Cruise Ships

Steven Schwartz returns to discuss all of the horrible things that happen on cruise ships, including fires, collisions, murders, sexual assaults (trigger warning!), suicides, medical malpractice, disease, and Mal de Debarquement Syndrome. All this plus pop culture too!

Music: “The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea” by Helen Ward



8 Responses

  1. It’s as if cruise ships are the homeopathy of entertainment. Most of the people using it do so because they think it’s something completely different.
    Also it’s mostly water.

  2. As someone who’s never been on a cruise ship, nor had any particular desire to do so, I’m amazed at just how gutted the inside scoop makes me feel. There were certainly a few new nuggets in this show and I bet you’ll be able to do a full followup episode just on new cruise ship woes. Frankly, I find it preposterous that these companies can have so much money on the line and yet operate in such a slipshod fashion. I would have thought that the position of captain would carry rigorous standards and qualifications. Instead, it looks like their hiring requirements are no more rigorous than for a fast food manager.

    The Outlaw Sea is a hell of a book and really shows you just how screwed up everything is. You want Mad Max-style anarcho-capitalism? You’ve got it, baby!

    The book has a harrowing account of the sinking of the MS Estonia. 852 dead. It’s a ferry so you were saving it for that episode, I’m sure. But the wiki article doesn’t even begin to do it justice. The bow doors failed in heavy seas and the ship capsized before sinking. Those who escaped saw the ship literally turn upside down. During the slow roll corridors became pits. Families became separated as those who couldn’t make it begged their younger kin to save themselves.

    Another great (horrible) episode!

  3. I also recommend this book as well. “Devils on the Deep Blue Sea” In this terrifically entertaining history, Kristoffer A. Garin chronicles the cruise-ship industry, from its rise in the early sixties, to its explosion in the seventies with the hit show The Love Boat, to the current vicious consolidation wars and brazen tax dodges. Entrepreneurial genius and bare-knuckle capitalism mate with cultural kitsch as the cruise lines dodge U.S. tax, labor, and environmental laws to make unimaginable profits while bringing the world a new form of leisure.