Bahamas “one gunshot away” from being dropped by cruise lines

NASSAU, Bahamas, Wednesday January 15, 2014 – Florida-based maritime lawyer Jim Walker believes that Nassau may be “one gunshot away” from seeing cruise lines drop it from their cruising itineraries.

Walker, partner at Walker & O’Neil, a Miami law firm that represents passengers and crew members injured or assaulted on cruise ships around the world, said he saw The Bahamas progressing along a path which led, in the case of countries like Colombia, to cruise lines pulling out of the destination.

“We’ve seen a pattern of conduct with the cruise lines where they had extensive conversations with the authorities in the United States Virgin Islands, they complained about crime and when they didn’t get answers, they left,” he said.

“My concern is that Nassau is one gunshot away from having cruise lines leave.”

Walker, an attorney for 30 years who has appeared frequently on US media outlets speaking on the topic of cruise safety, noted that his line of work saw him receive calls from aggrieved cruise passengers who were seeking redress over crimes they fell victim to.

“We don’t receive calls from any passengers sailing into Alaska, Canada or Europe, except some from passengers pickpocketed in Naples or Rome, Italy, but as far as dividing the planet up into zones, almost 100 percent of calls relative to crime off the ship are coming from passengers who were in the Caribbean and that would include the most dangerous ports we’re aware of based on calls and volume of ports, such as Nassau, St Thomas, and Roatan, Honduras; but Nassau calls are the majority of the calls.

“It’s robberies, sexual assaults, being held up at gunpoint,” he said. (Originally published in the Nassau Guardian)  Click here to receive free news bulletins via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)