The tragedy of the Costa Concordia has left the public wondering if the waters are safe to go back into. Should they rethink their vacation plans? Should they call their travel agent and ask for a refund for the cruise they just booked? The answer is: NO. You don't have to put off your plans to go on a cruise because of someone's stupidity and ego.
Are Cruise Ships Safe?
There are so many true maritime stories of captains staying to take care of the safety of the passengers and ship before evacuating. Think of Captain William L. Herndon of the Central America, who in 1857, was last seen with a cigar in his mouth sinking with his ship to the ocean floor. His ship was experiencing difficulty maneuvering hurricane winds, and when the abandon ship was ordered, he stayed saving as many lives as he could before going down. While he literally went down with his ships, there are numerous heroic ventures of captain's who stayed until the last second making sure they placed their duties and the lives of their passengers first. Remember E.J. Smith of the Titanic, he was heard shouting at his remaining crew to "be British" or stand their ground. Then there was an Italian Captain Peiro Calamari of the Andrea Dori who refused to abandon ship after saving the passengers and other crewmen. He tried to save the ship too, but when the angle of the ship became 40 degrees, he finally relented.
Captains like, Francesco Schettino give cruise lines a bad name. While ships do sink, so do sharks attack, car accidents happen, planes crash, etc. Although Carnival will be picking up the pieces and doing damage control in the following years, cruises will go on. Cruise ships are still safe, as Dr. Robert Klein has indicated. As a leading expert in the cruise industry, he is positive that "this will be a blip for two months or so and then people will forget." According to November 2011 numbers, he is right. Cruise tours accounts for $29.4 billion dollars in the travel industry.
Why A Cruise Line?
With all of the amenities aboard a cruise ship, and that they are all in one place, how can you not want to go? Think of a city and how you have to travel in your car, bus, railway, from one side of the city to the other side just to get to the coffee shop, library, movie theater, restaurants, etc. If it is a really big city, traffic can be a (you know what). On a cruise ship, these amenities are within walking distance, even if on another floor, but all close to each other. The food can be from simple to exquisite, the entertainment is without fault, and the staff is hired on contract every four to six months based on passengers reviews. So, the likelihood of having a bad experience is not as common.
So, take a big breath, and hold on to that cruise you just booked or will be booking and know that whichever cruise line you choose, you will be taken care of.