R. A. Schultz






“Hey!  Have I got a great idea,” shouted Arne.  “What?” replied Gus.  “Let’s build a hotel on a barge, call it a cruise ship, and send landlubbers on sea cruises all around the world, and make a lot of money!”  “That IS a great idea,” Gus responded, “What could possibly go wrong?”




And so it came to pass that all-too-numerous “cruise ship companies” were formed, which supplied enormous advertising budgets to all sorts of people who had no idea WTF they were talking about, to promote sea cruises for people who had never  before laid eyes on more water  in one place than their bathtub, and who couldn’t tell the difference between the round end of a ship and the pointy end.  The landlubbers flocked to the “cruise ships,” and paid large quantities of shekels to expose themselves to sea-sickness, bouts of novo-virus, the international genre of pick-pockets, and falling, jumping, or being pushed (or dropped) overboard.




In the years intervening between Arne’s great idea and the present, as a security professional now retired, I was constantly amazed at how well the “cruise ship industry” has performed, possibly at least partially attributable to the near absence of recent terrorist activity directed against it. 




During an in-depth security survey of a major southeastern US seaport some years ago, I produced a nightmare scenario of a fully-passenger-laden cruise ship returning from a tour of the Caribbean being blown up and sunk in the turnaround basin by sheet-headed jihadis, while the next load of passengers was waiting dockside to board for the ship’s next tour.  This event, I predicted, would ultimately result in the virtual total destruction of the cruise ship industry worldwide.  That the scenario did not come to pass is likely the result of the fact that it was identified and addressed early on rather than being a matter of pure dumb luck!




But what of those curiously repetitive “minor incidents?”  Consider those seemingly random overboard tumbles that occur from time to time, interrupting the cocktail hour of the other passengers, giving the Coast Guard rescue crews additional flight- and underway-time, and resulting in the hotel barge having to spend  some extra hours at sea attempting to locate the remains of the plungee who, by the time he/she/it is actually missed has either drifted miles to the north or more likely has been transformed into a canape for a great white.




Ya know, Arne?  Maybe it wasn’t such a great idea after all . . . .


Safari Woman
Good article thanks! I have been on -- (3 or 4 I forget) cruises... and somewhat reluctantly although I really enjoyed them. I sensed the potential danger of these floating small cities and I do wonder wth is going on with the overboard passengers. Are they just drinking so much that they act stupid...
  • December 2, 2019
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