Thursday, May 21, 2015

Now you can review your ship's safety record

Shoppers think nothing of reading hundreds of cruise reviews before buying their next trip. Yet very few of those reviews tell you important and fundamental things like: "how safe is your ship?" There is now a new resource for those who want to know everything about their potential ship. Cruise Control -- a project between USA Today and from ProPublica -- provides a free, searchable database for all the major cruise ships. [UPDATED: USA Today is not involved in the project.]

Now you can see how many people -- passengers and crew -- got sick on your ship. The database also includes crimes, so that you can be aware of what has happened and what may happen again. Cruise Control also provides safety records so that you know if there are any reoccurring issues that might impact you on your trip.

Cruise Control only tracks back to 2010 and is also somewhat limited by the amount of illness and crime actually reported, but this effort is a good start. By having a central location, hopefully the data collection and shared data will improve. Overall cruises remain a very safe vacation, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't do your homework and that the cruise companies shouldn't be held to a high standard.

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