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Disappearances on RCCL

Discussion in 'Royal Caribbean International' started by IBDP, Dec 16, 2005.

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  1. IBDP

    IBDP Guest

    I could not help but be aghast after reading about the most recent disappearances on RCCL and the ship's incomprehensive way of dealing with this. Is anyone else concerned. Jennifer Hagel Smith lost her husband aboard a Greek Isle cruise with RCCL last summer; it was heshed up by the line, who left this young woman in Turkey to fend for herself, dropping her bags off at the dock, after her husband seemingly met with foul play, never to be heard from again. This is under investigation now, but apparently without the cooperation of the cruise line, whose spokesperson simply states, "we did everything right , according to law."

    Am I missing a huge discussion on this on these boards, or is this the first time this subject has been approached? I, for one, will not cruise with Royal Caribbean until they redeem themselves (if possible)


  2. Clerky96

    Clerky96 Guest

    IBDP, there was a lot of discussion on the disappearance back when it happened. I don't think it was actually hushed up; it was just a case of too little done, too late. I really don't know what to think. There have been so many conflicting stories that I am not sure anyone but the people directly involved know what really happened. And if that is the case, we will never know. I feel sorry for the family, but I don't think that RCI is directly responsible for what happened. They would have no way of knowing if there was a disturbance going on in someones room unless it was reported. I heard, in one report, that the man staying in the next room did report the noise, but that by the time someone came, it had stopped. I don't know if there are any "real" security (people with badges & guns) onboard. I have only been on one cruise and I didn't see anyone that I thought was really looking out for my well-being. Everyone was very helpful, etc, but they just seemed to be regular employees. Maybe we will find out what happened someday, but I doubt it.
  3. IBDP

    IBDP Guest

    Hello Clerky96,

    I did not hear much about this trajedy when it happened. If what Jennifer told authorties about RCL's leaving her and her belongings on the dock in Turkey is true, the cruise line should be made to pay for this injustice. Just this week, it is resurfacing again at a fast pace, due to Jennifer Hagel Smith's offer of a $100,000.00 reward leading to the arrest of the person or persons involved in this "episode". Also, the family is in discussions with their Washington representative to crack down on the cruise lines and their responsibility, insofar as the passenger safety is concerned. They seem to have the ear of representative Shay; there have been hearings and press conferences going on in the last few days. I, for one, would like to see this case solved, and the person(s) responsible come to justice. I find myself following this closely.

    Kind regards,
  4. rdonle

    rdonle Guest

  5. Clerky96

    Clerky96 Guest

    Thanks for the link rdonle. I don't think I ever heard that RCI had put her and her luggage off in Turkey. It sounds as if she was treated pretty poorly. Don't know where I was when that was reported. In that case, I think they should have done everything in their power to help her. I understand that they had a ship full of other people to take care of, but it is awful that they literally abandoned her. My heart goes out to her and the families. Now with another disappearance, I am beginning to wonder what is going on. Is there some psycopath onboard these RCI ships that is doing this. Makes me a little leary of our upcoming cruise. : (
  6. sanjoseca

    sanjoseca Guest

    RCI has had three disappearances since 2000....Carnival has 12 in the same time period.....you don't really hear about Carnival's

    It's a real tragedy to lose someone, but when I see lawyers using the media to paint a not so flattering picture of a corporation, it for some reason appears to me that big sums of money are the motivators. Could be wrong, but that's what it looks like to me.
    I personally think these things should not be tried in the media, but rather a court of law. A corporation should be innocent until proven guilty, just like an individual.

    I think we'll never know the true story.
  7. frito

    frito Guest

    Oh I think something stinks in this case alright and I don't necessarily believe it's RCCL or their handling of the case. According to early on news accounts when this first happened, apparently both Mr. amd Mrs. Smith were very highly intoxicated the night / early morning he disappeared. She supposedly got up early, went to the gym and didn't even notice him not being in the cabin . I have never seen a ships cabin so large that I wouldn't know whether or not my traveling companion was or wasn't there.

