Carnival Victory: 6-year-old boy drowns in pool.

Carnival Victory in Hudson River.

Carnival Victory in Hudson River. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is always a tragedy when such a young life is taken so suddenly, but it seems even more tragic when that life is taken by something that could have easily been prevented.   The 6-year-old boy who drowned on the Carnival Victory last weekend was said to have been swimming with his older brother in the pool.  There are also reports of a parent being present at the pool at the time of the drowning.

It appears that the mainstream media is quick to jump on the band wagon of blaming Carnival Corporation for the incident because they don’t post lifeguards at their pools.  I’d like to add here that there are no cruise lines to my knowledge that post lifeguards at their pools. There are signs posted, however, that warn of swimming at your own risk and that parental supervision is advised.  (Unfortunately, in this time of frivolous and unnecessary lawsuits, we have to have signs reminding us to watch our kids and that swimming can potentially be dangerous.)

Now I’m sure you’re thinking right now that I think it’s the parents fault for not watching their kids closely enough; however, I am not placing blame on anyone, especially Carnival Corporation.  I wasn’t there, and I don’t know what the parents were doing at the time, but as the mother of two very active boys I know they can get away from me pretty quickly if I don’t stay on top of them.  Accidents can happen very quickly, and that’s just what it is: an accident.

I also know from personal experience that young kids are not always supervised at the pools.  We were on a Disney cruise and my son was punched by another boy who then ran and jumped in the pool to get away from my husband who was coming after him.  When my husband got him out of the pool and went around the pool area looking for his parents, he could not find any claiming to be his.  The boy said his parents were not there and didn’t know where they were.  When we reported it to the pool supervisor, he tried calling the boy’s room and had to leave a message for them to call him back regarding their son.  The call was never returned.

Unfortunately, this is just another incident that is going hurt the Carnival Corporation because the mainstream media is only going to focus on the fact that they didn’t have lifeguards.  My purpose for writing this post is to say that we have to stop being a society that is continually looking to blame someone else.  We are always wanting to point the finger at someone else instead of examining ourselves because we refuse to take responsibility.

How about we just focus on the fact that a little boy is gone, and his family will have to forever mourn his loss.  Let’s stop worrying about whose fault it is.

A Love For Travel is, in no way affiliated with Carnival Corporation. 

CNN Article:  Florida boy drowns on Carnival Cruise.

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Woman’s Day: Why they are Wrong about Travel Agents.

When Woman’s Day Magazine recently chose to publish an article depicting travel agents in a less-than-stellar light, they could not have predicted the backlash the travel professional community would unleash upon them.  In my own defense of this article, I wanted to write a post with yet another reason why it is in the consumer’s best interest to book their travel with a travel agent.

Recently, a client called me saying she and some friends wanted to get away over the 4th of July holiday.  She gave me a budget and said that basically the only requirement was they wanted to go to the beach somewhere.  There was one main hang up:  They would be leaving in a week!

After much discussion and sleeping on it that night, she finally decided booking two ocean-view cabins on a cruise and driving to the port would probably fit their budget the best.  I then set out in search of the best cruise for them.

They had planned to sail from New Orleans to make their drive as short as possible.  The only problem was the only cruise I could find for them sold out before I could get their cabins booked for them.  The next best cruise was from Port Canaveral, and when I called her to give her the quote she was ready to get it booked so we didn’t lose these cabins.  I made sure she knew it was in the penalty phase and that once booked they could not be cancelled.  She wanted to put both cabins on her credit card and her friends were going to pay her back.  (What a friend!)  So I got them all booked and they were good to go.

Later that evening, she called saying she didn’t know what to do because her friends were backing out on her.  They had decided that the drive to Port Canaveral was not their idea of how to start off a relaxing vacation.  I reminded her that the ship was sailing in less than a week at that point and cancelling would result in forfeiting the cruise fare.  I also suggested trying to find anybody else that might want to go in their place, but alas she could not and asked if I would call the cruise line to see if there was anything they could do.

Feeling like it was a hopeless endeavor, I again went to work for my client and called the cruise line. I spoke with a lovely young lady, explaining to her my client’s situation and asked if anything at all could be done.  She said because my host agency is in good standing with the cruise line and we book a lot of cruises with them she would be willing to work with me so we could both make the client happy.  She gave my client a few other options such as trying to move the sailing to a better date or closer port and looking to see if she could get them a good deal on air, but in the end my client just wanted to cancel the bookings all together.

I was shocked when the cruise line agent said if there wasn’t anything else she could do to keep the booking and keep the client happy she would refund the full amount of both cabins since it had just recently been booked and was booked through me.  Wow!  My client was so happy and relieved when I gave her the news.  She ended up booking a trip that all of her friends were happy with and wasn’t out the money from the cruise.

Now if I was the type of agent that was described in that Woman’s Day Magazine article I would not have been willing to work with the client the way I did.  I would have made much more commission from the cruise than I did on the trip my client ended up booking.  But you see that is not why I do this job.  Of course I want to get paid for my efforts, but the real reward is in sharing my love of travel with all of my clients and hearing their pure joy when they describe the trip they’ve taken that I booked for them.  That is when I know I have done my job well.

This client got lucky because she booked her trip through an agent.  Had she booked this on her own, I doubt very seriously that she would have had the same pleasant conversation with the cruise agent that I had.  This kind of relationship and reputation with the suppliers is just one more reason to add to the list of why it is better to book your travel with an agent.

Have you read the Woman’s Day Magazine article?  What did you think?

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