Last week I wrote about the dangers of getting into a car and traveling into Mexico. Four Black people went across the border into Matamoras, Mexico and only two survived to tell their story. The two survivors have been real quiet, so I suspect their story is not what we’ve been told. 

Another popular form of traveling outside this country for Black folks is cruises. Especially on Carnival cruises. They’re pretty inexpensive, filled with 24/7 activities and the eating is pretty darn good. Cruises have historically been leisure vacations. However, certain individuals have caused havoc on cruises, e.g. a group fight on the dance floor that involved up to 100 people. There’s video going around of a young girl under the age of 18 threatening to beat up a woman. And of course when told that her behavior was inappropriate for the ship, she gave the classic IDGAF response. 

In February of last year, a young Black lady got into a dispute with someone in the hot tub area on the 11th floor of the Carnival ship. Officials from the boat scuffled with her, then tried to restrain her. There is video of them holding her hands behind her back, but I didn’t see any handcuffs. Before walking her away, she screamed, “Alicia!” Moments later the video cuts to everybody running to the side of the boat because there was an announcement of “man overboard.” But it wasn’t a man. It was the woman. She allegedly jumped, hit her head loudly on a lifeboat on the way down, and then went face first into the water. The boat marked her location with a life preserver and a flare, but stopping the ship at sea that’s traveling as quickly as those cruise ships move is not easy to do.

Nobody wants to be on a cruise ship where there’s drama. And most of the cruise line ships are registered in foreign countries. The U.S. boundary goes only 3 miles out into the ocean and after that you’re in international waters. When incidents take place on board, it’s up to the captain to determine what should occur, based on maritime law. In other words, American law may not be the spot where the Captain puts the person off the ship. An interesting side note: a cruise ship dropping someone off at another American port because of their behavior is a violation of the Passenger Vessel Service Act. It prohibits commercial vessels like cruise ships to go from port to port. That is an additional $778 penalty.

Recently, in response to drama on their ships, Carnival announced a curfew for young people under the age of 18. It later amended its rules and said if you are disruptive, they can charge you $500, force the person behaving badly to repay expenses Carnival incurs, force the person(s) to disembark early and have to get back home on their own, and ban the person from future cruises on Carnival.

They also use drug-sniffing dogs. Not only at the departure point, but also when folks are re-boarding during the cruise’s destination stops. 

Folks misbehaving while cruising is not limited to any particular group. But for those who are the newest ones to embark on the journey of the deep seas … travelers, be forewarned!