    The ship notified the Turkish police who came aboard and made somewhat of an investigation. Very doubtful that RCCL just " dumped " Mrs. Smith off at the dock with her bags. The FBI was notified and although RCCL hasn't said a whole lot about the situation, I'm sure they have given what they have to the FBI and they can't or shouldn't make a lot of comments while an investigation is ongoing.

    I hardly think that there is a monster sailing the waters just lurking in the shadows waiting to pounce and throw some hapless soul over the rail. With the millions of people who cruise each year, the number that have a problem is very small and most of the time when the truth finally comes out, it shows that most of those contribute to their own problem , usually by too much alcohol consumption.

    Now that the folks have an attorney, naturally RCCL is going to be made to look as badly as possible with Mrs. smith being made to look like the mistreated widow set ashore on a foreign pier with nothing but her and dear hubby's clothes. Naturally though, with the lawyer and all it's not about money ---- no-- not at all.

    I personally think the cruise lines do a good job protecting passengers but whether ashore or afloat, you can't protect people from their own stupidity.

    Just my opinion which is as good or as bad as anyone elses.
  8. MarciaL

    MarciaL Guest

    The FBI is still considering this an open case, and parties are told NOT to make statements. When it happened, the press was all over it. The next port of call, they were rushing up to passengers asking "Are you scared to be on this ship?" If they said no, the reporter rushed to the next passenger looking for someone who would say yes..... Then they made a big issue of it. We have friends who were on the ship and they were not frightened at all. They said the ship handled everything very well. Check out your morning newspaper. How many people died in your town in the last week? How many disappeared? How many were killed? Ships are large floating cities and I have not, nor will I ever be frightened on a R.C.I. ship. My husband and I are Diamond C. & A. Member and have had 13 cruises with then, and a total of 21 cruises in total.
    YES, there are security guards on board, but you are not supposed to see them. They walk around looking like regular passengers. While waiting to leave the Serenade in Honolulu last May we were sitting around talking to a gentleman (passenger I thought), when his beeper went off, and he jumped up and rushed away. As we were leaving the ship we saw him again and YEP, he was a security guard. There are many means of security on these ships, camera's, etc. But you are not supposed to be aware of them all.
    HAVE A WONDERFUL LIFE, CRUISING IS ONE OF THE SAFEST WAYS FOR ME TO GO..... Would you walk around N.Y.C. or L.A., late at night when you had had a few drinks to many???
  9. sailingrose

    sailingrose Guest

    Frito and MarciaL I was thinking the exact same things you were.

    Unfortunately a life was lost but we will never get the truth in this matter. Speculation and rumor is all we will hear.

    I've cruised many lines and RCI just happened to be the unlucky cruise line in this case. Wouldn't stop me from sailing with them.
  10. Clerky96

    Clerky96 Guest

    I am not really afraid about our upcoming cruise, but I really do appreciate all the moral support. I agree that we will probably never know the truth.
  11. egh170

    egh170 Guest

    She was not left to fend for herself. She was escorted by RCCL employees to the turkish police HQ. She was then assisted by the US consulate. She is a liar about that.
  12. MarciaL

    MarciaL Guest

    And at that point, some of her family flew over to bring her home. I hardly think that she would have wanted to continue the cruise. At least, I know, I would have want to go home.
  13. randy

    randy Guest

    I find it revealing that her lawyer has instructed her to remain mum on the subject with her family. I think that notwithstanding the fact that she has been allowed to return home to the US, she's still a "subject of interest" in the case. I doubt her veracity in retelling the events, and I suspect it's an effort to squeeze some cash out of RCI and try to move suspicion away from her.
  14. Clerky96

    Clerky96 Guest

    I find it interesting that they were on their honeymoon, and yet were drinking and partying seperately. When we were first married, we were inseperable. Guess things have changed these days. Of course, they may have been living together for awhile, so that would explain some of that. However, after nearly 38 years of marriage, we still do most everything together. She is still a suspect on my list.
  15. IBDP

    IBDP Guest

    I do not consider Jennifer Hagel Smith a suspect in this case. In my humble opinion, she is hiding something, though I think it is more about where she was when her husband met his demise. I truly believe the theory that they were both very drunk that evening, went their separate ways, and he ended up "missing" as they say. I do not feel she is a suspect so far as murdering her husband, not at all. She, in my opinion, is guilty of hiding her wherabouts the evening of the disappearance; just a theory, mind you, but I have been quite interested in this case since I found out about it; therefore did quite alot of reading, analizing, etc. Any other opinions????


