Heartfelt sympathies to all the victims of the luxury Costa Cruises ship that ran aground and tilted over with 4,200 aboard.
Tragic yes. It could also be seen as symbolic.
Of what I'm not sure. Maybe you have some sort of idea.
Cruises are the corporate new age vacations. You don't have to be rich to take one, although it helps. Fresh sea air, luxury accoutrements, all you can eat and the feeling of being rich for a little while. Could you ask for more? The chance of dying on a cruise is probably less than that of getting into a car. Food poisoning is sometimes a problem but you'll most likely survive. Just always remember not to buy dope from the kids running up to you with their wares when you get off the boat at those exotic locations. It may be a set-up/shake down for the local cops to make a buck. Stuff happens.
My nephew just got married and his wife's grandmother gave them a week long cruise. They loved it except for one thing ... the on-board six dollar beers. Make sure you budget for that well in advance. Luxury with a buzz is not cheap.
Cruises are big business. The economy will decide how many of the companies survive. Although they are still riding the waves high, what would become of a bankrupt cruise ship? Oh yeah, they make good troop carriers. My father returned from Europe after WWII on the cruise ship Queen Elizabeth. Luxury it wasn't.
Interesting facts from the cruise industry:
The industry forecasted 16 million passengers in 2011, a 6.6% increase over 2010.
In 2010 a record of 15 million passengers are forecasted to have cruised, with 11.1 million originating in North America.
Of the total US population that is 25 years or older, with household earnings of $40,000+, 44.6% indicates that they have taken a cruise, with 22.7% having cruised in the past three years.
It is estimated that only 19.9% of the total US population has cruised ever and 9.9% have done so within the last three years.
Cruisers average age is 50 years of age with a household income of $109,000.
Impressive numbers if true. For how long they will hold up is anyone's guess. In a world of ever increasing disparity I won't bet on them for the long run. But what do I know?
Cruises seem to be a reflection of our materialistic society and could be looked at as an example of modern groupthink. Lemmings do like luxury.
Sea Cruise - Nothing to Lose (grin)