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Posts Tagged ‘Costa Concordia’

Will Nightmare Cruise Passengers Survive the Media?

February 14, 2013 1 comment
The absurdly named Carnival "Triumph"

The absurdly named Carnival “Triumph”

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.

Assorted Thoughts: Gas Prices, College Snobs, Cruise Ships

February 28, 2012 1 comment


Gas Prices

Yeah, they’re high and going higher.  It’s been an inescapable trend over the last several years.  Gas prices are low when the economy is reeling.  They are high when economic conditions improve.  Both sides always try to bash the party holding the White House about costly gas prices and both come up with solutions or blame that are just plain silly. 

Really want to have an effect on gas prices?  Convince one billion Chinese to stop buying cars and filling them with gas. 

Collegiate Snobbery

Rick Santorum has been getting a lot of flack from Democrats and Republicans alike for saying this:

President Obama once said he wants everybody in America to go to college.  What a snob. There are good, decent men and women who go out and work hard every day and put their skills to test that aren’t taught by some liberal college professor trying to indoctrinate them. I understand why he wants you to go to college. He wants to remake you in his image.

Foolish or crazy as a fox?   It may yet resonate with conservative blue-collar voters in Michigan.  And I’ll bet a lot of anti-Obama voters didn’t even hear the college part as much as they heard the “Obama is a snob” part, which some suggest is the GOP version of class warfare.  It may well work- in a primary.  The overall problem with this strategy, of course, is that there’s polling that finds 93% of Americans think it’s a pretty good idea to send your kids to college.

Looking Forward to that Cruise Ship Vacation

First there was the Costa Concordia incident, in which an Italian sea captain trying to show off, came too close to shore, grounded his ship and killed more than 30 passengers and then literally tried to catch a cab and run off into the good night. 

Now you have its sister ship, the Costa Allegra, adrift in the Indian Ocean.  And as if it’s not bad enough that a generator fire knocked out the engines, the radio communications and then the air conditioning, it was adrift in “Pirate Infested Waters.”   I’m not afraid to admit I hate infestations of any kind, but particularly pirate infestations.

In between the two incidents, there were several outbreaks on a number of cruise ships of the Norwalk Virus.

So….if you don’t get killed by a show-off captain, manage to avoid spending three days with a raging fever and massive intestinal distress, and escape marauding pirates in the Indian Ocean- it should be a wonderful vacation experience for all!

My memories of a cruise ship vacation were primarily the tiny, little cabins and the huge bill at the end.  In between, you eat like a depraved Roman Emperor, consuming indescribably large amounts of food in a celebration of decadent gluttony accented with pretty little ice sculptures gently melting on a buffet table of death.