Will Nightmare Cruise Passengers Survive the Media?
CNN is taking no prisoners. A breathless anchorwoman just told me the Cable News Network is covering the arrival of the crippled Carnival cruise ship, Triumph, by sea, air and land. A CNN-chartered helicopter is flying over the vessel. I assume there’s a rented CNN boat. And of course CNN and six billion other news organizations will be awaiting the poor passengers when the cruise from hell finally comes to an end in Mobile, Alabama.
Imagine surviving the heat, the cold, the darkness, the onion sandwiches for a week after the ship’s engine blew and now you have to swat away microphones like they were a swarm of aggressive gnats.
There will, of course, be the award-winning journalism taking the form of unique questions like: “Excuse me, sir, how did you survive the urine-soaked mattresses?” “What’s it like to do #2 into a plastic bag?” “How would you describe the smell, kind of like sewage and rotten food?”
For some reason that escapes Mobile, Alabama Mayor, Sam Jones, Carnival has rented 1,200 hotel rooms in New Orleans for the exhausted passengers- readying buses that will cart them for two hours so they can spend one night and then board an airplane that will take them to Houston/Galveston, where this trip from hell started. Mayor Jones points out that Mobile has hotel rooms too and they only take five minutes to reach.
And isn’t it just a tiny bit ironic that after spending a week smelling that much sewage, that you’d end up on Bourbon street which has its own unique aroma following the Fat Tuesday celebrations of just 48 hours ago?
While I would not wish this past week aboard the Carnival Triumph on even my most dreaded enemies, I do have to point out that these folks did avoid a fate that befell 32 passengers of the Costa Concordia, another infamous cruise trip from hell- nobody died.
Anyway, there’s this great scene in the movie adapted from the John Irving novel, “The World According to Garp,” in which Garp, played by Robin Williams, is house-hunting with his wife. They watch incredulously as a small plane crashes right into the roof of the house they’re visiting. Garp turns to his wife and announces they’re buying the house. As she looks at him with a disbelieving face, he says- “What are the chances that is EVER going to happen again?”
Armed with that basic philosophy, I’m seriously thinking about taking a cruise. I’m thinking there’s bound to be an industry-wide slash in fares and what are the odds there’s going to be another cruise ship incident in the next week or two? I mean what are the odds another engine will blow, or another cruise ship captain will ground a vessel or that the Norwalk virus will spread like wildfire from cramped cabin to cramped cabin?
On second thought, my comfy couch and the next episode of Downton Abbey is looking like a much safer bet.