What Happens if a Crime Occurs on a Cruise Ship?

By Michael Ferguson

Cruise ships have become a mainstay of the vacation industry, boasting attractions, amenities and destinations that are simply impossible to find anywhere else. However, with the promise of exotic ports and exciting activities comes the risk of crime.

There are a variety of crimes that can occur on a cruise ship, ranging from theft to assault and even murder. While it is impossible to completely eliminate the risk of crime, there are steps that cruise lines can take to reduce the chances of something happening.


Theft is one of the most common crimes that occur on cruise ships, as travelers often bring expensive items such as jewelry or cameras with them. Cruise lines should have security measures in place such as metal detectors at ports, bag searches for all passengers boarding the ship and CCTV monitoring throughout the vessel. In addition, passengers should be encouraged to store their valuables in hotel safes or lockers provided by the cruise line.


Assault is another problem on cruise ships and can involve physical or sexual violence. Cruise lines should ensure that security personnel are always visible around the ship and also provide self-defense classes for passengers. They should also have a no-tolerance policy for any kind of violence or harassment onboard and provide clear instructions for anyone who witnesses an attack or feels threatened by someone else’s behavior.


Murder is an extremely serious crime and one that unfortunately does occur on cruise ships from time to time. To prevent this from happening, all passengers should be thoroughly screened before being allowed onto the ship and there should be strict rules about carrying weapons onboard. Cruise lines should also provide extensive training for crew members in how to respond in an emergency situation such as a murder occurring onboard.


Crime onboard cruise ships can be frightening but it doesn’t have to be inevitable if proper precautions are taken by both passengers and cruise lines alike. By taking steps such as providing secure storage facilities, having visible security personnel around the ship and instituting strict rules about weapons onboard, it is possible to make cruising a safer experience for everyone involved.