Before you shell out for your next all-you-can-eat excursion to the Galapagos, feel free to peruse some hard data on what bad news is going down on your ship; yesterday, the country's three biggest cruise lines finally released reported crime statistics on their websites, responding to a push from legislators and victim advocacy groups to extend more transparency and legal rights onboard.

The crime statistics were voluntarily released by Carnival Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean, and date back to 2010. Though the Coast Guard has been sharing cruise line crime reporting statistics since January 2010, they only release information about cases that are no longer being investigated by the FBI. Cruise lines are required to report kidnappings, homicides, suspicious deaths, missing U.S. citizens, rape and sexual assault, major physical assault, theft over $10,000 and tampering with a vessel.

The Coast Guard has only reported 31 such crimes since January 2011; according to the cruise lines' individual reported numbers, Norwegian has reported two incidents, Royal Caribbean has reported 16 incidents and Carnival has reported 21 incidents in 2013 alone. Rapes and sexual assaults stood out as the most commonly alleged crimes, with theft following close behind.

The cruise lines are quick to point out that of the estimated nearly 17 million passengers who disembarked from a North American port this year, very few have reported crimes, even if the numbers exceed those being reported by the Coast Guard. But some legislators and activists are concerned cruise lines aren't doing enough to protect and inform the public. "Consumers deserve to know what rights and protections they have and, more importantly, do not have on their cruise," Senator Jay Rockefeller, a Democrat who represents West Virginia, said in a statement last week.

Rockefeller noted that, among other things, victims of crimes on cruises cannot call 911, are only assisted by the ship’s security officers and have difficulty leveraging lawsuits against cruiselines for crimes committed. "If the industry is seriously working to improve the safety and security of its ships, why have we witnessed so many serious incidents in the last sixteen months? Is the industry really trying to adopt a culture of safety? Or are these safety reviews and temporary investments a cynical effort to counter bad publicity?"

Rockefeller has been pushing for better safety legislation and oversight on cruises, and he's not alone in his cruise line criticism; Kendall Carver, who is the chairman of the International Cruise Victims association, says he thinks the reported numbers are still lower than the real crimes committed. "I think it's a step in the right direction. The question is, is it accurate or is it a public relations move? This is something they have resisted forever," he said.

Meanwhile, the cruise lines say they will continue to release the reported data on their websites every quarter; they also note that not all the crimes reported have been substantiated after further investigation.