Klein, who maintains the website www.cruisejunkie.com, started researching the industry after going on frequent cruises in the 1990s; the subject has since become his area of academic pursuit. He has also been a paid expert witness for plaintiffs in lawsuits filed against cruise lines as well as a consultant for communities concerned about the impact of cruise ships. Although his research is frequently critical of industry practices, Klein insists he does not have an anti-cruise agenda.
“I take seriously the honor of being asked to testify and I provide as much data and background for my opinion as possible,” said Klein, 60. “I’m not there to in any way take a position against the cruise industry. I’m there to provide intelligence and digest the information that I have so the committee can make informed policy decisions.”
Rosenker, 66, was named to CLIA’s panel, for which he is paid, following the Concordia wreck. The experts were asked to assess recommendations developed by an industry-wide safety review, which produced 10 policies that have since been adopted. The panel continues to work with the industry.
Rosenker, who is also a transportation and safety analyst for CBS, said in an interview that his experience with the cruise industry has been that cruise lines have been willing to take quick action when fixes need to be made.
“They’re not waiting around for a long period of time before they act, and act in positive ways which are raising the bar of safety,” said Rosenker.
The president and CEO of CLIA, Christine Duffy, said in a statement that the industry “appreciates the opportunity” to convey its focus on passenger safety and comfort to the committee.
She continued: “We believe the senators will see that the industry is not only effectively overseen and regulated by authorities and has an exceptional operational record, but that we also initiate policies and best practices on our own to ensure that we deliver exceptional vacation value for all guests.”