1. Why do people take cruises?
A few weeks ago, USA Today reported that “More than 160 of 3,104 passengers on Princess Cruises’ Caribbean Princess “had fallen ill with a gastrointestinal illness that the cruise line suspected was norovirus — a highly contagious infection that causes severe vomiting and diarrhea.”
That incident, USA Today noted, came “just days after a massive outbreak of a norovirus-like illness forced an early end to a sailing of Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas.”
Yet a January 25 Associated Press story reported that the leading cruise lines trade association expects that 21.7 million people will take cruises in 2014, up from 21.3 million in 2013.
It seems that every few months the headlines are filled with stories of a cruise from hell — high-paying guests felled by illnesses or boats stalled with some mechanical failure that leaves passengers without food or even bathroom facilities. With all these stories about people marooned in these gruesome situations with literally no way out, why do millions still hop onboard?
I’d like to see a story combining market research with interviews of people who take cruises and love them, plus those who may have been scared off, that flushes out (sorry) why this still seems to be a booming industry.