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Bitchin’ and Moanin’

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Oasis Of The Seas

I saw a news item yesterday that left me scratching my head.

In May, in the midst of a Nassau – St. Thomas – St. Martin sailing, Royal Caribbean’s Oasis Of The Seas was forced to return to Nassau to search for a missing crew member.  The focus soon shifted to the fear that the crew member had attempted suicide by jumping off the ship. The Oasis and her crew then spent an additional 12 hours with the Coast Guard searching for the missing crewman.

By the time the search had been called off, too much time had been lost for the Oasis to make its call in St. Thomas.  In compensation, Royal Caribbean offered the passengers a future cruise credit, $200 for adults and $100 for children.

Apparently, some of the passengers professed to be so traumatized by the tragedy that they couldn’t bear the thought of going on another cruise.  Instead, they countered with the suggestion that they be offered a lower on board credit as compensation.  Royal Caribbean correctly responded by reminding these passengers that the situation was not one under their control, and they had both a moral and legal obligation to adhere to the Coast Guard’s instructions.  In fairness to all passengers, the gesture of good will had to be the same for everyone.

Now here’s where I’m a bit perplexed.  A member of that crew looked into an abyss, saw no hope, and decided that taking his own life was preferable to living another day.  This is a level of despair that I can’t emotionally understand.  It is a great human tragedy.  Witnessing the search must have been heart-rending.  I can understand that some might feel, in the moment, that the association of this tragedy with cruises would preclude all thought of a future cruise.

Not so traumatized, however.  Some of the passengers still managed to manage their grief long enough to attempt to negotiate a compensation package more to their liking.  And apparently they’re still fussing and fuming about it.


Technorati Tags: cruise ship, Nassau, Oasis of th Seas, Royal Caribbean, ship board compensation

Maybe Magic Really Does Exist

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Disney Magic departs Port Canaveral for a 7-day Caribbean cruise. Photo by David T. Flaherty

It is being reported today that the crew of the Disney Magic rescued 18 Algerians stranded at sea in the early morning hours last Friday.

While sailing from Gibraltar to Barcelona, the crew of the 2400 passenger vessel heard radio communications between two other ships engaged in the search.  The Disney Magic joined the search and soon spotted the open boat.  It had lost power and had been drifting with its 18 occupants for 4 to 5 days.

The rescued passengers were taken aboard and provided with food and cabins.  The ship notified authorities in Barcelona who will coordinate their debarkation.

The Disney Wonder has also been involved in a rescue at sea.  Last year they fished a man out of the water who had jumped off the Carnival Sensation on a bet.  Does make you Wonder, doesn’t it?

At any rate, hats off to the crew of the Disney Magic.  Well done!

Technorati Tags: cruise ship, Disney Magic, rescue at sea

International Expeditions Waives Single Supplement Fee on Select 2011 Galapagos Vacations

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In another welcome announcement for single travelers, solo travelers will save $1,250 on select International Expeditions cruises to the Galapagos Islands.  The company distributed a press release today with details of the promotion.

M/V Evolution

“International Expeditions is waiving the single supplement fee on its January 7, May 27 and September 30, 2011 Galapagos Islands cruises.  On the 10-day Galapagos cruise, International Expeditions’ 32-guest yacht M/V Evolution navigates to nine captivating islands, and unlike larger vessels, is small enough to access outlying Genovesa (Tower) Island.  Genovesa features thousands of red-footed boobies, short-eared owls and storm petrels.  The ship’s pangas (landing craft) are used several times a day to go easily ashore.  Onboard, guests sail in comfort with spacious accommodations, fine cuisine and a host of amenities including an observation deck (perfect for whale watching) and canopied bar, plus complimentary snorkeling equipment, wetsuits and kayaks.

While touring, travelers visit Fernandina Island and Tagus Cove on Isabela Island.  Here, guests snorkel in crystal waters with green sea turtles, see marine iguanas and hike uphill for a stunning view of volcanic craters.  Guests also enjoy leisure time in Puerto Ayora, the largest human settlement, with ample time to browse in colorful art galleries and boutiques.

In addition to daily snorkeling and hiking through deserts, rainforests and volcanic terrain, other highlights include visiting the Charles Darwin Research Center, famous for its tortoise breeding programs; an exploration of Santiago Island, a haven for finches, doves and Galapagos hawks; and a sailing to iconic Kicker Rock.

Highly trained Galapagos naturalist guides enhance travelers’ experiences by sharing their in-depth knowledge and bringing them within inches of giant tortoises, blue-footed boobies, sea lions, penguins and other animals.

Prices for the Galapagos Islands vacations start at $4,998, and include accommodations, Galapagos tax and transit fees, all excursions, 23 meals, transfers and tips to porters and waiters for included meals.”

For information or a Galapagos Islands Cruise brochure, contact International Expeditions at 1-800-633-4734 or

Technorati Tags: Cruise line, cruise ship, Galapagos cruise, International Expeditions, single supplement