Unsettled Seas or Normal Evolution?
Written by: CruisewithMike
It’s hard to turn on, or power up any type of device or hardware that has internet connectivity; and not see something cruise or travel related these days that at least bears some impact on the Cruising Public’s perception of the state of the industry.
Everything from Somali Pirates, Airline Strikes, New Airport Security Screening Procedures, Ships being tossed about by rough seas, Cataclysmic Volcanoes, Earthquakes, and the ever daunting winter weather and holiday travel anomalies, Civil Unrest and Political Up evils, to nutty passengers and Anchors. It makes for an unsure public. Oh yeah I almost forgot about the record high unemployment, foreclosures, & business failures!
Well you should know that for even the “seasoned” cruise planners, we are seeing these events and occurrences right along with you. But here are some viewpoints, which I and some of my colleagues have been sharing over the recent months.
First, no matter how you slice it; business and life are both cyclical environments. They are evolving and ever-changing, as are the factors that feed into each of them. So as Economic Factors and Trends Rise and Fall (as each of them are interconnected and) are causematic on each other. Things will continue to happen as long as we live. Now let’s address some of the above mentioned items in more detail.
Piracy has been a simple fact of the seas since before the days of Ahab. You should know that while there have been some isolated incidents of piracy acts targeted against passenger vessels, that security protocols and measures (especially on those ships/lines that sail those risky waters) have long been in place for these ships, and that the major focus of these “seagoing bandits” are cargo and (especially) oil gloating tankers. Those (vessels) carrying very high dollar commodities that can easily be ransomed; against wealthy corporations, as opposed to near bankrupt governments and countries.
Airline Strikes are another example of the free market in action, and there is very little (really nothing) that the public at large can do to reduce those potential occurrences. Closely linked by the travel public to the Airlines are the new and ever-changing security procedures and measures being undertaken by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Actually in truth, the Airlines have very little impact or influence on the TSA and what measures they do or do not impose on the traveling public. Speaking of Public, you have more power to wield towards our elected officials in the form of complaints and voicing your opinions (to them) to try to bring about change. Since you have much more power than do the airlines themselves, you need to Let your voice be heard Travelers!!
Then there is weather and vacation snarls which often occur. The best thing you can be sure to have in place (to counter such ill effects) is good travel insurance (and to have) booked your travel with a “live agent or planner” who can be a friendly helpful voice (a “hands-on-help” in time of need). Someone who has your back; not only booking your trip, but every step along the way. For some who sought out and purchased “the lowest priced internet deal” what those folks had, was a toll-free number to call for help; only to find it jammed or shut down altogether with no real help at all. The resulting effects was in their being stranded for multiple days (full of added/unplanned expenses) before being able to get home, and back to work. Why do you think these non support provided internet service providers can sell their travel so cheap (in order to do so something has to be different). Sadly some unfortunate folks found out, that it was on the service end!
As for Civil and Political unrest, this is one area, which the travel public bears a responsibility to ensure that they are monitoring and heeding any/all State Department Warnings with regards to traveling abroad. While I continually remind clients about the needs to be aware and informed on issues that impact on those foreign destinations they are traveling to, I am always amazed at how many go and come back only to find that they never once consulted the State Department Web Site to see if there were any issues or concerns involving the area they were traveling to. So while some of our traveling counterparts are lesser informed, now you have no excuse for those lesser informed to include you! Here is the State Department website link. Another good link I am posting here is for the Center for Disease Control who also issue travel bulletins and information on destination specific health related issues. So the simplistic answer here is that the traveling public has a wealth of information at its fingertips, and one can only hope they will see fit to make use of it.
What about those instances where ships have been tossed about in rough waters, lax security measures, and engine compartment fires while sailing, or docking. While the smallest percentage of them were as a result of the sea herself, the vast majority of those occurrences can be traced to human controlled situations. Things such as a lack of adequate training, or safety measures or audits and inspection programs (above and beyond the mandatory coast guard required), and in a couple of instances there were situations where lack of prudent decision-making process had placed vessels in situations of peril and risk. I can say for certain that in those situations which involved prudent decision-making processes that the personnel concerned were immediately dealt with and corrective measures immediately put into place to prevent the risk of repeated occurrences. For those instances that involved lack of, or improper security measures, protocols, or procedures; the resulting inquiries and investigations conducted by the appropriate maritime authorities, have brought about changes not only to the affected cruise ship and lines themselves, but to the industry as a whole (that have all) benefited in seeing the recommended and required remedies, handed down as a result of these unfortunate occurrences.
Hopefully, this conversation has at least made you more informed on some of the topics mentioned here. Since the alternative would be to remain secluded in a cocoon, (which would not work well for the vast majority of us). These (and other) occurrences that we hear about are part of our world news today. Chiefly, a result of our immediate and worldwide sharing of events that occur on our instantaneous information highway. Cruise travel is both safe and fun for the entire family. Ultimately there is no reason to limit ourselves, or to not Just Get Out There, and Enjoy!
For more information on ways to reduce the risk of cruise and travel mishaps, you can contact Mike via email firstname.lastname@example.org . You can tweet (or follow) Mike at http://www.twitter.com/cruisewithmike . You can “Join” our Travel Club at http://meetup.com/Sun-Cities-Travelers-Group/ Mikes web site can be found at www.mberryhill.cruiseholidays.com . You can follow this blog (or subscribe to it) at http://www.cruisewithmike.com (or merely click on the subscribe button above to have daily delivery to your email). View all of Mikes uploaded Flickr Photo Galleries at http://www.flickr.com/photos/cruisewithmike/ . Mike also is editor of his own twice daily e-newspapaer called “The Compass Headings” you can see (or subscribe to) it free! at http://paper.li/CruisewithMike
Please feel free to leave a comment below on this articles’ contents. We are always looking for Guest Contributors and Writers, as well as ideas or suggestions to expand and improve on our content! If you found the information helpful why not include (a tweet to followers) or (share a like) with your facebook friends, that they might benefit from the information as well. Thanks For Visiting, and please come back often to this daily Blog. – Mike