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Old February 16th, 2013, 10:16 AM
AR AR is offline
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Default Are Cruisers Prepared for Adversity?

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
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Old February 16th, 2013, 12:13 PM
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There's already one confirmed lawsuit filed already for mental distress. I guess it's possible if one has no tolerance to change, but how does she know one day after leaving the ship that's she's damaged for the long term?
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Old February 16th, 2013, 12:30 PM
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Her lawsuit also has the boilerplate crap such as claiming she is so emotionally and mentally scarred she will never be able to work again. What is she, 25 yrs old? I haven't been checking that close, but would it surprise anyone if those with the most hysterical comments are say, under 30, while those who have shrugged the experience off are older? Let me put my 'back in my day' geezer hat on and say I think that would be true, because younger people today have more trouble coping with a lack of technology, and less capable of having normal personal interactions.
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Old February 16th, 2013, 08:39 PM
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Love the phrase, pretty funny. If you read Dave and Paul's article you will see some of the fod shortage problems were inflicted by greedy passengers. Guess Carny should have locked down the buffet lines better.

You could probably graph passenger reactions based on prior travel experience.
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Old February 17th, 2013, 01:07 AM
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Completely agree that prior travel experience plays into behavior of those on the ship.

One's perspective changes with age. I know that I am more tolerant, flexible, calmer and more forgiving with age. Mostly because worse things have happened and I survived.

Travel is supposed to be an adventure - albeit this one was unpleasant, no one died (that I know of), got terribly sick. As for the "emotional duress" or whatever it was, deal with it.

Again, perspective - think of our troops in far away places whose lives are a daily "cruise from hell".

The lawyers on the gangway should be ashamed of themselves.
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Old February 17th, 2013, 09:14 AM
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Many years ago I sailed on a troop carrier, since I was going to a war zone I was prepared for whatever came along.

Now when I spend my money and use up my time, I am not ready for such filthy and uncomfortable conditions as those that hppened on the Triumph.

Carnival as well as the other cruiselines have to make sure that this does not happen again.
They are building more new ships every year. A couple more of these crappy incidents and there will be a lot of empty ships.

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Old February 17th, 2013, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manuel View Post
Many years ago I sailed on a troop carrier, since I was going to a war zone I was prepared for whatever came along.

Now when I spend my money and use up my time, I am not ready for such filthy and uncomfortable conditions as those that hppened on the Triumph.

Carnival as well as the other cruiselines have to make sure that this does not happen again.
They are building more new ships every year. A couple more of these crappy incidents and there will be a lot of empty ships.

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Let the flaming begin. You are making it sound every cruise is like this one, so why would you want to spend your money on any cruise.
I seriously doubt that ANY cruiseline had a plan for an event like this. No other ship had this happen. Ships have been stranded, yes, but not in the middle of the sea.
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Old February 17th, 2013, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by ruthlessboss View Post
Let the flaming begin. You are making it sound every cruise is like this one, so why would you want to spend your money on any cruise.
I seriously doubt that ANY cruiseline had a plan for an event like this. No other ship had this happen. Ships have been stranded, yes, but not in the middle of the sea.
Just where do you GET your information, exactly???
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Old February 17th, 2013, 09:14 PM
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[QUOTE=ruthlessboss;I seriously doubt that ANY cruiseline had a plan for an event like this. No other ship had this happen. Ships have been stranded, yes, but not in the middle of the sea.[/QUOTE]

I dont think that ships have been stranded on land.

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Old February 18th, 2013, 08:39 AM
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I talk about attitude a lot on this board.

I don't think most of us are mentally prepared when we cruise for adversity. If I am camping I prepare myself for all sorts of possibilities. Doing a road-trip I might have a mix good and bad meals and excellent to so-so lodgings. If I am in another country I might have to deal with an emergency and have some severe communications difficulties. That doesn't stop me from enjoying any of these activities, or at least telling stories about the foibles that come along with them.

When I cruise I plan extra time to make sure I can roll with the punches of travel and make it to the ship on time. Once I am on board I do expect a nice stateroom with working amenities and series of good-to-great meals. We may hit a little weather and we have to roll with the waves - it is a nice way to be rocked to sleep though can make dinner time rough.

While we are at sea I may not be mentally prepared for adversity. I would like to think that should adversity come my way I could make the switch for vacationer to traveler and deal with the things that are in my path.
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Old February 18th, 2013, 10:53 AM
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We were on a cruise a few years ago and experienced a leak in the ceiling of our cabin .The leak became a shower and we had to literally grab everything that we could and run outside as it was 1:40 AM and we were awakened from our sleep.
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Old February 18th, 2013, 11:32 AM
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No matter how much any cruiseline, "prepares for the worst", things can and do happen, "on rare occasion". What I do fault Carnival, and with maritime law, in general, is they could have given, those affected by this tragedy, not only a free cruise, and reimbursement for the "debacle" of the cruise they were on, but also a higher cash payment. Giving each passenger $500 for the "pain and suffering" caused by this debacle was an insult!. Every cruise line wants "good publicity" about their cruise business. It will take several years for people to want to go on a Carnival Cruise. There is a saying, "that one dissatisfied customer, will tell ten friends and aquaintances about their cruise experience". Carnival Cruise Line has a major "public relations problem".
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Old February 18th, 2013, 12:19 PM
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Honestly, I hate camping that is why I cruise and not camp. It would piss me off if the cruise line was aware of problems with their ship and in a greedy attempt for increased profits run the ship any way. I don't care so much about the food issues. But the toilet issues would be a problem for me. I'm female I can't just hang it over the side like you men can.

Yes, if we have to missed a port because of weather, war, or illness (Swine flu) I'm fine with that. Carnival can't predict and prepare for those kinds of things. And guess what it has happened on a cruise I was on. No whining was heard for my end of the ship.

But if my whole trip is ruin because Carnival didn't take proper care of their ships we have a problem. That is something the cruise line should have responsibility for and I'm not willing to let them off the hook for that. A cruise contract should require the line to hold of their end and a well maintained ship is their end of the contract.

I do think it's cute when a news article attempts to categorize a large group of people:

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.

That is bull crap you have no idea what I'm like or what I can handle. So don't guess about things you have no clue about. I didn't grow up pampered in the lap of luxury, sure it would be horrible to deal with but I could handle it. That's why I have no intention of canceling my Carnival cruise. But Carnival know now you better maintain that damn ship if it breaks down because of your incompetence we have a real problem and one that won't go away easily either. I can be annoying when I need to be.

So that's my two cent. Feel free to disagree with me totally, I'm good with it.
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Old February 18th, 2013, 12:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by balabusta View Post
No matter how much any cruiseline, "prepares for the worst", things can and do happen, "on rare occasion". What I do fault Carnival, and with maritime law, in general, is they could have given, those affected by this tragedy, not only a free cruise, and reimbursement for the "debacle" of the cruise they were on, but also a higher cash payment. Giving each passenger $500 for the "pain and suffering" caused by this debacle was an insult!. Every cruise line wants "good publicity" about their cruise business. It will take several years for people to want to go on a Carnival Cruise. There is a saying, "that one dissatisfied customer, will tell ten friends and aquaintances about their cruise experience". Carnival Cruise Line has a major "public relations problem".
I agree with you. The cruise line can say what they want but it's less rare when the cruise line has had many ship fires including a engine fire on the carnival Splendor out of Long Beach. That was in November of 2010 and should have prepared the cruise line of this type of emergency.
Stranded Carnival Cruise Passengers Head to San Diego, Speak Out On Cell Phones: 'It's Disgusting' - ABC News
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Old February 18th, 2013, 12:50 PM
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Feel free to disagree with me totally, I'm good with it.
I don't disagree with you; I just think you need to lighten up about the article. The writer was obviously indulging in hyperbole, tongue firmly in cheek, and that's certainly how I took it. If I hadn't, I'd be as pissed as you, because I certainly don't believe Terry and I should be assigned to the ranks of the helpless.

But if you're honest you'll admit that you've seen legions of the helpless and the clueless on every cruise you've been on--those people who "don't belong in the wild" and who would be especially ill-suited to any sort of shipboard irregularity.

My favorite was waiting for the elevator once just after boarding. One "mother-in-law" was standing at the elevator buttons and explaining to her friend. . ."Now, when you want to go up, you push the top button and when you want to go down, you push the bottom button." Whereupon a third woman standing nearby but who didn't know the other two said, "Gee, you must have been valedictorian!"

Not nice, I admit, but I'm glad I didn't have a mouthful of welcome champagne or I'd have done a classic spit take.
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Old February 18th, 2013, 02:10 PM
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quote AR "Now, when you want to go up, you push the top button and when you want to go down, you push the bottom button."

Where they were most likely from, elevators are clearly for holding grain.
Understandable... as I have no clue how to milk a cow correctly.
(I just realized: my signature image might make these ladies a bit apprehensive too)
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Old February 18th, 2013, 04:16 PM
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My wife and I were discussing this post last night and remembered a table companion we had a breakfast one day. This woman was older and seemed to have been of some means. She spoke of traveling here and there. Someone mentioned Rome. Her response was something to the effect of, "Rome was terrible, it rained all day." To which another table mate, and my hero, said, "that's why I carry an umbrella!"
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Old February 18th, 2013, 04:37 PM
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My wife and I were discussing this post last night and remembered a table companion we had a breakfast one day. This woman was older and seemed to have been of some means. She spoke of traveling here and there. Someone mentioned Rome. Her response was something to the effect of, "Rome was terrible, it rained all day." To which another table mate, and my hero, said, "that's why I carry an umbrella!"
I love that response.
As a matter of fact, we were touring in Rome a few years ago and it started to rain. Ever few yards there vendors selling umbrellas, so we bought a couple of them and continued sight seeing

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Old February 18th, 2013, 05:44 PM
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Loved A.R.'s story about the ladies and the elevator buttons, especially the
part where a third lady chimed in about one must have been valedictorian!!
I think I wold have been laughing before the 3rd lady said anything.
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Old February 18th, 2013, 07:04 PM
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One "mother-in-law" was standing at the elevator buttons and explaining to her friend. . ."Now, when you want to go up, you push the top button and when you want to go down, you push the bottom button." Whereupon a third woman standing nearby but who didn't know the other two said, "Gee, you must have been valedictorian!"


