or an accident. If you were on that cruise please post a message. If you have had similar experiences involving poor or non-existent safety and security procedures on a cruise please post a message at

We sent a letter to congressman Stupac and Senator Levin on 7/29/05 asking that Congress take action to improve safety and security procedures for customers of travel companies in the Caribbean and South America. The entertainment director on our cruise bragged that the US Health Department had examined the kitchens and food service on the ship a few days earlier, yet we see no involvement by US authorities when two people disappear. We saw no involvement by any type of law enforcement for the final 3 days of our cruise until leaving the ship on 5/15/05 when we were all given flyers about the missing couple.

Alabama's governor has called for a nationwide travel boycott of Aruba because of the disappearance of Natalee Holloway. However, at least 16 people have gone overboard or missing from cruise ships since 2000, according to research by The Business Journal. Maybe we should be boycotting the cruise lines, especially Carnival who has had the most incidents.

Someone seems to be getting away with murder. If I ran a bar and called 911 to report that a gentleman fell against the wall in the back of the bar, split his head open and died, do you think I could ask them just to send over a hearse and take the body to the morgue? I do not think so, but that is what the cruise line is getting a way with. I will go to jail for tampering with a possible crime scene. Even if it were an accident, I might be liable and I am not the one to make such a judgment. The cruise company seems guilty of aiding and abetting criminals. They are an accessory before and after the fact and should be prosecuted as such. It they are preventing countless crimes and accidents from being solved they are also permitting criminals to go free and commit additional crimes and they are avoiding liability for lax safety and security measures. We must demand through our Congressman that charges be filed against the Cruise lines. They are liable if the destroyed evidence and the crime cannot be investigated. Even if there was no crime they are liable because of safety problems. The only pressure these large corporations might respond to is money. Perhaps if they were sued and forced to refund the fares paid by all passengers on cruises where people disappeared, they might think twice about not following the law. A class action similar to the one filed against the tobacco companies might be in order. They continued to disregard the law and put the health and safety of thousands of passengers at risk and then they conspired to cover it up. A small portion of the proceeds could go as refunds to passengers and to compensate family members of the missing. The balance could go to establish a reporting, monitoring, and compliance mechanism to make them report all crimes and accidents involving passengers and crew members and follow all laws pertaining to preserving crime scenes and evidence and allowing real law enforcement agencies to investigate.

Thanks to M.C. Moewe for her great research.

If you "win" a free cruise, perhaps you shouldn't go to the meeting (to be seen/identified) to hear about time shares and then fly to Florida to take off for Barbados?

Instead, perhaps you should start wondering what you may have seen, heard or done to get fingered for such a wonderful, windfall adventure...?

Err, the Wall Street Journal did a story about this in march or so.

This is sad really that there are people disappearing off cruise ships. It's sad that Congress has to find a way to fix it.

I have a simple solution. Allow concealed weapon permit holders to carry on board. It's the only way you'll get me on a cruise ship.

If no one is armed, then everyone is at the mercy of the bad guys. You could equate it to being on a floating Washington DC, where only the criminals are armed. Checked the murder rate there lately?

With the violent crime rate anyway Washington DC ranks 13th. West Palm Beach, Fla. is 14th. Dayton, Ohio is 17th. Birmingham, Ala. is 10th, Richmond, Calif. is 11th. Camden N.J. is number 1.

As for guns on cruise ships. Almost all cruise ships have skeet shooting. Figure out were they store 'em

Go on vacation and die.
Since we haven't had any terrorist attacks in a while I guess the fear mongers needed to let people who thought they were going to relax to remember that you must be terrified!!!

When will Congress investigate shark attacks? They are a big problem according to Fox and CNN.

Fear of the deep is all psychological.

Somehow, the thought of your boat sinking with you aboard in the Bahamas, not more than fifty miles from land, isn't nearly as frightening as the thought of your boat sinking in mid-Atlantic, a thousand miles or more from land.

In reality, it's all the same.

You drown just as well fifty miles from shore as you do a thousand.

I have been on six cruise vacations and have never had a bad experience. I guess there are not enough problems in the worls so now it's time to make up one.

where can we get a list of the ships which have experienced these strange disappearances? Does anyone know?

