Would You Think Twice About Cruising?

February 14, 2013 | By | 56 Comments

Thought Mark
“Just wondering…. given all the dire reports from the Carnival ship this week, is it putting anyone off of cruising?” asks Cruise Critic boards member, startwin. Some version of this question echoes in many minds, from both industry and consumer bases, after any disaster: Would you get back in a car, plane, train, or in this case, cruise ship, following a a major incident?

Members who responded to our poll this January regarding whether the Costa Concordia had any effect on the way they travel, responded with an overwhelming “No”. In that same vein, it appears that cruisers won’t let the current troubles aboard Carnival Triumph affect their plans to continue cruising. “I heard people today saying they would never go on a cruise. I wouldn’t hesitate and come April am off again. Stuff happens everyday, you can’t just hide in the house and not participate. I feel bad for all those people on the Triumph and would never want to be in that situation but I’m still cruising,”  boards member sandij says.
On a similar, positive note, sapper1, a Cruise Critic member who posted about the engine fire onboard the Triumph early on, comments that “Seriously, it does give a person pause, but the law of averages will most likely protect you for a while.”

Some are rethinking their itineraries and opting for those closer to land in the event of a similar emergency. “[Regarding] the Canadian, Alaskan and several European itineraries you are close to shore for rescue so we would not think twice on those,” member sppunk says. Others are reconsidering cabins. “I think the odds of it happening are very small, but it makes me consider getting a balcony cabin. It would be a better place to hang out. After all the smoking last cruise, we decided not to get them in the future. But maybe we need to rethink,” lvz2cruz says.

Not everyone is carrying the same tune. Member vbmom87 says, “We don’t have any other cruises planned, and this is making me think hard about whether or not we would do another one.” She continues, “I think the difference between my [husband] and me and those of you on the forum, is that we don’t love cruising as much as the rest of you. If we loved it, I imagine we would not think of giving it up. We don’t stop driving because so many people are killed in car accidents, we don’t stop flying because planes crash, I am just not sure what our final decision will be, but I surely am not eager to plan another cruise right now.”

Others are simply planning on making adjustments. “[In] 2010 the first Carnival fire on the Splendor I added flashlights to my packing list, 2011 the Concordia we established an escape plan in case of any problems. First sign of trouble we were heading to our cabin to grab passports and cash that were in a water proof pouch,” neverleavingthebalcony said. “I understand going on vacation you don’t want to think anything bad will happen but life does happen and things can go wrong. This latest incident I will bring a box of plastic kitchen size bags and surgical masks just in case.”

And what of the inherent danger in planning a vacation out to sea? Member Alcarondas weighs in: “While cruise operators certainly bear great responsibility for the safety (and, to a lesser extent, the comfort) of their passengers, I think that ultimately the burden is on the passengers to fully understand and accept what they’re doing by going to sea.” He continues, “Poseidon doesn’t care if you’re Odysseus of Ithaca, or retirees from Ithaca, New York.”

“Simple answer is no, it will not put us off cruising,” SJSULIBRARIAN says.

What do you think? Would you think twice about cruising again?
Get the latest news on Triumph.
This isn’t the first engine room fire onboard a ship. Read why.
Passengers onboard Triumph talk about conditions.
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    56 Responses to “Would You Think Twice About Cruising?”

    1. Mr. Macabee
      February 14th, 2013 @ 2:20 pm

      I say cruise it till you lose it baby!

      Happy V-day everybody,


    2. MattNYC
      February 14th, 2013 @ 3:08 pm

      The only thing this does is completely reinforce my desire to never set foot on a Carnival ship.

      Is it a mere coincidence that these fires and accidents keep happening on CCL ships? All lines have had occasional issues, but this is getting ridiculous.

    3. Susan
      February 14th, 2013 @ 4:16 pm

      Just don’t understand why the lifeboats weren’t deployed at Progresso, AND right now to get into Mobile sooner. Also don’t understand why other Carnival ships couldn’t pump sewage to help with the conditions when they stopped to deliver food and water. Carnival owes those people more than $500 and another cruise.

