The Carnival Splendor has been towed back to California after its engine fire, and the passengers are back on dry land.
I watched much of the news coverage, as I’m sure many of you did. And what I heard time and time again was, “I’m never going on a cruise again.” I have heard it from radio hosts, news anchors, my neighbors, random Walt Disney World visitors and some of the passengers on the ship.
My response: Be reasonable, people.
Any time you travel, you take risks about how things are going to go on your trip. Any of a myriad things could go wrong – car trouble, plane trouble, weather trouble, hotel trouble, lost luggage, illness, crime, and the list goes on.
But you know what? All of those things can happen to you at home, too.
Now I know you’re thinking: But Leigh, I can’t get stranded on a ship with no electricity at home. No, you can’t, but you can get “stranded” in your own home just as easily. It’s probably much more likely, actually. Over the course of my 30-ahem-something years, I have spent weeks in homes with no electricity and/or water.
I have sweated it out for six days in Florida in August with no AC after a hurricane. I have “made do” for two weeks with no water in January in Illinois, when the pipes on my street froze and burst. When a tornado struck my childhood neighborhood, we were without electricity and water for nearly a month. Not only did I survive, but when I look back on these “terrible times” now, they were great bonding experiences with my family. We remember the funny incidents that happened during them to this day.
I am not making light of the situation of these passengers. I totally understand that it was not the trip they planned, and there were all manner of unpleasantries and inconveniences. But the coverage of the situation was also overblown. (Those folks were not surviving on spam, for one.)
One of the very best things about travel is the bonding that happens with your traveling companions. You are essentially a little island unto yourselves on the trip, and it can be transformative. Those travel “disasters” that happen are things that can be looked back on later as just another adventure.
I’m not suggesting that any of the Carnival Splendor passengers would want to repeat their experience. But guess what? It would be almost statistically impossible for them to. Thousands of cruises happen every year without incident.
So, be reasonable. Don’t stop cruising. Don’t stop traveling.
[Image credit: Flickr user DVIDSHUB]