A Few Thoughts on Cruising After Tragedy
The sinking of the Costa Concordia has caught the attention of the world over the last few weeks and rightfully so. It was a terrible tragedy that will be investigated for a very long time and will be used to shed light on the safety practices of the entire travel industry.
Fortunately one of the things that will come out, but will never make the news, is that virtually all of the top tier cruise lines in the world are doing safety right. I’ve been on countless cruises all over the world and never experienced any of the lapses in safety that are starting to be revealed as this accident is examined.
In fact I’ve often felt the captain, officers and crew were a little over the top in their obsession with making people safe and preparing passengers for emergencies. In light of this tragedy I’m thankful now for all the thought, planning, drilling and preparation that goes into this effort.
If you’re still skeptical about the amount of work that already goes into keeping you safe aboard a cruise ship, just have a look at this Royal Caribbean video talking about their current safety procedures:
[youtube width=”550″ height=”309″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NnPmPTJFQzw[/youtube]
DON’T THROW THE BABY OUT WITH THE BATH WATER
Cruising is an amazing vacation value and is enjoyed by millions of people every year, but I’m concerned some will be frightened away from this experience by the way some aspects of this accident have been reported. When a catastrophe like this occurs we all rely on the news to bring us the facts, but let’s face it, the news is not the news unless it’s sensational.
What better way to sensationalize this story than to portray the best known cruise brand in America, Carnival Cruise Line, as being negligent? Some news reports have even referred to the stricken ship as the “Carnival Concordia”.
The facts are that the Concordia is owned by Costa Cruise Line. It is not a Carnival Cruise Line ship. The stock for Carnival Cruise Line and Costa Cruise Line, as well as Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, The Yachts of Seabourn, P&O Cruises, Aida Cruises, and Ibero Cruises is owned by an investment company which happens to be called Carnival Corporation & PLC; however, each cruise line is a separate company with their own President and Board of Directors.
To blame Carnival Cruise Line for this horrible disaster is like blaming Taco Bell for a tragedy that took place in a Pizza Hut store just because they’re both owned by the same investment company – which, by the way, also happens to own Long John Silver’s Seafood, Kentucky Fried Chicken and A&W Root Beer. Carnival Cruise Line, and all of the other brands mentioned for that matter, deserve better treatment.
CRUISING REMAINS A GREAT VACATION CHOICE
I, along with many others, sincerely believe that in the coming days, months, and years cruise vacations will be safer than even their sterling record of the past; statistically safer even than staying home for vacation. I also believe that cruise vacations will continue to be one of the best, if not THE best, value in vacation options.
Andy Melilli is the Vice-President and Co-owner of CruiseExperts.com. For more than 20 years he has focused on the development of organizations around the world, having traveled in more than 50 countries on six continents. Twelve years ago he discovered the joy of cruising which has become a passion. Having already experienced the comfort and value of cruising in Europe, The Mediterranean, The Caribbean, Hawaii and Mexico, he’s looking forward to adding to the list of countries he’s visited and ultimately making it to that last continent, Antarctica.