    4. Paul Hinds
      February 14th, 2013 @ 4:26 pm

      I believe many commentators are missing the difference between the cruise industry and the TRANSPORTATION industries – including the old liners.

      These ships are being sold as destinations in themselves; basically floating resorts. The dynamics are now different. If you went to a Hilton all-inclusive resort, say in Costa Rica, and suddenly there was no power, no hot food, no working toilets and no transportation out of there you certainly would NOT expect to pay and many would demand compensation.

      The level of construction redundency and system isolation (single fire taking out 90% of power) must be higher. The procedures and demands for better dealing with minor casualty before it turns into major catastrophy must be improved. Building larger and larger mega-ship boxes with less and less margin for error must stop.

      Cruising is fun, passengers must be aware of dangers but the companies have to be held to better standards.

    5. Grace
      February 14th, 2013 @ 6:03 pm

      It is in the interests of the cruise lines, to maintain their ships and it is in our interest to choose the cruise lines which offer the safest cruises. We have cruised on Carnival and other premium lines and choose to believe ( until we learn otherwise) that this difficulty could not have been foreseen. I do believe that our chances of disaster are greater from drunk drivers than from our cruise vacations.

    6. Tom
      February 14th, 2013 @ 6:26 pm

      I was going to give Carnival a chance some day but now after these two incidents I don’t think so. But I will continue to sail with Royal, Celebrity, NCL without reluctance. For the number of cruises that sail each week serious incidents are rare.

    7. Brian
      February 14th, 2013 @ 6:28 pm

      I agree with Alcarondas’ eloquently stated opinion. “Stuff” happens. I find it disturbing that people describe this incident as “dire,” “nightmarish,” “disastrous,” etc. It reminds me of a ski trip I organized for teens one year. Heavy rains and flooding turned a 4-hour drive home into an overnight challenge. I thought the kids would never want to go anywhere with me again. Two days later they were asking when we would be going on our next trip.

    8. Lolita
      February 14th, 2013 @ 6:55 pm

      I am packed and leaving on 2.24.13.

    9. M Mil
      February 14th, 2013 @ 8:06 pm

      Live in a port city, in Florida, and yet my wife and I have never taken a cruise. Recently, we were considering doing so but this week’s incident in the gulf has made us reconsider. One thing is for sure, we won’t go on a Carnival cruise and probably won’t go on any other line either.

    10. Thelma
      February 15th, 2013 @ 2:48 pm

      I love cruising and will continue to do so. For those people who say no to Carnival, I heard last night on CNN that Carnival owns 75% of cruise ships.

    11. Mahalo Mer
      February 15th, 2013 @ 2:53 pm

      Will cruise till I can’t, but never ever on a Carnival Cruise.I have been cruising for over 30 years.

    12. CavalierX
      February 15th, 2013 @ 2:53 pm

      I wonder if the people who say “I’m never going on a cruise (again) because of this” also swear to give up traveling in cars and buses every time they see a news report of a crash.

    13. Dee
      February 15th, 2013 @ 2:54 pm

      I have two booked for Spring ’13 and Winter ’14! I will continue to cruise on my favorite cruise lines.

    14. Steven
      February 15th, 2013 @ 3:02 pm

      No way, I am booked on a Celebrity Cruise and will never stop cruising. I heard one passenger say about Alaska. If it happened up there, chances are you WOULD get help within hours, either from the CCG in Prince Rupert or the USCG in Ketchikan.

    15. Steven
      February 15th, 2013 @ 3:05 pm

      By the way, Royal Caribbean Cruise lines, OWNS Celebrity. Carnival is in a different Group than RCCL or Celebrity.

    16. stargazer9416
      February 15th, 2013 @ 3:06 pm

      We have done 13 cruises and never an issue. We also fly and swim in the ocean (sharks) I was hit by a truck on land while in my car. Cruising appears safer to me than driving.

