As one commenter on this blog noted, and several others I talked to who actually got to the Louis Cruises website noted, the press release provided is a surprising example of poor communication. The first reference is to the tour group operator–a deflection? “…informed by a French tour leader…?” The reference to the two missing seems unconnected to the fact that the ship sank. There is no sense of shock, horror, remorse–no apology, no sense of compassion or regret for having not only ruined these people’s vacation but put them through the fright of their life–let alone what this horrible event has done to the incredibly popular cruise industry. Every person who has plans to board a ship (as I do in a few months) will ingrained in their mind that image of the bow of the ship slipping slowly beneath the waves.
And there are no details, nor any promise of more information. One person in London to contact by a cell number. Yeah, like if I want more information I will be able to get it from him.
OK, I don’t want to be too hard on people who I know are working hard and doing their best but all this is exactly why companies who have the kind of risks that cruise lines do need to prepare much better. What will be interesting in the days and weeks ahead is how cruise passengers react, what impact there will be on other cruise lines, and how the industry as a whole will deal with a disaster perhaps as significant as the Achille Lauro (spelling?) where a passenger was killed by a terrorist.
I would hope that the industry association makes it a primary mission to first of all make sure ships like this don’t run aground and sink, but when they do, their members meet today’s expectations for quality news and information.