OpinionWith all the problems, why would anyone take a cruise?

With all the problems, why would anyone take a cruise?

Fresh off a 5 night cruise to the Western Caribbean, I was with a few friends telling them about the great time I had onboard.  After a few minutes, one of them said to me,”With all of the problems that cruise ships are having, I could never take a cruise”.

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I responded by saying, I suppose you are walking home because who would ride in a car with all the problems that automobiles have? I pass cars and trucks that are broken down everyday on the interstate and when you listen to the traffic report on the news, there are always multiple accidents.  In fact, every 15 seconds someone dies from a car accident.

Yet I don’t know one person who even hesitate or thinks twice about getting in a car.  So why are so many people scared to take a cruise when it is one of the safest ways to vacation?

It is no secret that the media overacts anytime there is any type of problem with a cruise ship.  A few months ago when 66 passengers became sick  with the norovirus on a Royal Caribbean cruise, CNN’s top headline was “Latest setback for the cruise industry”.  When the sickness spreads in a local elementary school, does CNN consider that the “Latest setback for education”?

Ever since the Costa Concordia disaster that killed 32 passengers and crew members over 2 years ago, the mainstream media attacks the cruise industry like a flock of vultures anytime something goes wrong.  After all, bad news sells and what sells more than a broken down cruise ship floating in the Gulf of Mexico without power?

A colleague of mine was on the infamous “poop cruise” on the Carnival Triumph.  The news outlets showed video images of the passengers wearing life jackets waving frantically to the helicopter above while holding S.O.S.  signs made from bed linens.  By watching the news, you would have thought the passengers were going to die.

However, she told me that the passengers didn’t even get out their life jackets until they saw the helicopters and the cameras.  Yes, passengers were hamming it up for the media and the media bought it hook, line, and sinker.

Do problems happen on cruise ships?  Of coarse they do.  After all, ships are machines and sometimes things break down.  However, I recently read that less than 10 people died last year due to a cruise related death and CLIA estimates that over  20,000,000 people took a cruise in 2013.

That means that last year more people won the Powerball jackpot than died from a cruise related injury.

You never seem to hear about the millions and millions of passengers who have the time of their life on a cruise. You know, the 20 million where nearly everything went perfect.

That brings me back to the original question, “With all the problems, why would anyone take a cruise?”.  Of coarse, the ones that always ask this question are the ones who have never taken a cruise.  However when asked this question, here are my answers:

  • Cruising remains one of the safest ways to take a vacation.
  • Cruises will give you the most vacation for the money that you spend.
  • Any problem, even small, tends to get blown up by the mainstream media.  When was the last time a middle school made CNN for having the norovirus spread throughout the student body? Yes, it happens every week but you never hear about it.
  • The sunsets and sunrises at sea are picturesque, pretty much amazing.
  • The opportunity to try new food, without having to worry about the cost.
  • Waking up each day at sea or in a new port, knowing that you have a new adventure ahead of you for that day.
  • Quite honestly, if I wanted to be somewhere where I knew I’d be safe 100% of the time, I’d live in a cave and never come out.  Doesn’t sound like fun, does it?

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Ben Souza
Ben Souza
Ben is a world traveler who has visited 40+ countries, taken over 70 cruises. He is one of USA TODAY's experts for their 10Best Readers' Choice Awards. His writings have appeared and been cited in various media outlets such as Yahoo News, MSN, NPR, CNN, Fox, and ABC News. Ben currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio. Follow Ben on Instagram. Visit Ben Souza on Linkedin. You may email Ben at [email protected].
OpinionWith all the problems, why would anyone take a cruise?


  1. Unbelievable! First and foremost, no holidays are ever perfect! Wake up and smell the coffee! Your live is not perfect so why would you even think that your holiday would be perfect!!!! Doesn’t matter what you decide to do for your holidays i.e. hotel resort, renting a cabin in the woods, renting a boat house, cruising, renting an apartment, going camping and the list is endless…. no holiday is perfect. You need to keep an open mind and expect the unexpected. If you can go on a holiday you can purchase travel insurance. Don’t blame anyone else if you do not purchase travel insurance and life deals you a rotten hand on your holiday. Take responsibility for the decisions that you have made. First of all, be positive, don’t expect perfection because you are definitely not perfect, put a smile on that face of yours, enjoy the fact that you don’t have to go to work and you are with your family/friends, be grateful also that you can take holidays as there are a lot of people that are unable to afford taking any holidays. If you expect a perfect holiday – stay home and don’t make everyone else’s life miserable.

    • How about starting with NCL? Most cruise lines offer survey’s after your trip usually via email. You should have gotten one. If that doesn’t work, go to their site, find the ship and itinerary that you took and you can put in your personal review that way and rate your trip. Good luck!

  2. I was on the Carnival Pride April 13-20. We were told days before the cruise that the ship was having propulsion engine trouble an as a result the stop at Freeport would by canceled. It did not stop us from sailing. we had a wonderful cruise, 4 sea days, Grand Turk and .Half Moon Cay. There was a nighttime medical evacuation, leading to a late arrival at Half Moon Cay, but the time on the usland was extended. I have to say, that with the exception of three people I saw, no one complained about having a terrible time!
    The crew was delightful, the food yummy and there was plenty to do. We got 50.00 each OBC and refund of port fees and 25% off another cruise- a win-win situation! Any vacation, anywhere could have problems. You just have to go with the flow! Can’t wait for cruise 11!

  3. I have been on 18 carnival crusies, Royal Caribbean, Princess & Norwegian.And I think cruise in is the safe’s vacation you can do. I love to cruise. If I’m every on one that breaks down are has a virus on it while I am on it. I am sure that I will still cruise…..

  4. Carnival Cruise ships do not have any more problems than any other life experiences!. My husband and I traveled on the Carnival Triumph and plan another cruise on another Carnival fun ship in the Spring! Yes we traveled before the so called terrible incident. We have also been in a bad car accident which we didn’t cause. No difference in inconvenience except losing a car, a long hospital stay and a lot of pain. That is just one example. Don’t stop cruising because of a malfunction which couldn’t be helped. We got back in our and traveled every where. Come on people, stop ruining the fun for others who would absolutely love to cruise to the Islands! It is way fun!

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