    17. s macneill
      February 15th, 2013 @ 3:07 pm

      cruising is the way to go every once in awhile things happen and then you go on with your life you can’t let mishaps rule the day carnival cruise line see you in 2 weeks one question thought how much does the crew get in compensation ?

    18. Tina
      February 15th, 2013 @ 3:12 pm

      Booked to cruise this November and I cannot wait. Not to play down the deplorable conditions that these folks went through, but, I immediately thought of all those suffering people in 3rd world countries, that live this way all their lives and do we ever think twice of what we could and should be doing to help them? This was an “accident”…no more, no less. The crew did their absolute best to help folks and I commend them. Planes, trains, automobiles & trains….all subject to breakdowns. We cannot stop living because of them. I LOVE cruising and will continue to when I can.

    19. Gary Fox
      February 15th, 2013 @ 3:14 pm

      I’ve only been on 1 cruise and it was with Carnival, I’d and will be looking to book another cruise with Carnival in the near future feet ure.

      Things happen and every time it does people move on, I’d sooner lose electric on a cruise ship then have a mechanical issue 35,000 feet in the air.

    20. Tyler
      February 15th, 2013 @ 3:15 pm

      I have never sailed on Carnival and will not ever sail on Carnival.

    21. Deidra
      February 15th, 2013 @ 3:18 pm

      I absolutely love cruising and will continue to do so! I was just on the Triumph 2 weeks ago and we had propulsion issues, but that will not stop me!

    22. redhead726to
      February 15th, 2013 @ 3:19 pm

      Tom you do realize that two of the companies you mentioned have had fires on one of the ships. Stuff happens, I have been on over 20 cruises and would not hesitate to cruise again with any of the cruise lines.

    23. jenn
      February 15th, 2013 @ 3:20 pm

      Nope doesn’t change my mind. I already pack enough water and juices for a week for a family of 7. I always have snacks enough for @least 3a day as well since we have a diabetic with us. We also usually grab some muffins or fruit in the morning for later on. We already bring our daughters own life jackets, sanitizer, and blankets, Clorox wipes and ziplock bags. Passports and extra batteries in waterproof containers..lol we watched titanic to many times and we have a balcony. It was an unfortante accident that happened. I love cruising already got my annual one booked for december before this and doesn’t change my mind. I have not cruised carnival but this doesn’t mean I won’t

    24. iamterri
      February 15th, 2013 @ 3:28 pm

      Cruised on Carnival once and didn’t like it – ship was dirty and service was bad. Now, for sure, we won’t be sailing Carnival. One fire is an accident two is just bad maintenance.

    25. Jean Scott
      February 15th, 2013 @ 3:29 pm

      No it would not stop me from cruising. I just went in December and I am ready to go again. I love to cruise and I love Carnival! Can’t wait to book another!

    26. Barbara
      February 15th, 2013 @ 3:30 pm

      I enjoy cruising. I agree, “Stuff” happens. It can happen on any vacation so I will not rethink cruising in general or cruising on Carnival. I have cruised other lines, but for my style of cruising I prefer the amenities and atmosphere on a Carnival fun ship. Too bad I have to wait until November to cruise again.

    27. Mimi
      February 15th, 2013 @ 3:32 pm

      All travel has risks. That includes traveling across town. I have no reason to believe what happened to the Triumph is the result of negligence or malfeasance. We don’t know the problems that could have come up if the captain had tried wholesale transferring of passengers to another ship or to shore. I think any cruise line is subject to the same thing happening. I love cruising and only my pocketbook would stop me.

    28. Laurene
      February 15th, 2013 @ 3:35 pm

      Thelma, I’ve heard the same thing several times. I’ll sail again and on Carnival. I do think it would not be a bad thing to bring each ship into dry dock once a year for an over haul – ferries have to go through such an inspection. So glad no one got hurt, lost their lives and everyone is home or on their way home safely.

    29. Albina
      February 15th, 2013 @ 3:45 pm

      We have 2 transatlantic cruises coming up this year. The thought of a disaster in the middle of the Atlantic does give me cause for some concern,however I can’t think every airplane I go on will crash or every cruise ship will have a disaster.
      I think I would have more chance of having a car accident!

