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Old May 22nd, 2012, 08:45 PM
Bruce Chafkin1 Bruce Chafkin1 is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Ibiza / Japan
Posts: 619

I must say that I am completely with you on this issue.
The cruise industry has created it's own monster.

We have decided to market our product to the lowest common denominator in the name of higher profits.
Then we get the trailer park crowd onboard and cannot understand why they cannot behave or dress well.
We assume that they did their homework and know how things work on a cruise. Many did not and do not. Many have never even stayed in a hotel before; certainly never on a ship.
We push a few drinks on them and then we cannot understand why they don't even know which end of the ship is the "pointy end".
A large percentage of our passengers do not even speak their native English very well. We are then expecting them to understand French dining and food terms. It's not really fair.

In the orignal Men In Black movie, Tommy Lee Jones says, "Individual people are quite smart, but put them into a group and they turn into stupid spooky animals". I couldn't agree more. Put a few thousand people on a mass market cruise ship and they get that "herd mentality". Then lightning strikes and we have a stampede.

I was on a long-haul jumbo jet flight recently from London to Auckland.
We stopped in New Delhi for fuel.
After takeoff, an air hostess approached me. The only empty seat on the airplane was next to me in First Class. An elderly passenger was not feeling well and needed to be more comfortable. They asked if I minded if they placed her next to me. Of course not.
After they moved her, the air hostess telephoned the flight deck. The engineer needed to push some button to turn on an oxygen vent near our seats so that this pasenger could use a special oxygen mask.

The engineer pushed the wrong button.

Suddenly all the oxygen masks all over the airplane came falling down. A recorded voice announced over and over that the plane had become depressurized and was diving down to a safe level. The voice repeated many times that all passengers should put on the oxygen masks as they had been taught many times.
The entire airplane erupted in chaos. People were screaming, running up and down the aisles, wailing, moaning and generally hysterical.
The air hostess, the sick woman next to me, and I were the only passengers who were aware that this was a mistake, and there was actually no danger.
We watched in amazement as NOBODY actually put on their oxygen masks. This chaos went on for a good 20 minutes before the Captain announced that there was nothing wrong, and everyone could calm down.

If it had been a real emergency, many of those crazy people would have died.

How many times do you think the average traveler on that airplane had seen or heard the standard safety drill at the beginning of a flight?
50 times? 100 times??

Yet NOBODY remembered what to do with the oxygen masks in what appeared to be a real emergency.
Would it be wiser to tell them less often, hoping they would remember?
Would it be wiser to tell them even more often, hoping to drill the information into their brains?
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