Hahahahahaha!!
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Old February 18th, 2013, 07:23 PM
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Someone mentioned Rome. Her response was something to the effect of, "Rome was terrible, it rained all day." To which another table mate, and my hero, said, "that's why I carry an umbrella!"
Further proof that Rome wasn't drowned in a day. Venice might be another story.
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Old February 18th, 2013, 09:21 PM
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I don't disagree with you; I just think you need to lighten up about the article. The writer was obviously indulging in hyperbole, tongue firmly in cheek, and that's certainly how I took it. If I hadn't, I'd be as pissed as you, because I certainly don't believe Terry and I should be assigned to the ranks of the helpless.

But if you're honest you'll admit that you've seen legions of the helpless and the clueless on every cruise you've been on--those people who "don't belong in the wild" and who would be especially ill-suited to any sort of shipboard irregularity.

My favorite was waiting for the elevator once just after boarding. One "mother-in-law" was standing at the elevator buttons and explaining to her friend. . ."Now, when you want to go up, you push the top button and when you want to go down, you push the bottom button." Whereupon a third woman standing nearby but who didn't know the other two said, "Gee, you must have been valedictorian!"

Not nice, I admit, but I'm glad I didn't have a mouthful of welcome champagne or I'd have done a classic spit take.
This is going to sound really bad but I must say it. I noticed way more of these clueless and helpless people while cruising out of Florida. Most of my cruises have been out of California. But my last cruise, a 7 day on Freedom of the Seas, I got the experience of cruising out of Florida and wow there are some interesting Americans cruising out of there. I kept hearing this strange banjo music for some reason. I will have to give the writer a break. Because there are a lot of clueless people in the world.

The third woman in your story is a witch. She has no idea if the person has any serious mental problems. There are levels of autism that would require explanations like that one. My parents took my severely autistic brother on a cruise. My brother look completely normal but doesn't talk at all and can't care for himself. My parents didn't have to explain the elevator because he never would have understood them anyway. At one point during the cruise he left the room and the door locked behind him, so he couldn't get back in. My parents were in a panic until they checked the buffet and there was my brother. He's autistic not stupid.
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Old February 18th, 2013, 09:28 PM
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Ron and Will I guess my personal experience change the way I process that story. Or I'm just grumpy today. I do get crabby at times. Time to chill with a rum drink and find the funny.
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Old February 18th, 2013, 09:52 PM
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Not to worry-- being grumpy happens to everyone now and then and too, A good rum punch usually makes things look a little brighter !
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Old February 18th, 2013, 11:32 PM
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Katlady feeling a little "squirrelly"???
Impossible.
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Old February 19th, 2013, 10:21 AM
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Katlady feeling a little "squirrelly"???
Impossible.
I'm a female and room has it we are subject to mood swings. But now I'm back to my Delightful self.
Ron the rum punch was wonderful.
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Old February 21st, 2013, 01:15 AM
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I'll probably be flamed but I have to say that the average cruiser is not prepared for little, if any, adversity.

A local woman was on tonight's local news and told of her "ordeal". She was reduced to an animal because she had to "poop in a plastic bag".

I'm sorry but I know a number of people who are very similar to this. They would find such a "terrible" thing to be totally humiliating and demoralizing.

This is what I mean when people are tourists and travelers.

I'm sorry but the conditions on the Triumph were bad and I feel for all on board but people have had to endure far worse. Crap happens and if the worst you have to live with in your life is eating onion sandwiches and pooping in a plastic bag for five days then you have it pretty darn lucky.

No: I would not be happy with that cruise and I would expect a full refund and a refund of my non-refundable expenses but unless there was pure negligence on the part of Carnival, I would be happy with the reimbursement.

I have to say that most cruisers are not of a mindset or ability to handle adversity.

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Old February 21st, 2013, 12:33 PM
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Lets put this into a completely different perspective...

The "heroic" crew is probably going back home to THEIR toilets: a hole in the ground, with leaves for toilet paper. Onion sandwiches would be quite the luxury. Seriously.

(Oh, to be a fly on the wall, and hear what they REALLY thought of their passengers and the "hardships" they endured...)
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Old February 21st, 2013, 03:47 PM
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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.
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Old February 21st, 2013, 09:06 PM
AR AR is offline
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Paul is right in everything he says.

Problem is, it's the cruise lines themselves that market their product as a no worries, no hassles, sun 'n' fun, and (dare I say it?) hedonistic form of vacation. Nothing Paul wrote will ever appear in any cruise line's brochure.

And so, the ships get the people with the mindsets the lines promote.
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