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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.


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