Terry and I discovered "cruising" 10 years ago. At that time we decided to go on a cruise to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. Daughter #1 married. Both of our other daughters were still home. One was a freshman in college and one of a high school Junior, so we took them with us. In that following ten years, I think we have gone on 6 cruises.
Over the weekend one of the Italy's Costa ships fell victim to a rebel Captain. That's about the only way I can sum it up. People lost their lives and all the rest suffered great stress and trauma that was avoidable and caused by plain ole stupidity. The course on these ships is set for a reason.
I cannot imagine what these people went through. First of all, it happened at night. Then the lights went out. From reports I've heard, passengers had not had their "ship safety talk" (is what we call it) and were first told to return to their cabins. Yes this ship's parent company is Carnival. I have sailed on Carnival and Royal Caribbean. All of these ships had that procedure done as soon as the ship sat sail. I've heard this ship had just began it's voyage and had only been under way for 3 hours. That's still early in the legal 24 hour window to do that evacuation talk and I don't know if this is their common practice. Also, passengers verify the Captain did not call to abandon ship until 45 after he knew there was trouble.
I do know I always take flashlights with us. I have taken them when we travel because I do not like getting up to go to the bathroom in the pitch black. For us, too, I read later than Terry does and he wakes up before I do, so those flashlights come in handy. The first time we cruised we chose an inside stateroom. They are the least expensive and we had 4 people sailing. That means no window - no light. It's like sleeping in a closet. In this case, the electricity was out so everyone was in the dark. (But if you do sail...take a flashlight. )
Would the lights have helped? It wouldn't hurt is what I'm thinking.
I have a hard time calling this atrocity an accident because it was such a risk taking maneuver. I'm sure it was this captain feeling invincible. We have learned he abandoned his ship before his passengers were off. There is record of the Coast guard telling him to get back on his ship to help inform them as to what what was happening on board, but, as we know, that didn't happen.
I do know these Captains are rotated through the fleet. ( From talking with a Carnival Captain) They are on duty for 6 months. They, then, on leave, and when they return, it is to a different ship. I do not know how wide spread that rotation goes. Is it just through their line or is it through the whole Carnival fleet? I would swear that guy looks familiar but Terry and Daughter #2 reminded me that most of the Captains have been Italian. Put a tall, dark and handsome man in a captain's uniform and sorry, but I was not checking for a perp line up.
Please do not let the vanity and arrogance of this captain stop you from going on a cruise. The ships are safe. It is a very economical way to vacation. You get to go to exciting places and your room comes with you. You're gourmet meals or the buffet, if that's what you choose, are included. You can be sure no captain is going to even think about varying his course now!
Happy Cruising. (And they didn't even pay me to say that!!)