Cruise Mishaps Not Discouraging Travelers
Lynchburg, VA-Recent mishaps on cruise ships have put the cruise industry front and center lately. And though the reputation of these floating vacations has taken a beating, travelers' expectations aren't sinking.
Travel agencies say they're selling as many cruises as ever. They admit there are customers who love cruises, and those that hate them. These recent incidents do give some people another reason to stay away from the big ships. But for cruise lovers, no matter what the mishap, they're still on board.
It's been rough sailing for the cruise ship industry lately. Engine fires leaving thousands stranded without power, an outbreak of Norovirus affecting hundreds, and a crash killing 32.
"In the big scheme of things with the number of passengers they carry and the number of ships that they have, it's so rare," said Steve Arthur, Owner of Travel Lovers in Lynchburg.
Arthur says ships sinking or losing power, are flukes, and don't affect business.
"We haven't had anybody call and want to cancel, we haven't had anyone tell us that they don't want to go on a cruise because they think it's unsafe," he said.
"It reminds me of airplane flying. The tragedies are terrible. But there's many more successes," said Joanie Smoot, who's going on a cruise soon.
The Smoot family has been following this week's events aboard the Carnival Triumph. They've been on several Carnival cruises before, and have two more coming up in the next several weeks.
"I didn't really consider those tragedies from last year when we booked our cruises this year," said Joanie."
"No reservations at all. It never enters into my mind what could happen. It's just the fun in the sun that I'm looking forward to," said John Smoot, Joanie's husband.
But their kids may have a scary scenario or two floating around in their heads.
"It doesn't have enough gas or something and it's going to slow down and then we're out in the middle of the ocean," said Jayson Smoot, John and Joanie's son.
Regardless of what's happened or what could happen, the Smoots are ready for their vacations.
"I still want to go on mine. I still want to go," said Joanie.
The Smoots are confident their trip will be mishap-free, but if something does go wrong, cruise lines will compensate passengers. In the case of the Carnival Triumph, passengers will be reimbursed the full amount of their cruise, plus a free cruise for the future, plus an extra $500 per person.