Since the Concordia shipwreck, safety advances

After a bruising couple of years for the global cruise business, ship operators have emerged with a sharper focus on safety and reliability — and on setting travelers’ minds at ease.

Two years after the fatal grounding of the Costa Concordia in Italy, the industry has adopted new rules on emergency drills, ship operations and life jackets, and has introduced a “passenger bill of rights.” And Costa owner Carnival Corp., has announced massive investments in ship upgrades following the disabling fire aboard the Carnival Triumph a year ago.

“I first started cruising in 1965 and certainly I’ve not seen this level of attention and focus on safety,” said Douglas Ward, author of 2014 Berlitz Cruising and Cruise Ships. “I think all the cruise lines are definitely going in the right direction.”

Some critics say the changes are more talk than action, but cruise companies and longtime observers say the prolonged attention has led to a safer product and a greater willingness to shine a light on sensitive subjects. Everyone agrees, however, that there is more work to be done…

Since the Concordia shipwreck, safety advances Miami Herald
Survivors remember Costa Concordia disaster Stuff
Vigil marks Costa Concordia anniversary News.Com.AU

What to do if your cruise ship becomes disabled

What to do if your cruise ship becomes disabled
Fox News
This is the third Carnival ship in less than two months to experience difficulties at sea. In February, the Carnival Triumph was crippled by an onboard fire in the Gulf of Mexico, leaving passengers stranded for days while the ship was towed back to land.

What to do if your cruise ship becomes disabled
Great Land ship leaves Port of Tacoma, ‘served the community well’ News Tribune
Fourth Carnival ship faces problems NBC News
Carnival lowers financial outlook after Triumph, ‘Fun Ship’ ship issues Miami Herald
Turning Carnival’s ship around Washington Post

Carnival cruise ship to be towed after fire


CNN
(CNN) — A Carnival cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico with more than 4,200 passengers and crew will be towed to port after a weekend engine fire left it dead in the water, a cruise line official said. The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Vigorous arrived to aid the stranded ship early Monday, the Coast Guard said.

Carnival cruise ship to be towed after fire strands it in Gulf of Mexico CNN Travel
Carnival cruise ship in Gulf of Mexico to be towed after engine fire Miami Herald
Carnival cruise ship adrift off of Mexico after fire in engine room Fox News
Carnival cruise ship on emergency power after fire USA today
Carnival Cruise Ship Adrift Following Fire ABC News
Carnival cruise ship floats in Gulf of Mexico after engine fire, will be towed CNN

Survivors of the Costa Concordia disaster mark first anniversary of capsized

Baltimore Sun
Survivors of the Costa Concordia disaster marked the first anniversary of the capsized cruise ship that left 32 dead. “After a year we are still traumatized,” said Violet Morreau, a survivor from France. Survivors of the Costa Concordia disaster and relatives of the 32 people who died returned to the Italian island of Giglio on Sunday to mark one year since the luxury cruise liner capsized.A boat ferried the visitors close to where the 290-metre-long (950 ft) ship hit rocks before keeling over on its side off the Tuscan island, where it still lies now.

Survivors of the Costa Concordia disaster mark first anniversary of capsized Baltimore Sun
Lanterns lit for victims of Costa Concordia USA today
A year after Costa Concordia shipwreck, cruise industry emphasizes safety Miami Herald
Survivors mark a year since the Costa Concordia disaster BBC News
survivors and islanders mark disaster’s anniversary. A gathering in Giglio pays tribute to the 32 people who died in the Italian shipping disaster one year ago The Guardian

Costa Concordia passenger to be reunited with luggage after nine months

The Guardian
Austrian man’s suitcase washes ashore on Italian island of Elba, 17 miles from where cruise ship capsized.
Nine months after the Costa Concordia cruise ship smashed into the Tuscan island of Giglio, one passenger is finally set to get his suitcase back after it washed ashore 17 miles away on a different island, The suitcase, which was found on a beach on the island of Elba on Monday, belonged to an Austrian man who was among the 4,300 passengers and crew who fled the vessel as it capsized in shallow water in January, leaving 32 people dead.
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Royal Caribbean swings to loss

MSN Money
Royal Caribbean (RCL) swung to a loss in its second quarter, hurt by the economic turmoil in Europe and a broad industry downturn after the Costa Concordia disaster in January. The cruise line company reported a loss of $3.6 million, or 2 cents per share. “The steady drumbeat of negative news emanating out of Europe is certainly having an impact,” CEO Richard Fain said in a statement. “As a result, we are seeing pluses and minuses in the different geographical markets — North America is holding up reasonably well; Asia is a big plus; but Europe is a pretty consistent minus.
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Cruise Bookings on the Rise in 2012 Despite Costa Concordia Incident

TravelersToday
Despite the deadly crash of the Costa Concordia in January, cruise lines have seen an increase in bookings in 2012. The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) found that there has actually been an increase in cruise bookings this year. After polling travel agents, the group found that more than half of them reported an increase in cruise sales. Twenty-five percent of the travel agents said that the number of cruise booking was similar to last year.
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Concordia captain: ‘I am clear with my conscience’

msnbc.com
The Italian captain of the Costa Concordia cruise ship that capsized six months ago, killing 32 people, told TODAY he is sorry for the accident but feels not all of the blame should fall on him. In his first American television interview since the disaster occurred on Jan. 13, Francesco Schettino told NBC’s Michelle Kosinski that the disaster was a chain of unfortunate errors and possible mechanical failure. Schettino has been charged with multiple manslaughter, causing the accident and abandoning ship.
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Costa Concordia captain guided by ‘divine hand’

MiamiHerald.com
Francesco Schettino, the captain of the Costa Concordia ship which ran aground killing more than 30 people, claims a “divine hand” guided him during the disaster, preventing greater tragedy, reported Travel Mole, a British industry newsletter. In a letter explaining his version of events, published in Italy’s La Corriere della Sera newspaper, he defended his actions after the ship struck rocks and capsized off the coast of Tuscany in January.

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