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In My Opinion… The Cruise Ship Disaster

My first job out of college was on a cruise ship.  I was hired as part of the Sports Staff team with Royal Caribbean International.  It was awesome! I got paid to travel, I got paid to play sports on a ship, and I got to see so many beautiful parts of this world.  In light of the fact that I was an employee with a cruise ship company I do have a unique perspective on the recent disaster onboard Carnival Cruises this last week.

First, it’s easy to be in an uproar about the length of time the 4,000 passengers had to stay put in unsanitary conditions.  We’re America, this is the 21st century, we’ve put men on the moon…how could we not save these individuals from the ship sooner?  Well, it’s easy to point the finger safely from your living room, but when you are the captain of a ship responsible for the lives of 4,000 people, able-bodied and disabled alike, you think twice before sending them down a safety slide over the ocean.  In pictures and on TV these ships look toy-like, but in real-life they are literally floating skyscrapers thousands of feet long.  Let’s not forget that this ship had absolutely no power so there was no control over it’s direction.  You want to pull up a rescue ship equal in size next to an un-powered floating skyscraper and hope that no-one gets hurt or dies?  Especially when all you have to do is sit and wait and everyone will be just fine?  In my opinion, I would sit and wait and put up with the complaints.

Second, these 4,000 people lived in unsanitary conditions for four days.  I can empathize with that.  Gross.  Seriously, what a horrible way to end a vacation.  But (yes, of course there’s a but), let’s thank our lucky stars that we are from America.  That we can go home to a shower, clean water, food, and have access to advanced medical care.  What about the millions of children all over the world that LIVE in unsanitary conditions every day of their life?  I heard that Carnival is giving each passenger $500 as emotional compensation.  I would challenge the entire guest list to take their experience and put it into perspective of those lives all over the world that have the unfortunately circumstances of living in unsanitary quarters every day, and then take that $500 and donate it to a charity, like Compassion International, where they can SAVE a child from those same conditions for a whole YEAR!

I’m not trying to get on my soapbox here, but when we step back and take into account that our lives are really great, that we are truly blessed, then we have the opportunity and choice to take our unfortunate experiences and do something good with them.  I would ecstatic if even a third of those passengers, and half of the audience watching in horror, would be able to consider those that live among urine and feces all the time, and then do something about it.

That’s just my opinion.


  • by ashleyk
  • posted at 9:53 AM
  • February 15, 2013