Ever had one of those catastrophically awful cruises -- an experience rife with lost luggage, missed port calls, stolen deck chairs and a last place finish in the hairy chest contest?
You may be the world's unluckiest cruiser, and you may have a shot at winning a (hopefully incident-free) $10,000 vacation. Travel insurance company TravelGuard is hosting a contest to seek out the world's unluckiest traveler.
Here's how it works: Entrants submit a story of 200 words or less along with an obligatory photo or video. Readers then cast their vote for their favorite story of a trip-gone-bad. Every month the top vote-getter and one randomly selected person who voted for that story win a Flip MinoHD mini-camcorder. At the end of 2010, the top vote-getter and one randomly selected voter will each win a travel voucher for a $10,000 vacation of their choosing (restrictions apply). You don't need to purchase insurance through TravelGuard to enter or vote in the contest.
Naturally, the contest is inclusive of all travel styles (not just cruising), but there are plenty of at-sea horror stories in the mix. We've read about broken legs in Honduras and $17,000 airlift bills, missed weddings due to blizzards, and a tragic accident when a ship collides with a Cuban freighter.
Here are a couple of our favorites:
Uzis and Ambulances. "Beautiful, scenic, Mazatlan, Mexico. Unforgettable! Unfortunately, those are not my memories," begins a story from Phil M. What was supposed to be a leisurely day of touring evolved into an accidental fall head first into concrete, heavily armed and confused police looking for a mugger, ambulances, and a local TV crew that arrived at the scene ... and was disappointed to find that Phil was not dead!
My ship came in, except I wasn't there! During a port call in Key West, John K. and his wife were swimming in a pool when they suddenly realized they were late for "all aboard." In a mad panic, they started running for the ship, but got separated in a crowd. John's wife made it by begging for a ride. John was not so lucky. Left ashore in flip-flops and a T-shirt, with no passport and only $50, he somehow convinced the port agent to contact the bridge and arrange for his stuff to be sent back ashore with the pilot boat. A bus and a plane got John to Mexico to meet the ship. "I'm still married," John notes.
Check out the stories on TravelGuard, and let us know if you enter your own story about that nightmare cruise experience.
--by Dan Askin, Associate Editor
Logo courtesy of TravelGuard
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Are You the World's Unluckiest Cruiser?
August 6, 2010