  16. frito

    frito Guest

    In the last 24 hours in the U.S. there have been dozens of murders, rapes, an untold number of robberies and assaults, missing people, etc.
    Why is it so appealing to the media and people in general if one passenger out of a million has a problem ?
  17. safecruise

    safecruise Guest

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

    Coming in 2006: PROJECT SAFE CRUISE
    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. We must focus on a postive solution that will benefit all parties involved and prevent future tragedies. If you are interested in learning more and perhaps joining the cruise or if you represent the press or would like to sponsor or help plan the cruise please leave contact information in the comments section or send an email to safecruise@hotmail.com.

    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 http://safecruise.blogspot.com/

    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.

    It is not the number of deaths as much as it is the fact that Americans pay the cruise companies billions of dollars each year and they do not provide adequate security or safety. In fact they engage in cover-ups and should be prosecuted for aiding and abetting criminals, being accessories after the fact, destroying evidence, and contaminating crime scenes.

    Questions for Congressman Shays and the subcommittee::

    I went to the web site for his subcommittee and there is nothing on the schedule about the Cruise hearings. When will private citizens be provided with a way to comment or submit evidence. It seems that MSNBC or the sub-committee should make it easier for average joe's to have there voices heard. They are also welcome to use my website or email address. The comments could be submitted to the sub-committee for consideration.

    Don't we have air marshall that fly on international flights? Couldn't we have sea marshals that ride on cruise ships and have authority negotiated with the cruise companies to investigate safety and security incidents? They could be funded by fees paid by the cruise companies.

    Alabama's governor has called for a nationwide travel boycott of Aruba because of the disappearance of Natalee Holloway. However, at least 17 people have gone overboard or missing from cruise ships since 2000, according to research by <a href="http://www.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/stories/2005/11/28/story5.html?jst=s_cn_hl"<The Business Journal</a>.
    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.

    On a previous show Joe stated that Cruise ships should be required to be flagged in the United States if they have American Ports of call. Unfortunately, this will never happen. They don’t even pay taxes. Will Carnival provide better safety and security for those housed on board the ships contracted by FEMA for six months than they do for regular cruises? It might be worth interviewing some of the people staying on board for several months. Carnival, which is headquartered in Miami but incorporated for tax purposes in Panama, paid just $3 million in income tax benefits on $1.9 billion in pretax income last year, according to company documents. This is the same as if I made $100,000 last year and only had to pay $75.00 in taxes. "That's not even a tip," said Robert S. McIntyre of Citizens for Tax Justice. U.S. companies in general pay an effective income tax rate of about 25 percent, analysts say. That would have left Carnival with a $475 million tax bill. No wander the FBI does not want to investigate incidents on Carnival ships. If Carnival paid the $475 million in taxes they should pay, the FBI could afford to have an agent on each cruise to monitor safety and security. (Personally, I believe that state, local, and Federal government agencies should not give any contracts for Hurricane repairs or anything else or do business with any companies that have headquarters outside the United States and funnel their profits off shore to avoid taxes)
    Maybe we should charge them increased fees for each American passenger and use the funds to put a safety and security program in place. Congress should act to assure the safety of all passengers in the future by requiring background checks for some passengers and all crewmembers. Perhaps an "Amber" type alert for everyone on the ship and nearby ships within minutes of someone going overboard. Perhaps a sea Marshall program like the air Marshall program. Vacationing and retired civilian and military law enforcement personnel could have free cruises to help monitor and investigate security and safety problems. They should have authority to deal directly with the FBI or other government agency.

