I‘m a poster boy for Dramamine, the motion sickness medication parceled out to seasick cruise passengers. But all the pills in the world won’t cure the made-for-TV drama that’s been unfolding at sea recently.
Exhibit #1: The Clelia II, a small ship with 88 Americans on board, which was hit by a massive storm between South America and Antarctica last week and had to return to Argentina. The video (above) says it all. It was a bumpy ride. One passenger said he thought he was about to meet his maker. “I thought this was it,” he told the Philadelphia Daily News. “I never came so close to cashing it in.”
Exhibit #2: The Brilliance of the Seas, a 2,100-passenger enroute to Alexandria, Egypt when it encountered a storm over the weekend. Passengers recalled the “horrifying” experience of water crashing through the ship’s 10th floor windows, sogging passenger quarters. Eyewitnesses describe what can best be described as total pandemonium.
Exhibit #3: This wasn’t exactly a pleasure cruise, but it’s no less tragic. A South Korean fishing boat sank in the Antarctic Ocean’s icy waters today, and 22 sailors are believed to have been killed. The incident happened in relatively calm weather about 1,400 miles south of New Zealand.
Exhibit #4: The Carnival Splendor, which was disabled after an on-board fire knocked out the electricity and hot water last month in the Pacific. Passengers reportedly went without cooked food or warm showers for three days and there were reports that they were fed Spam. In the video above, the happy passengers disembark from the ship.
What to make of these stormy-weather stories?
1. It’s not a trend. It’s winter. The weather tends to get a little rough.
2. Sure, it’ll affect bookings. A percentage of cruise passengers are wary of big waves. I’m one of them. They’ll stay on land.
3. It’s the worst time of the year for this to happen. Wave period is about to begin. Most cruise vacations are booked between now and February. But what are you gonna do? You can’t control the weather.
Are you reconsidering a cruise in light of these cruise incidents?