Cruising for Adventure: The Carnival Triumph Fiasco

MC900022973Awash in raw sewage (as opposed to cooked?) and reeking of a foul odor, the Carnival cruise ship Triumph made the news recently when a fire shut down the ship’s power system. (It brings new meaning to the term poop deck.) The Triumph, with thousands of passengers and crew aboard, languished adrift in the Gulf of Mexico for several days. Eventually the ship was towed to port. Hoping to get first-hand accounts of misery on the ship, hordes of journalists descended on disembarking passengers.

CNN interviewed two young women who had won their cruise vacation in a contest. The young women said they had been very afraid when the fire broke out and the passengers were instructed to don their life vests and head to their lifeboat stations. The young women, while laughing and giggling about their ordeal, said that the crew got the fire extinguished and then the experience turned into an ordeal of no air conditioning, waiting in long lines for food, no showers, and boredom. (Oh the irony of vacationers taking a cruise because they don’t like camping.) The journalist asked the girls if they would be taking any more trips. One of the girls said she was leaving in a few days on a church mission trip to help the poor overseas. The girls gave a shout out to the Lord and their church.

The same CNN journalist then asked a middle-age woman if she had been afraid on the ship. The woman said that some of the passengers formed a prayer group which helped her remain unafraid. The reporter then interviewed a family about their experience on the ship. The mom and dad, as well as the children, expressed a renewed appreciation for the simple things that make life comfortable. The reporter did find one group of ladies who said the crew was great throughout the ordeal but the cruise line’s response to make things right with a refund, ground transportation, hotel accommodations, and credits for a future cruise were insufficient.

At times the profession of journalism appears unable or unwilling to differentiate between inconvenient discomfort and tragedy. Maybe I would feel different had I been aboard the Triumph turned port-o-potty. Nevertheless, was the Triumph a story worthy of media coverage? Yes, but it sure seemed like the media tried to make the story bigger than reality. (Now if Kim Kardashian had been aboard the Triumph; THAT would have been a big story.)

Adventures don’t always come our way in neatly packaged and comfortable experiences. But even messy adventures can make us better people, or highlight our flaws.

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Posted on February 20, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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