    30. Mike K.
      February 15th, 2013 @ 3:47 pm

      Absolutely not. Cruising on Carnival Glory next month, and already have Carnival Sunshine booked (and paid for) for 2014. Will probably pick up another shorter cruise in-between.

      There is always inherent risk for “those who go down to the sea in ships”, just as there is risk in driving to work or play. In 10 cruises, we’ve never had anything like a “disaster cruise” (did miss a port once….) If the odds do someday catch up to us, and put us in a simiar situation to those recently on the Carnival Triumph, we’ll simply suck it up, be glad that we were safe, and book anopther one as soon as possible.

    31. ANDREW H
      February 15th, 2013 @ 3:49 pm

      My friend had 3 bad experiences (BREAK DOWN-NO POWER) on ROYAL CARIBBEAN IN A ROW in a 2 year period. On ship was towed back 2 times to Baltimore. the second lasted 36hrs with no power or hot foor. The media didn’t make a big deal of that. They are machines and they break down. CARNIVAL IS GETTING A BAD RAPP FROM THE MEDIA.

    32. Marie M
      February 15th, 2013 @ 4:30 pm

      Live Life Large!

    33. Janet Goodale
      February 15th, 2013 @ 4:36 pm

      I leave in 15 days and can not wait on the Carnival Valor

    34. Andy Smithers
      February 15th, 2013 @ 4:40 pm

      No issue, will continue till i can’t do it anymore. Just not with Carnival or Costa. I will use Holland America (Carnival) if only for the unique itinerary.

    35. Laurie Dillon
      February 15th, 2013 @ 4:41 pm

      I would cruise today if I could. **** does happen and these people need to get a grip and move on. Carnival is stepping up to the plate, but I am sure the oppotunists will be there too. I heard the first law suit has been filed and I want to barf. KUDOS go out to the passengers whose comments were about the great job the staff and crew did under duress.

    36. Bill
      February 15th, 2013 @ 4:53 pm

      Going this year (#14) on Celebrity “Millie.” I feel more comfortable with the smaller (2k) ships. That said, this brings to light many problems: Cruise ships are not subject to centralized regulation like FAA–they took the 787 “Nightmare” out of service until problems fixed-this doesn’t happen with cruise industy and similar ships. From a PR perspective, all the companies need to come into the 21st social media century, have disaster communication and onboard plans, and stop pumping our spin B.S. via press conferences and CEO’s spewing canned statements.

    37. Tom
      February 15th, 2013 @ 5:03 pm

      I am leaving on a Carnival cruise next Wednesday in South America and am not hesitating in the least! I have sailed many times (including Princess, RCL, MSC, Costa [yes, on the Concordia!] and Carnival and I enjoyed the Carnival cruises the most! I feel I’m in much more danger on my daily driving commute and will not hesitate to continue cruising! It’s the best!!!

    38. Marc
      February 15th, 2013 @ 5:44 pm

      It’s true that Carnival corp has bought up a lot of formerly independent cruise lines, but I believe most of them retained their management teams and so continue to be themselves. As long as they turn a profit, they’re probably secure in their own identity.

      That said, we still love to cruise and will continue to do so: there are three cruises already booked and a fourth is contemplated.

      We live in Mexico and when friends and relatives back in the states point out the ‘dangers’ of living here, it’s always refreshing to point out that the same dangers exist in most places in the world.

    39. MYRNA KANE
      February 15th, 2013 @ 5:58 pm

      Love cruising. I just booked a trip to Scandanavia and Russia in August. We have always cruised with Princess and have never had a problem that was not handled promptly. I will not give up cruising. I do not like to fly but I do it because I love to travel and sometimes flying is the only way to get where you are going. I feel the same way about cruising. It is a great way to travel dispite occasional problems.

    40. Randy
      February 15th, 2013 @ 6:19 pm

      Thelma you shouldn’t watch CNN and really shouldn’t beleive what you hear on CNN! I have cruised on 6 trips with Carnival and personaly thhink they do a great job and maintain their ships very well. Yes they have twice as many issues with ships but thats because they own twice as many ships.

