In my description yesterday of all the things that can and will go wrong on a cruise, I forgot to mention the nefarious human element.  No, not the lawyers – the scurvy dogs of the sea, not land.   I’m talking, of course, about real, live, modern day pirates.  In case some of you may be doubting the ability of such social misfits to disrupt an entire giant cruise ship,  let’s all remember back to that classic movie, Under Siege.  And that was a navy ship, not a bunch of landlubbery cruisers.

just in case my movie example still didn’t convince you, here’s an article that should.  That’s right, somewhere off the coast of Somalia, a ship (name undisclosed) was captured by unknown pirates.  The number of guests and crew members – if there were any – remains undisclosed.   And, though we know the boat is French, the names of the owners remain undisclosed.

While I’m a big fan of the romanticization of piracy, the lure of the ocean, and ratty locks of hair, these nameless and faceless pirates are probably not the kind of people I’d want bursting into my stateroom in the early hours of the morning.  And you would think something as big as a cruise ship would be able to repel a small party of boarders.  However, as a luxury boat, such huge ships are unlikely to be outfitted with weapons (does anyone know if cruise ships have small arms lockers and such?), which may make them more vulnerable.  Again, not my idea of a fun time.

Finally, the article also announced that global pirate attacks rose 10% in 2007 while the preceding three years there had been no rise.  What does this mean? Did pirate attack numbers stay stable, or fall?  Is this a growing trend?   Are we going to need to go back to the days of privateering in order to keep at least some waters safe for travel?  Are pirates teh real cause for boat-shipped packages arriving after more than three months in China, or the international delay of cheese exportation to that country?  I await the facts.

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