Monday, February 27, 2012

A little of this and a little of that

It appears that the cruise industry has dodged a bullet and is doing ok in wake of the Costa Concordia incident, as bookings remain consistant with previous Wave seasons. Concordia has been almost completely emptied of fuel and is scheduled to be cut into pieces and removed in the coming months, this is also good news.

More bad news for Costa today, Costa Allegra incurred an engine fire, has lost power and is drifting in the Indian ocean. We are told that all passengers and crew are fine, and that the bridge has been in communication with authorities and tugs are en-route to pull her to the nearest port to disembark all passengers as soon as possible. More news as it happens.

This is really bad news for Costs, who is now 0-2 in safety. I am starting to wonder if this storied company will survive these incidents. Will customers overlook these incidents? It will become more clear as time passes and new births are sold and at what price point they are forced to sale them at.

In other news, MSC Poesia, has cancelled their Mediterranean cruises in October of 2012, calling it a "Refurbishment". Customers are receiving fare price protection, as well as $50 per person on board credit and airfare and hotel changes are being paid, or customers can opt for a full refund of their cruise fare.

In other news, the AP is reporting an Argentine province turned away two Carnival Corp. cruise ships early Monday, seeking leverage against Britain in the country's sovereignty dispute over the Falkland Islands.

The Star Princess and Adonia ships were refused entry to Argentina's southernmost city of Ushuaia early Monday after stopping at the islands en route to Chile. The decision was made by the provincial governor a month after the Falklands government turned away the same Princess ship, citing health safety reasons, after it had stopped in Argentina.

Carnivals John Heald is back on the high seas as of last week on the Carnival Magic out of Galveston. Take a look at his daily blog here.

Happy cruising!

Friday, February 3, 2012

To kick off or not to kick off

Its been reported that at least one person was kicked off a Holland America ship recently because they were not taking part in the Muster drill.

I have no argument with what happened, as much as I hate the drills it is something we all must do. My argument is with the timing of this incident. I see this as a little late and a distraction from the real issue.

Several bodies have been recovered from the Costa Concordia with life vests on. So I can only conclude that these people attended the muster drill or at the very least watch the video on TV in their staterooms prior to the accident. So the question I ask yet again is what happened to these people Carnival?

These deaths were not due to lack of knowledge of safety. These people were in vests, following directions that your crew were giving and somehow they were simply forgotten.

This question is the elephant in the room that no-one seems to be talking about. Its irritating to see the big corporations carry on as if its all over now. They are re-starting their advertising campaigns, talking about new ships, new shows, food, destinations and everything else except the obvious.

I find this despicable. This is an example of corporatism at its best. Minimize, distract, and avoid to save the bottom line.

If the media were to actually ask what happened to these people then the answers would really hurt.

The crew in its utter dis-organization in the final moments left these people to die by mistake.

So how safe is cruising? If you simply look at what happened you can see how the first major safety operation was conducted on a cruise ship.

Yes a great majority made it off safely. Lets not forget that this ship did not sink in the Atlantic at sea, it Partially capsized hundreds of feet from shore. Everyone should have made it out.

Now your going to hear, the crew was amazing, they saved 4000 lives, without the Captain, they are heroes and how dare you bring this up.

Anytime, even one life is lost, a rescue operation IS A FAILURE. Especially this one.

I'm not going to beat a dead horse here, so long as Carnival owns up to what happened. Pays the families of the dead huge sums of money, and takes a well earned-earnings beating for a few quarters and learns a lesson that it has to do better next time..Because as fate will have it there will almost certainly be a next timr since we don't live in a perfect world.

In the meantime, yes cruising is safe, go to the muster drills, and dont be a pain in the ass to the crew when they do the drill for you, since that person standing in front of you showing you how to dawn the vest may be the same person saving your ass.

Till next time.