One of the more entertaining stories I've read about the Carnival debacle appears in this morning's Washington Post. Here's a cutting. . .
A cruise represents not only a vacation, but a very specific kind of vacation. One books it when one does not want to have to decide, or plan, or worry, or change money, or get tetanus shots. I have cruised, and I loved it, and so I say fondly: A cruise ship’s passenger log is comprised entirely of the exact demographic that is least prepared for a cruise to go to pot. A cruise is a giant boat full of your mother-in-law. Your mother-in-law does not belong in the wild.
Too funny. I've always maintained that one of the real allures of cruising is that you don't have to make any decisions, and that's a huge reason many people take to the seas. We divide our own travel into categories. . ."trips" for adventure, schlepping, seeing new places, seeing favorite places and friends around the world. . .and "vacations" for relaxing and watching the world go by. It's that latter category that leads us to ships.
Talking to untold numbers of shipmates across 35 years, it's clear that the Post writer has a point when it comes to those whose travel is largely limited to cruises: they're ill-prepared for anything out of the ordinary.
Which is not to say that what happened to that "floating porta-potty" is trivial. On the contrary, it is very serious, especially in light of evidence that the ship was known to have propulsion problems.
You may remember that I posted shortly after our abortive cruise to Bermuda during Superstorm Sandy, which turned into a cruise to nowhere. Before we departed, people were told that they could leave for full credit, and fully half the passengers beat feet for the gangway. That left a bunch of us who thought the idea of riding out a massive storm at sea sounded like fun. Predictably, it made for one of the most enjoyable groups of fellow passengers that we can remember. Of course, nothing bad happened during our adventure, but the majority of the "mothers-in-law" that the Post writer was talking about were back on dry (or not-so-dry) land.
Anyway, I'm sure there were plenty of lawyers passing out business cards at the bottom of the gangway in Mobile. And I wonder if after they decontaminate that tub they'll have to change its name. So many questions.
If you'd like to read the whole Post article, and I recommend it, here's the link. . .
Carnival Triumph disaster: A drama of discomfort - The Washington Post