Never cruise again? Never say never
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]
Dear Polly Positive:
You’re right, they weren’t surviving exclusively on Spam. They had exquisite canned crab, freshly picked pop tarts and sublime hot dog salad. Oh so yummy! The mere thought of canned crab makes me want to vomit.
Speaking of vomit, the passengers were also subjected to raw sewage and biological waste. Hardly opportunities for bonding as you suggest.
It’s really interesting to read all the high and mighty comments from people who didn’t have to endure this cruise from hell. Sailing off the coast of Baja, Mexico without air conditioning isn’t anyone’s idea of fun. Claiming this was an experience of a lifetime and people will only recall the funny moments is somewhat naive, don’t you think? What’s funny about no air conditioning, inoperable toilets, smelling vomit and eating hot dogs, spam and canned crab? Nothing that I can think of.
I’ll never go on another cruise again!
Yes, it sucks that these people had a ruined cruise vacation. I’ve been watching the news reports and the follow-up stories of people who were on the ship. It will probably be a while before they cruise again, if ever.
I guess it’s like the tourists who happened to be down here when the bad hurricanes hit. Hopefully, their experience didn’t keep them from ever coming back to visit Louisiana.
Disasters and experiences like this aren’t our ideal way to spend time, but I’m glad to see the majority of passengers kept a positive spirit. I know the times I personally spent for days with no electricity, no way to flush a toilet, and eating canned vienna sausages for days isn’t something I’d choose to do, but when we look back on the experience, those of us there laugh as we tell those stories that begin with, “Remember that time……”
I’ll still cruise.
@taylorratigan As I stated in my post, I wasn’t trying to make light of what happened on that cruise ship. I know it had to be awful. I never suggested that dealing with raw sewage is an experience for bonding – what I said is that difficult times in general often are.
But my post was not directed at the people on that particular cruise anyway. It was directed at the many people who weren’t on that cruise who now say they are “never cruising again” or “never traveling again,” because of the Carnival Splendor incident. In my opinion, that’s an unreasonable position to take.
I’m not a cruiser…but I agree with you. Things go wrong when you travel – whether you are traveling budget or luxury. Whether you waited forever to take the trip or if it were spontaneous. It’s no different than life at home. Sh#@t happens.
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