I gotta agree with Bubba The Wonder Dog. If another newspaper ran an article about this subject, no other newspaper should ever run an article about it ever again. In fact, I don't understand why newspapers keep running articles about Iraq -- Hello? Been there, done that!


You wanted to be IF Stone? Ugh. I mean, I disagree with you on politics and all, but I can't see you parroting North Korean and Soviet propaganda about the Korean war like Stone routinely did.

Its telling that Navasky skips right over that. Right on McCarthy, ignore the Korean War, right on Vietnam...

Moreoever, as he so often does, Navasky simply lies about IF Stone and the Stalin purges. Stone was a well-known apologist for the Soviet regime in the 1930s and was one of the last of that group of prominent Leftists to formerly break with the Soviet regime in the mid-1950s after Hungary.

While some leftists criticized the show trials, Stone famously wrote that "Revolutions do not take place according to Emily Post" and said that it was possible there really was a vast conspiracy that Stalin had uprooted. Of course Stone was a lock-step Stalinist who also defended the Soviet-Nazi pact.

I'd think you've got Stone beat in spades when it comes to integrity and intellectual honesty.

Thanks. I appreciate the compliment.

I know that some liberals romanticized the Soviet Union a half-century ago, including a few described heroically today in The Nation, but to be honest I've never dug deeply enough into the subject to know which ones are genuinely deserving of contempt. The charge comes so often from people like Ann Coulter and David Horowitz that I tune it out.

(As a 20-year Nation reader I also weary of the celebratory blah blah from liberals about their peers from World War II through the Vietnam War. Most of it's before my time. My first memory as a politically active person is the MX missile debate in 1984.)

I love Stone for his work at I.F. Stone's Weekly, ferreting out big stories from obscure Congressional reports and being one of the first to take on Sen. McCarthy.

I also admire how, in the last years of his life, he learned Greek so he could put his muckraking skills to work on the trial of Socrates. What a great, strange, worthy pursuit of time! When I'm 70, my most intellectual challenge will be choosing whether to watch Price is Right or All My Children.

Please get real about shark attacks. Look at the honest facts - more people in the state of Florida die each year from coconuts falling on their head or lyposuction surgery that from shark attacks. Why should the "GOVERNMENT' get involved? What should they do... just exterminate the sharks? These animals are there for a reason - if a human is stupid enough to happend within their feeding zone, in murkey water, at dusk and get bitten...that is not because sharks are "BAD"; it is mistaken identity and probably the jerk has not listened to that safety talk about swimming in the ocean . I have been diving for years and have been in massive schools of sharks and have never been bitten or attacked. They are not out to eat people. They do not even like what we taste like which is why they take a bite and run (unless you have been watching too many Jaws movies). The media loves to dig this "shark attack" stuff up every year - that is very simple minded and destructive to an animal that is as important to regulating ocean populations as an engine is to a car.

Sorry I had to vent. Ignorant comments about something that I care about sets me off.

I think alot of the crew are shady and there is alot of suspect deals in the stop off islands I really think there is a operation going on that the cruise ship is looking the other war

Now posted at and =Comprehensive List of Persons Overboard from Cruise Ships since 1995. Someone finally gets it right: - Melbourne,FL,USA
42 overboard since 2000. How many more must die. And let's not call them disappearances, let's call them deaths unless the cruise lines can prove they are alive. Maybe we should be boycotting the cruise lines instead of Aruba. Let's find a positive way to prevent these types of tragedies in the future. RCCL Stock drops 8.5% in One Week. Perhaps their damage control is working about as well as their security and safety protocols? If there were $5 billion in stock that would amount to a loss of about $425 million. And RCCL did not look that bad on Oprah this week. As former presidents' entourage would say: "Its the bottom line, stupid!" When it should be, "Read my lips, no new disappearances or deaths!"
RCCL Changes Murder Theme Cruises to Pirate Theme Cruises Can you believe this? still offers mystery cruises in association with Royal Caribbean. After January 19, 2006 they now offer PIRATE Mystery Cruises. Before that date they offered MURDER Mystery Cruises. Besides changing the theme they have also removed offensive words like KILLER and CRIME and DYING and DEADLIER. And they have removed phrases like: Partners in Crime (AKA- Travel Agents) We finished our killer cruises for 2005! But 2006 will prove to be even a deadlier year!

