Posted on October 21, 2005

No Holiday for Crime on Ship

Susan Daker, Mobile Register, Oct. 20

Nearly 30 arrests ranging from domestic violence to drug possession have been made on the Holiday cruise ship in Mobile since Hurricane Katrina evacuees moved in a month ago, a police spokesman said.

The arrest rate on board the ship during its service as an evacuee shelter has been significantly higher per thousand people than the average arrest rates in Alabama and Mississippi, according to available criminal statistics.

Police received 98 calls summoning officers to the Carnival Cruise Line ship from Sept. 17 through Monday, Oct. 17, according to information provided by Cpl. Marcus Young, police spokesman. The Mobile Police Department is responsible for security on board the ship, which is docked in downtown.

Slightly more than 1,200 people are residing on the ship, although that number has been as high as 1,400, said Sheila Gurganus, Alabama Cruise Terminal manager. The Holiday has a capacity of 1,452 guests.

Police have made 27 arrests aboard the ship thus far, including four for domestic violence, six for public drunkenness, and three for disorderly conduct. There have been 11 drug-related arrests. The most serious charge appears to be possession of cocaine, a felony.