Love Boat or The Cruise from Hell


After the recent “cruise from hell” many of the people that I know have categorically stated that they will never set foot on a ship.

One can either choose to live their life or not.  One can stay in the house and have their groceries delivered and never go outside or, one can take chances by leaving their home and going and doing the things that “normal” people do, and that includes going on a cruise.

The positives of a cruise far outweigh the possible negatives.  Packing once, waking up in a new port of call most every day, having luxury food, entertainment and accommodations, without having to fool with going through the airport to get to all of the different locations.   The airport with the added security of the body scanners and awkward pat downs by people with an unknown intellect and zero sense of humor, vs. waking up in a new place every day after dinning late, seeing a show and or gambling if that is your desire.  Choice is pretty clear to me.

The simple facts are that “living” is a terminal condition.  I tell people all the time that life is not about the destination, but the journey.

One of my favorite people of this era was Steve Irwin.  He may not have lived to a ripe old age but, he lived his life!  In the 44 years that he was here I would venture to say he lived more than most of us will live in 80 years.  He lived with purpose and conviction and a moral compass that is not easily matched.  We all should be so blessed to live like that.

The cruise from hell was not really all that bad in that no one died.  Yes, people were inconvenienced but they were on their way back to port when the engine had issues.  They had done all that there was to do other than take the last leg home.  The crew was well trained and managed the situation very well from what the media reports.  The people were refunded the cost of the cruise, were given an extra $500 and a free cruise in the future.  They also have a story to tell.  While we live in a litigious society, if I were on the jury with the facts as I understand them now, I would not find for them as they signed agreements stating what their legal recourse was before they ever got on board.  I realize that this is harsh; I am sorry that they had such a bad last few days but; it is like living on the golf course, the view is nice but you end up with a few stray balls in your yard, or the occasional busted window. It is in fact the “rub of the green.”  Unless negligence can be proved, I think that they were treated fairly.

That boat makes 44 voyages a year.  1 in 44 went south and by south, I mean badly.

Now having said that, if I were on the “Concordia” I would sue as that was pure negligence.

Bad things happen.  How we manage the situation I think is a test of our character.

People are killed in accidents every day.  While airplane travel is safe, accidents happen and people die.  The simple facts are that there are risks to everything that you do.  These people were stuck on the deck, sleeping under sheets stretched out like tents, having to share a bathroom with several hundred people.  Yes that sucks but, they are alive to tell the story.  Our soldiers, our children overseas are going through many times worse situations than these folks, should they sue?

I used to travel a lot for business.  Once on a flight to California I was looking out of window and noticed fluid coming out of the wing.  I called the flight attendant and quietly showed her what I was seeing.  She thanked me and within moments the captain showed up, put his hand on my shoulder and leaned over so he could see out the window, looked at me and said nothing.  His looks were all the communication that I needed.  He patted my shoulder and quickly disappeared up the isle.  Within moments we were doing something known as “S” turns to loose altitude.  We ended up spending the day in Scottsdale at the airport while they repaired the plane.  After finally landing in California that evening, the Captain was standing in the door to the cockpit, he reached past the flight attendant by the cabin door and shook my hand as I made my way to the door and said “thank you.”  He and I and a select few; knew what had transpired that day.

I don’t know how that flight would have ended had I not called attention to the fluid coming out of the wing.  That did not stop me from flying again however.

While I would not take up motorcycle riding as I have a rather keen understanding of statistics, I would not be worried about taking a cruise or flight.

-Best to you and those that you care about.


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