Project Safe Cruise will consist of a one week cruise in 2006 that will showcase the type of security and safety system that could be put in place by cruise lines to insure the safety and security of all passengers and crew and at the same time preserve evidence of crimes and/or accidents. On this Maiden Voyage we hope to offer short entertaining seminars and panel discussions by various security experts and perhaps some celebrities, on missing persons, identity theft, date rape, kidnapping, teenage and young child safety, security, safety, and health issues while in other countries or at sea, investment scams for seniors, how to buy art work, etc. Project Safe Cruise could be a win-win solution for parties on both sides of the cruise ship safety issue. Even though focusing on prevention is less glamorous and less dramatic than solving crimes, it is more efficient and gratifying, especially if we save one life or reduce the suffering of one family. We must work with the cruise lines to set up a cadre of independent contract employees that would act as security ombudsman who would know how to deal with a terrorist situation and
Have the authority to lock down crime scenes and secure the chain of evidence.
Deal immediately and directly with the FBI, Coast Guard, and other agencies and organizations in all ports of call.
Provide ongoing security and safety training to crew and travel agents and organizers including shore excursion groups.
Record and maintain a database of incidents and present some analysis of current procedures and conduct of parties involved and recommend improvements for all.
What works good on land should work good on the water including a Neighborhood Watch or Guardian Angel type system that could include frequent customers, crew members, contract employees, travel agents, etc. Design an Amber Alert system for use on ships. The use of this & an independent cadre perhaps named Sea Marshals would provide the most important factor or element for preventing and solving crimes: TIME.

Now posted at

US NAVY Captures Pirates

Only two days after Royal Carribean (RCCL) changes ther MURDER Mystery theme cruise to a PIRATE theme cruise, Pirates are captured per on January 22, 2006:
U.S. destroyer chases down suspected pirate ship
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- The U.S. Navy boarded an apparent pirate ship in the Indian Ocean and detained 26 men for questioning, the Navy said Sunday.

Is Royal Carribean profting from George Smith's murder?
How insensitve can they be?
They let amatuers investigate a fake crime scene for 168 hours (7-day cruise). They only gave Dr. Henry Lee 4 hours to investigate a real murder. Maybe they sjould have bought him a ticket for the Murder.

CLICK Link below to see a list of cruise ship pirate attacks
RCL Changes Murder Theme Cruises to Pirate Theme Cruises (See the web pages below as they were before and after the change)

Can you believe this?
still offers mystery cruises in association with Royal Caribbean. After January 19, 2006 they now offer PIRATE Mystery Cruises. Before that date they offered MURDER Mystery Cruises. Besides changing the theme they have also removed offensive words like KILLER and CRIME and DYING and DEADLIER. And they have removed phrases like:

We finished our killer cruises for 2005 !! But 2006 will prove to be even a deadlier year !

Partners in Crime (AKA- Travel Agents):

This is a version of as it looked when our crawler examined the site on 1/19/2006. The page you see below is the version in our index that was used to rank this page in the results to your recent query. This is not necessarily the most recent version of the page - to see the most recent version of this page, visit the page on the web.

MSN is not affiliated with the content nor parties responsible for the page displayed below.



We're DYING to have you join us !!

Enjoy an elegant vacation at sea, while MURDER and MAYHEM LURK all around you, and even INVOLVE YOU! As the clues unravel, try to solve the spectacular mystery of "whodunit"- before it's too late!
Future Murder Mystery Cruise Adventures
Special MURDER ON THE HIGH SEAS offered by "Whodunit Productions" aboard five of Royal Caribbean International's most elegant ships.

We finished our killer cruises for 2005 !!
But 2006 will prove to be even a deadlier year !

January 22, 2006
Our first murder mystery cruise of 2006 and we have a KILLER ship! The Voyager class ship the Mariner of the Seas. (Like you see in the RCCL commercials!) And we are so excited to announce our first itinerary sailing to the mysterious Virgin Islands and Bahamas. This 7 night sailing leaves from Port Canaveral Fla. and should not be missed!
Someone should interview passengers as they get off ship at Port Canaveral on Sunday, 1/29/06 including those who wer part of the fake murder and those who observed a murder going on around them

It is my understanding that RCCL has the most "dissappearances" not Carnival as stated above by "safecruise".