    Joe Scarborough had excellent quests on his show. However, the people who do know what actually happened on the ship before, during, and after Mr. Smith's disappearance would be the crew members, including stewards, bartenders, waiters, etc. There’s is always at least a half dozen crewmembers and stewards working each floor at any one time. They watch everyone as they come and go, know their habits and patterns and have access to the cabins. Waiters always know what is going on between guests in a restaurant, bartenders always know intimate details about bar patrons, and hotel staffs always know what is going in the hotel. We could now prove it but we were sure that the stewards were looking through our closets and drawers during our cruise as things would be out of place. We could not find anything specific missing. What kind of background checks are done for crewmembers? The government should also ask for and analyze statistics on the number of crimes and accidents that happen to crewmembers. If the crew is not safe in the under belly of the ship then the passengers will not be safe either. I will bet you that the crewmembers working on the ship when Mr. Smith disappeared have since been fired and their records destroyed. Since 6 people have disappeared from Carnival ships in the last year, I think it would be appropriate to cross check and compare the list of crewmembers and passengers between the ships involved. It is just not those directly involved in the disappearances that are affected. Every passenger on each ship had their vacation ruined by the cruise line ability to ignore common law enforcement and safety procedures. We spend three more days on the sip after the couple disappeared on May 12, and we did not feel safe and we felt a little guilty that not more was done to help them and their families.
  18. MarciaL

    MarciaL Guest

    Oh give me a break. What do you want? Video cameras in each and every cabin? And maybe in each bathroom as well? These ships are safe..... Many people JUMP overboard, and when an elderly couple both disappear, that may be what happened. Or you have people who are dumb enough to get up and sit on the railings when they are drunk. That is not the fault of the Cruise Line.

    If you want to sail on a ship flagged in the U.S.A., be prepared to pay 3 to 4 times the rate for your cruise that is paid now. I know I could not afford it. And neither could most of the people who cruise. If you can, more power to you.

    I feel very safe on any Royal Caribbean Ship and we have been on 12 and are booked on our 13th next summer.......

    I just hope we can continue to cruise for many years to come and enjoy it.....
  19. frito

    frito Guest

    JEEEEEZE--- give me a double break. 17 people missing off cruise ships since 2000 ?
    Did you bother to figure how many millions of passengers world wide cruised since 2000 and what minute percentage that works out to be ?

    I don't know where you live Mr. / Mrs / Ms safecruiser but how about working congress up into a frenzy to make your home town streets safe so decent folks, old folks, kids, etc. can walk down the street after dark without being robbed, raped, mugged or kidnapped ! Then when the crime problem --- YES --- CRIME PROBLEM--- at HOME is resolved and the police, FBI and etc have nothing else to do, let them worry the hell out of the cruisde lines because some drunk fell off the rail or a couple who were terminaly ill decided to end it all by going over the side.

    It absolutely boggles the mind to think that people are so obsessed with the handful of problems that arise out of a cruise industry that safely transports millions every year. Do something useful like getting your congressman / woman to get tough on child molesters--- getting and keeping murderers behind bars--- get drunk drivers off the road--- I could go on and on. In the time it has taken to type this there have been several murders, rapes, assualts, robberies and child abuses here in the U.S.
    Get real and get off the cruise lines. If you feel a calling to do something start with trying to see that the elected oficials put and keep child molesters behind bars and keep them there. Then work up from there.

    Good God--- as I said--- give me a double break on this one. !!
  20. safecruise

    safecruise Guest

    To Frito and Marcial. It is not the number of disappearance it is the fact that there was noe investigation. there was no security personnel from the Cruise Line and there was no outside law enforcement called in. There was nothing in the couples background that suggested suidcide. It took the captain 15 hours to get the ship back to where they disappeared. The crew would not give us any information for the next three days. I am sure they were murdered and the cruise line did nothing to help the families. Please read the statememts given to the subcommittee linked on my web page. The cruise line destoryed evidence and ruinded the crime or accident scene. It was like if a person was murdered in your apartment building and when you called 911 you get a message that it is no longer in service. Someone from the morgue show up a few days later to pick up the body but no one ever investigates. This is a travesty based on the amoun of profits the cruise line make from Americans. Especially when they pay no income taxes. I am convinced that the crew is inolved in many of the crimes on the ship. I talked to an attorney yesterday who just heard from a family that had $35,000 in jewerly stolen and the cruis line did not help them at all. A producer from a Current Affair found that there had benn hundreeds of sexual assaults reported on cruise ships and not one prosecution.
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