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In light of the horrible situation aboard the Carnival Triumph that lost power due to an engine room fire, My Vacation Lady feels that we must address the safety of cruising and a bit about the bashing that Carnival received in the media.

There is no way that we can tell you that the situation on board the ship wasn’t horrible and that it was the cruise from hell for all of the passengers.   That is certainly not our intent here.  We are thankful that while very uncomfortable, the passengers and crew were all safe during the grueling situation.  I would like to bring up a few points though, about the safety of cruising and that you can’t believe everything you’ve heard on the news about it.

In a post from the Charlotte Cruise Ships/,  Keith Cooke brings up some good points:

As most already know, a fire broke out on the Carnival Triumph on Sunday causing an engine to stop running, and therefore, all mainstream operations onboard either quit or worked in a limited capacity. The ship was delayed back to the United States by two days due to its inability to power up for five days and sail at its usual top speed of about 26 knots. Tug boats were called out to bring the massive cruise ship ashore so that passengers could be reunited with friends and family on Thursday night in Mobile, Alabama. What came with this was the constant reminder by the mainstream media that people were sleeping in urine and human waste, spoiled food and miserable conditions.

What the media has failed to tell you is that the crew worked around the clock to ensure each passenger’s safety and comfort to the best of their ability. Fortunately, nobody was seriously injured nor were there any deaths. The crew and Carnival Cruise Lines made sure that this would not happen. In fact, if you ask a lot of the passengers that were either interviewed by CNN or other television news outlets, you would find that while exhausted, that Carnival and the crew did everything they could, and that they appreciated it. Sure, there are some detractors out there, but for the most part, the safe passengers appreciated what Carnival had done for them during this unfortunate event.

You can read Keith’s full article HERE

This is an interview on Cruise Radio.  Stewart Chiron, The Cruise Guy® talks about some facts without media hype.

This is from a travel agent who was on board the ship:

And this is from an agent that was escorting 110 people on board the Triumph.

Hello – My wonderful Facebook friends. thank you so much for the thoughtful prayers and kind words. I love you and I am so truly grateful for all of your love and support.

Actually…. this event is not as “horrific” as the media is reporting. I led a group of 110 people on the carnival Triumph.. We had an abundance of food – so much – that food was being thrown away. we had grilled shrimp, steak , fresh fruit, vegetables Yes – we had long lines… but people got in line before the meal was served and waited 2 hours before it opened and 30 minutes as it was being served . I always got in line towards the end an never waited – and still was served a full wonderful hot meal. – my choice…. There was never a shortage of water. We had Juice, water and soda available to us at all times – no lines. We had coffee, tea, and hot chocolate everyday , except on sunday – when the engines caught on fire.
Monica Diaz – from Channel 8 news – was texting me when I was on board the Carnival Triumph – asking me what it was like on board….when I told her the truth – – that it was really not as bad as everyone was saying – that I was really surprised to hear about what the media was reporting. – she blew me off – saying “Welcome Home” Ha – because i was telling the truth – and not sensationalizing – what would sell. Give me a break…….I was on this ship and what I am watching on ABC is unbelievable…..

I am not defending Carnival Cruise Lines for how they handled the situation but would like to give you another side of the story.  I was not on the ship and can’t possibly know what the conditions were but the fact that 900 passengers did not have passports did complicate matters when it came to decisions that were made on whether to try to get to Progresso, Mexico or back to Mobile, Alabama.  In retrospect, could things have been worked out with immigration- of course.  But in the hours that a decision needed to be made, the ship had drifted 90 miles further away from Progresso.  As to why the passengers weren’t off loaded onto the 3 ships that came to their aid and brought food, water and supplies, again, could decisions have been made differently?  Yes, they could have but the ships that were in the area were full and the seas had 7-10 foot waves which might have caused injuries to passengers that were being transferred from the Triumph to the other ships.

Millions of passengers embark on cruise ships every year and have a wonderful vacation aboard the cruise ships that they sail.  You have less of a chance of being injured on a cruise ship that in a car.

According to Conde Nast Traveler, the 4 most common reasons for injuries at sea are due to rogue waves, storms, fires and collisions.  In the past 20 years, the cruise lines have learned a lot about cruise ship safety and keeping passengers safe during accidents.  According to the article (written last year) there were 72 fires on board ships in the last 20 years, with little injury to guests or staff.

My Vacation Lady will never try to convince our clients to take a cruise if they are not comfortable on a ship after the problems on board the Carnival Triumph but I can tell you that it will not stop me from cruising.  People always say that the cruise ships will have tons of cancellations and prices will drop.  I can tell you that My Vacation Lady has had ZERO cancellations and we have had a good number of new cruise inquiries after the news about the Triumph was released and from what we are hearing from our colleagues, few, if any, have had any cancellations of booked cruises.

We never want to put our clients in a situation that they will feel uncomfortable so if the idea of cruising doesn’t feel right to you, at this point, there are many other vacations that we can help you plan.  Our clients are our first priority and we work for you, not the cruise lines or travel suppliers.