Jane Doe #1
(Employee attacked on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship)
I am a former 6-year Royal Caribbean Cruise Line (RCCL) crew member, who would like to provide some insight into what actually happened to me.
I had just returned from vacation, when some Turkish coworkers invited me to a cabin party to just relax, converse, and watch some movies. Initially, I declined the invitation with thoughts of going to bingo in the crew bar; however, I received several phone calls from a crew member, persuading me to attend the cabin party.
Eventually, I decided to go to the party for a quick drink, and then, still leave in time to play bingo.
When I arrived at the cabin party, HE was alone with no other crew members, which I found very strange and asked him, “Where is everybody?” HE claimed that they were at bingo, but would be arriving shortly. HE had been drinking and I joined him by accepting 2 glasses of Bourbon, while waiting for the others to arrive.
HE began talking about his wife and showing me pictures. Everything seemed fine, until HE attempted to hold me and asked me to stay. When I said, “No”, refused to kiss him and cursed at him, HE threw me against the wall and began beating me. I tried to reach the telephone to call for help, but it broke, when HE hit me in the face with it. HE grabbed and pulled large pieces of my hair from my head. I kept crying and remained in a fetal position against the wall, while waiting for a moment to escape.
For three horrific hours, HE held me captive in that cabin, where no one could hear my screams, because everybody was at bingo. And every time I tried to talk to him, HE hit me furiously.
At approximately 4:00 a.m., HE put the phone back together and called a friend. When the friend arrived and entered the cabin, and saw me, he grabbed my assailant and screamed for me to call 911.... Immediately, I called the bridge, screaming that a crew member was trying to kill me.
When Security arrived, I was treated like a criminal. They did not believe my story and blamed me for going to the cabin, claiming that my intentions for going to the cabin were obvious. I was still in shock, extremely bruised, and in very bad condition. I was taken to the medical facility and given a breathalyzer test.
The next day I learned that my assailant even produced a knife, claiming that I tried to kill him with it.
Both crew members were removed from duty for investigation, but HE was not even incarcerated and continued to walk freely! Although HE was restricted from any guest areas, HE was still free to roam in the crew member areas; therefore, I was forced to see him several times. (Normally, under such circumstances, the assailant would have been held in the ship’s jail.)
The ship’s doctor diagnosed me as “fit for duty” on the 3rd day after the attack. I was put back to work with my face was still distorted, and while I was still emotionally distraught.
As I waited for a hearing with the captain, HE was deported back to his country with NO PROSECUTION or charges filed against him. And I was issued a FINAL WARNING, being told “not to make any further mistakes”. Although HE was deported by the FBI, they never interviewed or took a statement from me.
A couple of weeks later, for being 20-minutes late for duty, I was sent for another hearing with the captain, where I was terminated as a Royal Caribbean employee.
After so many years of dedication and with an unblemished record (until the recent warning), this captain punished me and terminated my employment, even after I had lived through this terrifying experience.
The public needs to be aware of what actually occurs on ships, whether you are a crew member or a paying passenger.