– Avalon Myanmar – Myanmar River Cruise – April 2017
*Azamara Club Cruises – Azamara Journey – Singapore to Dubai (April 8, 2018)
* Azamara Quest – Southeast Asia and Japan (February 2015)
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? – Part I
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? Part II
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? Part III
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? Part IV
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? – Some Final Observations and Thoughts
– The Prologue to the Travelogue
– The Adventure Begins…With a Bump or Two
– Settling In Made Easy
– Luxury Touches Here, There and OK, Not, Everywhere…But There Are Lots of Them!
– Asian Flair Onboard and On Shore
– Private Tours, Israel and Conflicts in Perceptions and Perspective
Celebrity Equinox 2009 – Egypt…Impressive and Depressing
– Dining With the Captain and the Reidel Wine Seminar
– The Last Dinner (Tuscan Grille) and Disembarkation
– What Happens When A Class Act Meets Highly Discounted Cruise Fare
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part I
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part II
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part III
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part IV (Food & Wine!)
– Princess Cruises Doesn’t Treat You Like Royalty; Celebrity Cruises Does! Which is a Better Value for the Upscale Cruise Guest? Part I
– Celebrity Silhouette vs. -Royal Princess – Which Is A Better Value For The Upscale Cruise Guest? Part II: The Standard Veranda Staterooms
– Celebrity Silhouette vs. Royal Princess – Which Is A Better Value For The Upscale Cruise Guest? Part III: Treating You Right From The Start
– Celebrity Silhouette vs. Royal Princess – Which Is A Better Value For The Upscale Cruise Guest? Part IV: The Wine Lists Speak Volumes (As Do The Beverage Packages)
Regent Seven Seas Voyager – August 2017
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part I
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part II (Getting There, The Stateroom and First Impressions)
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part III (“You Can’t Teach Five Star Service” and Bonafacio, Corsica)
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part IV (Calvi, Monaco, Portofino, Porto Azzurro…and Stale Bread)
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part V (My Last Day…and How The Chef’s Team Makes It Happen)
This afternoon I walked out of a meeting in New York City with a fellow superyacht industry person discussing the now normal issues of what is the happening in world markets and BAM, it hit me in the face: A giant electronic ticker tape announcing the pirate attack on the Oceania Nautica…which happened three days ago; rendering it hardly worthy of being a headline. Then I returned to my office and found a note about an article announcing the cruise lines are reacting to the pirate attack…but then read on to see that the cruise lines are doing little different as of yet.
Blazing headlines of something that was pretty much a non-event (see below before you get upset with my characterization) and an article hinting at big changes when it actually says the cruise lines haven’t changed a thing and only a few imminent port calls in Mumbai (a totally different subject I thought) have been canceled.
For years I have seen the 2005 incident regarding the Seabourn Spirit mentioned…and mentioned…and mentioned. It was, until earlier this week, a single incident with a “news” life of three years. Why?
Seabourn just transited the Gulf of Aden, which lies between Somalia and Yemen, with absolutely no incident. Seabourn did arrange for an escort by the French Navy, which most certainly acted as a deterrent, but it, alas, was a non-event…and not reported. Why?
The Oceania Nautica just had an incident where pirates came within 300 yards of the ship. That is three (3) American football fields, to put things in perspective. It is, most certainly, worrisome, and must not be belittled, but the fact is that the Nautica is very substantially larger than the Seabourn Spirit and it did what it was supposed to do. Net result: Nothing happened. Perspective: I have received direct word from a witness on the ship that it was “all very low key on the ship”.
Now, while the media is hyping this story and repeats it with “updates” minutes apart, the reality it is not worthy of being an ongoing banner headline news story. It is a concern and it must be addressed, but not only for cruise ships, but for the entire maritime industry that plies those waters. It must also be kept in perspective that in both instances – three years apart – no passengers were injured and tactics have been put in place since the 2005 incident to not only place cruise lines on guard, but to be very proactive.
So why are there some posters on message boards like Cruise Critic pretty much ranting how they are not going to risk their lives cruising in “that” part of the world? Silly hysteria does nothing to responsibly warn of a real danger nor does it do anything to actually improve one’s safety or quality of life. But, to be fair, when the media takes a newsworthy story and then fabricates into being a”reality” that does not even arguably exist it is shameful. (It is the same media that recently told us we would have to live with US$100.00+ oil for the rest of our lives…as just one other example.)
Keeping it in perspective, performing intimate acts on a ship’s railing is more dangerous (yes, it happened on Princess). Being drunk on a cruise ship is more dangerous. Heck, I am confident walking up the gangway is more of a hazard. How about a rouge wave? Helmsman error? These things do not cause cruisers to shun cruises or cruise lines.
To the extent the hype brings awareness of potential danger to those with “idiot” stamped on their foreheads, fine. (Yes, I know, you think that is a bit strong, but how many of you actually thought of “doing it” on a ship’s railing 10 decks above the sea on a moving ship…and then actually did it?) To the extent that it brings to the cruise lines attention the need for more vigilance, fine as well.
But here, Seabourn took action after its event three years ago and Oceania did as well. Both worked. So what is the issue here?
There are bad people out there and we need to be aware of them and, when appropriate, minimize the risks they pose. But we should not buy into the hype.
The hype is not to benefit us, it is to benefit the media by having more people read or watch it, so we can be bombarded with more advertisements to sell us things with labels like, “Do not iron garment while wearing.”
Goldring Travel LLC
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