In fact, cruises can be very dangerous and conditionally adverse, and the concept that people take cruises to "turn off their brains" is a pet peeve of mine.
Have you ever seen a tourist in New York get on a subway? There's always a friendly local ready to catch them when the train starts up and they aren't holding on.
Novice cruisers like that tourist; walking around thinking the ship could tip over, yet forgetting to hold on when the ship rolls. They get nervous stomachs before the ship even takes off. They aren't prepared mentally to cruise - they are like that lady who complained about the rain in Rome.
I have been on cruises where the ship was rocking so bad you couldn't keep food on the table. There are places where you must ride in tenders just to get ashore, and you have to deal with real danger in some ports of call.
So, every time I hear someone complaining about how boring cruises can be, I want to say, "count your blessings, it could have been a lot more interesting."
So, the point is that fostering the idea that cruises are for people who do not want to think is just encouraging the reaction we got to this ship breaking down.
A guy goes hiking and slips into a crevice and has to gnaw off his leg or die of thirst. No one said "well, national parks need to be safer," They only talked about how brave he was.
How about telling the truth about cruise ships, that they rock, that you need tenders, and that things can go wrong?
Much worse things than this have happened. What about the ship that sank in Antarctica and all the passengers were saved by remaining in lifeboats for 12 hours in horridly cold conditions. I have been in the arctic on shore excursions which were so wet and cold someone could have died from exposure.
Focus on the adventure of exotic ports like Tangiers, the Amazon or crossing Drake's Passage to reach Antarctica, of being on a vessel 100s of miles from land surrounded by nothing but (deadly) salt water. How about the reality that you are on a vessel where there is no "law" - only the civility of the officers and fellow passengers provides a semblance of order (and I am not saying that is an ideal situation, but if people were truly more aware of it, instead of thinking every possible contingency will be handled for them I think we would be better off).
Cruises are really adventures with the appearance of luxury. It is like a Bedouin's tent. If people realized the reality we wouldn't have such shock when things go wrong.