Sunday, Netflix’s Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj exposed the “real cost” of America’s booming vacation cruise industry. “The real cost is shitty air, poisoned water, piles of garbage, lost tax revenue, worker abuse, climate change, unreported crime, and preventable deaths,” explained Minhaj.
With over 80 percent of the cruise market share, Minhaj specifically targeted Norwegian, Royal Carribean and Carnival cruise lines for exploiting labor, safety and crime regulations.
Minhaj blasted the cruise lines for soliciting $100 million in illegal dumping fines, overworking and underpaying their employees, and operating their business internationally to avoid regulations and pay less in taxes. ”Carnival made almost nine billion in income but paid less than two percent in taxes. Remember, their executives are in Miami. They make all of their decisions out of Miami, but somehow legally, their company is “in Panama,” said Minhaj.
But one of the most troubling revelations from the episode came when Minhaj explained how cruise companies use the Death on The High Seas Act (DOHSA) to avoid lawsuits from family members of people that have accidentally died on cruise ships. Up until two years ago, Norwegian and Royal Carribean did not employ lifeguards, despite several cases of children accidental drowning. And, more alarming, Carnival, the largest cruise line, still does not have Carnival lifeguards on their ships.
“How is that even possible? They have swimming pools, hot tubs, water parks, thousands of child passengers. And everyone at Carnival is like, “Guys, are we missing something? Roller Coasters!” said Minhaj sarcastically.