Murder Mysteries at Sea also offered on Carnival Ships

27 of the 44 people that went overboard since the year 2000 were passengers on ships operated by the Carnival Corporation. Their safety/security record is worse than Royal Caribbean's.

The Carnival corporation owns:
Princess | Holland America | Seabourn | Windstar | P & O Cruises | Cunard | Ocean Village | Swan Hellenic | Costa | AIDA | P & O Cruises Australia.

See for a list of persons overboard.

Would it be possible that people are disappearing in the Bermuda Triangle mystery?

I was the girlfriend of the man who disappeared off the Queen Mary 2 in June 2004. It was definitely a suicide and the Cunard crew was efficient and courteous in their treatment of me. The weird thing about this is that at least three people died - all on Deck 4. A man died of a heart attack on 6/15, my boyfriend died on 6/16 and the dead man's wife died on 6/17 of a stroke. Only one cabin separated us. I'm not one to be superstitious, but since the ramp broke when the ship was first shown to families of the workers and killed 14 people to these deaths - it creeps me out....

I am a freelance writer looking to interview a person who has been on a theme cruise. Anyone interested?

I empathise with families who have lost members to violence and the like... To those who may have taken a cruise as their last HURRAH! And taken their own life overboard - Three Cheers and what a way to go! I hope they booked a First Class cabin and enjoyed every last moment!

How many cruises tour every year? How many incidents are there annually? NOW - compare that to Drunk Drivers and their death toll... (by the way - I've never heard of a Marijuana Driver EVERY killing another person!) Please! Give it a break and let them rest in peace.

I'm going on a cruise, I take responsibility for my own actions, I will not be frightened off of living life by anyone. If it is my time -
C'est la vie!

My high school science teacher said it best. "You could be walking down a sidewalk, trip on a crack, fall, hit your head and be dead in an instant. Go out and LIVE LIFE!"

There were 11.9 million cruise passengers in 2005 according to a cruise industry report. If 5 passengers out of that many disappeared it does not really seem to be all that many people. It doesn't look like a crime wave to me. I've been on cruises and I felt very safe, though if one wants to throw one's self over the side it doesn't look like it would be too hard to do so.

TBeautifully put together. Great info, and a great design made it very easy to navigate! Thank you http:

There may have been 11.9 million passengers but there are only 200,000 beds. The cruise shipd should be compared to a gated community of 200,000 and should have as few deaths as Disney World. The death of the lower class crew members are not even recorded but we do not that 5 crew members died in the month of February 2006 alone. If independent law enforcement in the form of sea marshals were present on each ship it could greatly reduce the number of deaths. Now posted at

Cruise Ship Death Due to Rough Seas

Ohio woman feared lost overboard on Carnival cruise from Mexico to Miami

How & Why Did Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines Help Liberian Dictator, Charles Taylor Brutally Kill over 300,000 Individuals in Africa in the 1990's?

Demonstration Project for Enhancing Security and Safety by Using an Independent Law Enforcement Officer or "Sea Marshal" on Each Ship

U.S. Maritime Security Expo - Sept 19-20, 2006 in New York City

$500,000 Stolen from Celebrity and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines (More Evidence of Poor Security)

Cover-Up Alleged in Threatening Emails Sent to Cruise Web Site by Person Claiming to be Member of Galeana Family

Florida Man Arrested for Trying to Board Cruise Ship in Bahamas with $10,000 in Cocaine

PROGRESS: Carnival Australia/P&O Cruises Australia Agree to Undercover Liquor Agents

I really had no idea about any cruise ship
deaths or disapearances until I watched cbs the other night. The 48 hours show was about the beautiful Ashley Barnett who overdosed on methadone. Her story does not sit with me well at all. I decided to do some investigating of my own on the intranet. I have found out that cruise ships and missing people are not as rare as I thought. I wish that there was something I could do because after reading
all the stories only a few seem lagite. My
father worked as the lead detective in the violent crimes unit and is now a private investigator. Growing up in that kind of household, my dads instincts have rubbed off on me. I pray that all the families that have been affected by a cruise ship death or missing person will one day get the answers that they are so desperately seeking. Like I said before I wish that there was something I
could do. I know for a fact that more than half of the cases involve foul play.

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