February 19, 2013

Tough Ship - By: Dobie Maxwell

The cruise ship "Triumph" being towed back to port.
Carnival Cruise Lines is in a delicate P.R. situation and I’m sad to hear it. Their ship "Triumph" apparently had an engine fire that disabled everything onboard and passengers have been living a nightmare for the past few days. I’m hearing all kinds of horror stories about raw sewage backed up in the hallways and running out of food, and it makes me glad I’m not still doing cruise ships.

I worked for Carnival in 2010 and 2011 and was booked on that very ship. I had fun on that run and especially liked the cruise director. He was a total people person and we got along great. I’m not sure if it’s still the same person, but I’m sending positive vibes to no matter who’s in charge.

One can only imagine how hellacious that gig must be right about now, and if it was me I think I’d have jumped off the back of the boat about two days into it to swim home. To Chicago. What a mess, and unfortunately it will tarnish both Carnival and cruising in general’s reputation with at least a percentage of the ticket buying public for a long time to come. This is not good publicity.

Unfortunately, it’s a numbers game. Carnival had 22 ships when I worked there, and may have a few more now for all I know. I was absolutely amazed at how efficiently those ships operated, and I would estimate I worked on at least a dozen during my run. They’ve got the system down.

I was blown away by how they cranked things out, but still took care of business. They loaded and unloaded passengers with surgical precision, but safety was never overlooked in the mix. My personal safety was never a concern in all the time I worked for them, and I’d work there again.

This is the equivalent of a plane crash causing people to not want to fly. Yes they suck out loud if you happen to be aboard one of the crashing planes, but it’s still a safe bet to fly just because in the grand scheme plane crashes are extremely rare. More people die in car wrecks than in planes.

I’m not making excuses, and I still feel bad for everyone who had to go through this horror. It’s not fun I’m sure, and there are two comedians on board who will probably never have a desire to work a cruise ship again. I’m surprised it didn’t happen to Mr. Lucky, but I’m not sad I missed it.

I am sad that this will linger in people’s minds or a long time. The thousands of cruises that are glitch free go unglorified because that’s how they’re supposed to go. ONE didn’t, and it’s putting a negative image of the company and the business in people’s minds that will make a much more lasting impression than 100 commercials singing the praises of cruising. That’s how life works.

McDonald’s sells oceans full of coffee every day without a hitch, but one idiot dumps a cup of it in her crotch and sues and it’s all over the news. It only takes a single incident out of thousands to change the minds of the masses, and that’s just not fair. But again, whoever said life was fair?

Carnival has a fleet of other ships that aren’t having any problems, but this one is getting major coverage on every network. I’ve got my own problems to look after, but this was an incident that caught my attention. This could happen to anyone in one way or another, and nobody is immune.

Special Guest Contributing Writer
Dobie Maxwell


Dobie is a nationally touring, award-winning comedian and has worked with such notable comedians as Jay Leno, Jeff Foxworthy, Jerry Seinfeld, Robin Williams, Tim Allen, Drew Carey, Andrew "Dice" Clay, Richard Pryor, Sam Kinison, Dennis Miller, Chris Rock, and many others.