Good morning, Netizens...
In my generation, vacations consisted of pouring members of the family into the family transportation, complete with various snacks, books and other entertainments and facing the long drive to wherever the family collective was heading. This itinerary was, of course, subject to kids getting sick, car breakdowns and other unplanned events, such as losing your transmission midway across the state of Idaho and spending an entire day sitting in a repair shop's musty-smelling waiting room getting frustrated.
Of course occasionally breakdowns had unexpected benefits, such as that tiny city park where we frolicked among the trees next to a quietly mumbling creek bed and eating makeshift picnic fare. Or the time later in life during a latter-day van breakdown, we met a traveling salesman and his wife who were simply taking a break from the road, and kept us both in stitches with some of their ribald tales of life along the road.
However, despite all the purported wonderful benefits of an ocean-going cruise, nothing would tempt me to climb aboard one of Carnival Cruise Line's monstrous ships for a cruise to the great unknown. They keep breaking down! As you may recall an engine fire last month crippled another Carnival ship, the Carnival Triumph, leaving 4,200 people stranded for five days without working toilets or power in the middle of the ocean. People were pissed, and perhaps rightfully so, since most of the toilets on board the Triumph had stopped working for five days, resulting in people being forced to use ad hoc porta-potties. Carnival's offer of ticket refunds (with a complimentary ticket for additional cruises) simply would not do.
Now we have two more broken-down Carnival Cruise Line ships hitting the news waves.
However, in searching the airwaves for potential cures to their onboard woes, I think I just heard the cure. Someone in London, England has discovered the violin once played onboard the Titanic in a closet. Dancing with the Stars Host Tom Bergeran is quoted as saying they should save that violin and play it on all Carnival Cruise Line ships. The alternative would be to provide all Carnival passengers with personal rowboats with oars and a five day supply of Depends and a bucket.
I think I'll stick with the cross-country trip with somewhat predictable breakdowns in roadside parks.
Of course, your thoughts and wishes may differ.