The respected travel writer for Conde Nast Traveler magazine recently posted an article on her blog discussing her upcoming cruise in light of the Costa Concordia disaster;” Why I’m not panicking.”
She explained that her mother recently called to see if she planned to cancel her Presidents Day cruise, but Wendy’s leaving her family’s cruise vacation plans unchanged. First of all she reminds us that the chance of a fatality white driving to the pier is 1 in 7,000 while the odds of a fatality on a cruise ship are 1 in six million.
However, Wendy is taking a few extra precautions. Of course she will make certain the entire family takes part in the lifeboat drill and that they memorize the location of their life boat and muster station. She will also see that sufficient life jackets are available in her cabin for the entire family (and that they are the right size). She’ll also look on board for the location where extra life jackets are stowed for those passengers who might not have time to return to their staterooms to retrieve their jackets. Finally, she’ll bring along a little flashlight, just in case of a power failure.
Today every cruise line and every captain is now under extra scrutiny – safety standards will be elevated higher than ever. Notwithstanding, we choose our cruise lines carefully. First of all, we avoid cruise lines that broadcast every announcement in several languages. In the event of an issue, it could take some time to communicate with all the passengers. We also select those cruise lines that take safety seriously. While we dread the life boat drills, we appreciate that they take place. And we applaud those cruise lines that take roll during these drills to account for every passenger on the ship.
Finally, we’ll avoid today’s giant ships. Evacuating a 4,000-passenger vessel must be far more difficult than ships ranging in size from 200-2000 passengers. This is a subject authorities will explore in more depth in the months and years to come.
We share the sorrow of those families that have lost their loved ones on the Costa Concordia. At the same time it was heartwarming to learn about the hospitality of the residents of the little Tuscan island of Giglio who took so many passengers into their homes until they could begin their homeward journey. And we applaud the coast guard captain who commanded the irresponsible captain to reboard his sinking ship and assist with the evacuation. Vado Bordo, Cazzo!
We plan to cruise in late April through the beautiful Adriatic and the Aegean on the new Seabourn Quest. We can’t wait.