    41. Neta Platt
      February 15th, 2013 @ 6:25 pm

      We have been on over 30+ cruises and have never experienced anything like this. Most of us haven’t but then again we learned long ago that this cruise line was unreliable and have steered away from them. I was thinking during this ordeal what would they do with me. I am on 24 hour oxygen with batteries which need to be recharged every 5-6 hours and ride an electric scooter that is on batteries lasting 2-3 days. How am I gonna breath without electricity and how am I gonna get around without my scooter. Other than that we always are in a 2 bed 2 bath suite so we have the balcony covered and 2 bathrooms to use when possible. The main thing is not to panic and just roll with the flow!!! We have 3 cruises planned already and definetly will not cancel any of them because we trust NCL all the way.

    42. Jo Williams
      February 15th, 2013 @ 6:38 pm

      Going on my 15th cruise in April & already booked for next year (none on Carnival)). You have higher percentage of bodily harm by getting in your car every day. Look how many cruises & flights have no problem. When there is, it is big news & everyone knows about it. I would not have been happy on this cruise, but you make the best of things & get thru it. Traveling is an adventure!

    43. Rae Ann White
      February 15th, 2013 @ 6:38 pm

      I agree that this was not what they all asked for when they went on vacation. I feel for them especially the ones that had small children on board. I did read everywhere that the crew on board was fabulous durung the whole ordeal, but for the Mobile newscasters to keep on calling it a nightmare cruise over and over and over was ridiculous. we got that message the first 50 times you said it. I have been on 10 carnival cruises and have never had any problems and this only is going to make me bring more emergency supplies on our next cruise and we are bringing our 3 grandsons age 4, 7 and 10 years old. We will never stop cruising!!!!

    44. FRANK
      February 15th, 2013 @ 7:47 pm

      We have cruised dozens of times and have been on Carnival along with other lines. After seeing how they treat their passengers I WILL NEVER book another cruise on Carnival Scum Ships!

    45. rosietomato
      February 15th, 2013 @ 7:57 pm

      Bad things can happen on any planned vacation. Imagine being stuck somewhere after an earthquake (remember Italy or Istanbul?), tsunami (Japan), major snowstorm (New England), torrential rain with mudslides (forgot where that happened). Seriously, with 4000 people on that boat and no electricity, it certainly is a learning moment on peoples ability to adapt and survive. Inconvenienced, yes. But as far as I know, no one died from being stranded on a cruise ship for 8 days….Planning my next cruise…New Years, Brazil.

    46. JACKIE
      February 15th, 2013 @ 9:53 pm

      I have three RCCL cruises booked and one Celebrity cruise book and working on booking the Allure in May. I have taken 27 cruises RCCL in the last two years. I will gladly keep cruising.

    47. Tanya
      February 15th, 2013 @ 10:32 pm

      If I worried about what my happen I would never leave my house.The happening this last week will not keep me from cruising. I will be sailing on Carnival Pride in August and Carnival Valor in Sept. And will continue cruising.

    48. Vic
      February 15th, 2013 @ 11:44 pm

      I will cruise in Venndaan around Magellan pass, Horn Cape on March, rough waters, if something happens hazard risk is pretty much higher than the Gulf.
      If I had time I would cancel, but…no insurance, no refund, nothing, so I ll take the chance

    49. Mindy
      February 15th, 2013 @ 11:45 pm

      I was on the Splendor in Nov. 2010 when the engine room caught on fire. It was not a good experience.I knew people that just came back on a cruise the morning we were boarding and told me the ship had problems getting back. Carnival should have checked out the ship thoroughly and might have prevented this fire I was with a great group of people which really helped and the staff (workers) were phenomenal. I think Carnival needs to take a hard look at their fleet as there have been 3 major incidents in the past 2 years and casualties from the Costa.It does have me thinking whether to stay with carnival or any of their fleet and I have been on 14 cruises.

