Costa Concordia (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

The world is watching as the Ruby Princess debacle continues to unfold: the political bickering, the police investigation, and the grim, rising death toll.

But the industry is no stranger to scandal and it's easy to see why. Most cruise liners carry thousands of people and operate under complex legal jurisdictions. There's plenty of alcohol, diseases spread quickly and when something does go wrong, there is no police to call.

Carnival Corp -- owner of the Ruby Princess -- is not alone in dealing with cruise industry scandals over the past two decades, which leave a trail of costly settlements and public relations battles in their wake.