Year 2011 began with a bang at Cruise Law News ("CLN"). CLN was the first publication in the U.S. to cover some of the most newsworthy stories about the cruise industry this year. We started the year by pointing out that the new president (Christine McDuffy) of the the cruise industry's trade organization, the Cruise Line International Association ("CLIA"), has carried on CLIA's Pinocchio-like tradition of tall tales by telling her first lie. And it was only the third day of the new year! Royal Caribbean's reputation of having the most passengers overboards and the least transparent PR department is alive and well n 2011. Two weeks ago, we reported that a 21 year old passenger fell from Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas as it approached Belize. The local press in Belize speculated wildly (seemingly to RCCL's approval) that the passenger may have committed suicide (the cruise lines' favorite excuse). The U.S. newspapers (especially the worthless Miami Herald) ignored the story. CLN was the the first U.S. publication to explain what really happened. In our artice – "Another Passenger Overboard From A Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship" – many passengers including the missing young man's family posted comments about the circumstances surrounding the tragedy. We caught someone criticizing the family on our blog's comment section using a computer connection which we traced back to the Royal Caribbean headquarters. Sick! Talking about sick cruise lines, we covered the first case of "cruise ship sickness" (CLIA hates that expression) which occurred on Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Seas. Sixty-five passengers left comments about the experience. Yuck. The cruise line went to its PR playbook, diverted attention away from its own food and water, and blamed the passengers, as usual, for not washing their hands. The month so far has seen CLN report on a crew member child porno addict (allegedly mind you) who worked as an audio visual manager and provided onboard guest-entertainment services on the Constellation cruise ship operated by Royal Caribbean's sister line Celebrity Cruises. This month CLN covered the bizarre cruise story of a child predator / defrocked catholic priest who was accused of molesting 33 little girls. Yet, a local cruise company (Voyages of Discovery) was more than pleased to let him buy a cruise ticket. We also blogged about yet another drug smuggling ring on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship, this time the Explorer of the Seas. Our readership is exploding. Yesterday, we had well over 5,000 people read our blog. Weekends are usually slower than weekdays, so 5,000 readers a day is a lot of people clicking on CLN. So far this month, over 70,000 pages of CLN have been read. We are on track for over a million people reading CLN a year. We had more readers in one day yesterday than in our first month when the blog started in September 2009! CLN remains the number 10 top law blog in the world based on the Alexa / AVVO popularity rankings, and a top 25 influencer in the world of social media involving the cruise industry. Last week, CLN was featured on Cruise Radio, the most popular cruise related radio show in the world, about how to stay safe on cruise ships. As the host mentioned, we "gave some brutal but honest facts. It's a great reminder" about cruise ship safety. Take a listen here. CLN is also in first place in the Shorty Awards in law. It's admittedly a faux award, but its purpose is to recognize the "best people and organizations on Twitter and social media." The state of the union for Cruise Law News – is strong! We are having a lot of fun too!
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