Although it may sounds like a funny question I’ve heard people ask the captain about it. It did hit home as I sailed in the Persian Gulf and there was a pirate attack just a few hundred miles away that same day. Since I was on a cruise ship I could appreciate the concern of some passengers. It would have been a day of traveling before we would have hit those same pirate infested waters and the trips are planned to steer clear of those waters as much as possible.
Cruise ships are a nice target for pirates from the standpoint they can make a lot of noise in the world press if they were to capture a cruise ship. However, the ability to capture a cruise ship of most pirates is just not there. It’s not to say a pirate would not attack a cruise ship to make their point but they would find it hard to take over a cruise ship.
First the lowest deck where most pirates can climb aboard is a good 30’ up on most ships. Also, there are lots of cameras around the ship being monitored full time, and even under closer scrutiny in areas where pirates are known to congregate and attack ships. There are also special security precautions taken by the cruise lines not well known to most crew and definitely not known to the passengers.
The cruise ships are so full of people that unless the pirates have overwhelming numbers there would be no way to control all the passengers. Thus it would be risky business for the pirates really. Among the passengers likely there are enough willing to fight the pirates would not just have trouble controlling everyone they likely would end up overwhelmed by those fighting against the pirates.
Pirates can chase and shoot at the cruise ships so they can present a danger. That is why the cruise ship captains and other deck officers work hard to avoid specific areas where pirate activity is known to be occurring. Remember the captain and crew, want to get done with their time at sea and get safely home to their family as well. When they have to transit the more dangerous areas full precautions are employed and not detailed to the passengers to ensure a high alert level and the utmost level of safety for the ship and passengers.
Thus, generally cruising is safe from pirates. I’ve cruised not too far from some of the dangerous waters and was never concerned. I’d recommend others cruise there and see the unique ports and sites they can only see in those areas. To date we have not seen a pirate attack successful against a cruise ship. That is not to say it can’t ever happen, but the risk is very slow. So go forth and enjoy a cruise.
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