According to the Associated Press (AP), A fire broke out in an engine room aboard the Costa Allegra earlier today (February 27) in the Indian Ocean, leaving the ship, which is a member of the same fleet as the Costa Concordia, which ran aground off the coast of Italy last month, without power and without hope of seeing land for perhaps at least another 24 hours.
Thus far, 2012 has not been kind to Carnival Cruise Lines, which owns and operates the Costa fleet – first the Costa Concordia ran aground in Italy and then just days ago (See my posting), the Costa Splendor had 22 of its passengers robbed at gunpoint while on a hike in Puerto Vallarta.
COMMENT: Costa Crociere SpA, which is owned by Carnival, reports that the "Costa Alegra," is adrift some 20 miles (12.5 kilometers) from Alphonse Island, one of the atolls in the Seychelles, a nation of islands and atolls that is a popular tourist destination.
Fortunately, Coast Guard boats and other cargo vessels are in the area if further help is needed.
Unfortunately, corporate greed has played a major role in getting the cruise-ship industry to where it is today.
Not only have ships gotten too large to safely manage voluminous passengers, but deficiencies have occurred on some ships in terms of conducting evacuation and emergency drills and increasingly, passenger density has contributed to frequent illnesses.
In the case of the "Costa Concordia,"the loss of life may well have been attributed to not adequately preparing passengers and crew members for an at-sea emergency. If anything, Carnival should have had protocols in place to prevent such a disaster.
For our readers who might be contemplating going on a cruise, I would suggest that choosing a cruise-ship should be based more on safety and security issues and the recommendations of friends who have actually taken a cruise on a particular line rather than be based on price, amenities or stateroom location.
For the benefit of our readers, I would suggest a review of the following websites: