Something I didn’t know about the cruise experience is that apparently passengers are incessantly spied upon. News coverage about the woman who went overboard from the Norwegian Pearl, far from expressing surprise, treated it as a welcome development:
The Coast Guard spokesman called the three-hour search “standard operating procedure for them, when they aren’t certain that someone has actually gone overboard.” He also said that the videotape, which is being analyzed by the FBI, is “crucial” to search efforts. According to Orlando, Fla., TV station WFTV, there were about 1,000 surveillance cameras aboard the Norwegian Pearl, raising hopes that more images might help authorities figure out what happened to Ellis-Seitz.
I knew that was standard in Las Vegas (remember the Corflu Silver progress report that warned warned against the hotel’s intrusive security?)
Coincidentally, the Norwegian Pearl is operated by the Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL). The company’s passenger fleet once included the S.S. Norway, proposed site of the 1988 Worldcon. Mike Resnick witnessed the birth of the Bermuda Triangle bid at L.A.con II:
That night I went out onto the lanai with John Guidry. After awhile we found a couple of empty chairs and sat down to visit with Neil Rest, who was busy fantasizing about making a Worldcon bid for a cruise ship. Before long he had attracted a hell of a crowd, and by daylight hundreds of people were urging him to make it a real bid. John walked away thinking if there was so little serious support for any Central Zone cities that people actually would support a cruise ship, maybe it was time to put together a New Orleans bid. So that evening saw the birth of two bids: Nolacon II, which won the 1988 Worldcon; and the Boat, which came in second in a field of four.
The committee’s letter of agreement with NCL called for $1.8M to be paid before the boat left the dock. That would have been a sobering thought if sobriety had been much valued by Hurricane-drinking site selection voters.
A final bit of trivia: the S. S. Norway was retired by NCL in 2001. Today it is beached at Alang, India, ready to be broken up. The courts have spent two years reviewing environmental reports and finally given permission for it to be scrapped.