Since there's so much slamming of the show, I decided to watch it--the full episode is available online. First time I've watched 20/20 in many years. I think Hugh Downs was still on it when I last saw it. Anybody remember Hugh Downs? Anyone? Anyone?
I thought that what they said about the Costa ship was pretty much what everybody else said. Nothing special. As many have pointed out, much of the ensuing negative stuff seemed to concentrate on Carnival (the line per se, not its various brands). I'm at something of a disadvantage here since across 25 cruises we've never been on Carnival. Back when we first started cruising seriously, I remember clearly that they had a party-and-drinking image and we steered clear. In later years there was a lot of talk--including on this site--that Carnival had cleaned up the act, was no longer an exercise in debauchery, and was no problem.
By then we had lines that we knew we liked and saw no reason to partake of Carnival. No hard feelings, just never could find a reason to roll the dice.
So, like most of you, we've never seen anything on a ship (or anywhere else) like the fights and other bad behavior shown on the home videos played on the show. But they obviously did happen; to what degree they are prevalent we can't know. I'll venture a guess that the likelihood of it happening on your cruise is a function of more than just the line. I'd bet that it's more likely to happen on a seven-day or shorter Caribbean run than on a longer run almost anyplace else--especially a run that doesn't end where it starts.
But this can't be denied: there is a lot of drinking and a lot of drinking to excess on virtually every cruise. We're going to do a TA in the spring and just heard that the "all-you-can-drink" package is "on sale" for something like $1400 for the two of us. Well, by God, you can bet that people who spring for this kind of cash are certainly going to "get their money's worth." We're certainly not teatotalers, but if we did $1400 worth of drinking on a cruise, our next stop would be the Betty Ford Clinic.
I've seen drunks on every cruise I've been on, fortunately none of them causing problems beyond just being annoying.
In the broadcast, the crew segment was a little confusing: on the one hand they party till they drop, partake in nonstop orgies, and so on. On the other hand, they work 100 hours a week and are latter-day galley slaves. Seems to me it's difficult to be both. But then, this is a "People Magazine" sort of show (to be charitable). So what?
On the "overboard" issue, I'm of two minds. To the extent that they actually fall overboard because they are drunk or careless or just having sex on the balcony, I shrug and say that the herd must be thinned at some point. To the extent that crimes are actually committed, that's a different story. But of course there was nothing on the show that came close to proving a crime. Might it be that ships routinely cover up crimes? Yes, it is possible and I tend to think it is likely.
I'm always surprised at the extent to which people here seem to take personal offense at anything anybody says which reflects badly on cruising. But I've learned that some who post here truly do believe that cruising is the closest thing to travel perfection, and that almost any criticism is unjustified. Whatever floats your boat.
But that silly little show isn't going to do anything to dissuade you or me from taking our next cruise. And if it prevents some newbies from taking the plunge (so to speak), I don't see how that's our problem. It's theirs.