    50. Sharona
      February 16th, 2013 @ 1:53 am

      Yes, cruising is an ADVENTURE! Unfortunately, things do not always go as planned. You just have to take it in stride, & make the best of it. I empathize with the passengers on the Triumph,but I really feel sorry for the crew, & I do hope that Carnival compensates them for all their extra work.
      We have only been back from a cruise for a wk., & I am already thinking of where to go next.Would never do a Trans-Atlantic, like to be close to land, & not on the ship for days at a time.But – – We LOVE cruising,& incidents like this will not stop us from doing it in the future!!

    51. Chad
      February 16th, 2013 @ 9:04 am

      Carnival Cruise Lines owns Carnival, Holland America, Costa and Princess Cruises. Just an FYI. This incident puts a damper on the industry however, when there is a plane crash do you boycott the airline? When a vehicle crashes do you boycott the car company?? NO things happen, tragedy happens. i think carnival did a decent job with the resources they had to keep the passengers safe. I will not change my views on the Best vacation i have found for the money. I am a cruiser for life. 6 cruises and counting and im only 35 so i have alot of places to go!

    52. Roberta Gerlach
      February 16th, 2013 @ 4:24 pm

      We have cruised on RCCL, Celebrity, Princess, NCL and Carnival. We have also flown on many different airlines, ridden on trains, traveled on coaches and, obviously, in different makes of autos. There is no guarantee that “Life” won’t happen while one is in any of these conveyances. In addition, the incidence of disaster seems to be greater in many of these other vehicles. Carnival has always provided us with the best service, the most accomodating experiences and the best value. The whole cruuse line should not be condemned for a disaster it did not wish upon itself and its passengers. And the compensation package far exceeds the “loss” that many passengers experienced. Yes, a terrible and stressful experience which none of us would want to have, and yet, no one died. There seemed to be no outbreak of disease, and all will have their homes intact when they return. Tornado victims in MS cannot say that.

    53. Bella Di Makeda
      February 16th, 2013 @ 9:19 pm

      Ocean Travel, has been the major way of traveling since the beginning of time. I cannot stand the ignorant , ridiculous comments, about “Cruising” in general. People, things happen every day to every body, things that are out of our control. I am one that enjoys cruising better than flying, that doesn’t mean that I will bash the flying industry, I am very well aware that things happen all the time and can happen to us! But, since I truly, enjoy everything about cruising, I will continue to cruise and hope that things will get better and safer because of these unfortunate incidents. Hopefully the cruise industry will learn from these events, and will take action of how to take more preventative measures etc. But, with all this, I am also a firm beliver in daily prayer….so, in the end, I do my part, but the other part is up to my Boss (God)!…I will be cruising again very soon, can’t wait!

    54. Paul
      February 18th, 2013 @ 5:45 am

      I always love cruising and it will be forever. Already sailed to Bahamas and Mexico so many times and this time its ‘Alaska’. I dont bother about cruise lines. its a Cruising experience which matters most.
      Thanks to ‘Worldwinger Travel’for making my cruise journey wonderful everytime.

    55. Floretta
      February 20th, 2013 @ 4:42 pm

      I am booked on Carnival Dream April 13th and I can’t wait. Will be my 7th cruise all on Carnival. I would much rather be on a ship being towed than bobbing around in the ocean in a lifeboat. I hope I never have to experience what others did on the Triumph but if so, I’m sure I would just make the best of it. That’s how I roll (or should I say Cruise). :-)

    56. SnowBird Cruzer
      February 21st, 2013 @ 2:33 pm

      We were departing on RCCL Liberty of the Seas the Monday the Carnival Triumph situation happened. We were with 4 novice cruisers. We didn’t think twice and all had a great time.
      I’ve got an Alaskan cruise booked and 2 more cruises in the wings.
      I do wonder if there is an issue with Carnival lines though (and I’ve never sailed them yet). Unlucky? Or some lax inspections, or engine design flaws, or lack of redundancies?

      For now I’ll stick to RCCL.

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