Cruise lines regularly entice customers with discounts early in the year in what’s called the “wave” season. This year, in unfortunate timing for the cruise industry, that coincided with the February stranding of the Carnival Triumph in the Gulf of Mexico after an engine fire knocked out ship electrical and plumbing services. For five days, 4,200 very unhappy passengers endured uncomfortable, unsanitary conditions that gave new meaning to the nautical term “poop deck.”
After that cruise nightmare, it appears some cruise deals are lingering longer into the spring, counteracting the wave of bad publicity that engulfed the Triumph. Among the deals are a 2-for-1 cruise fare deal from Seattle-based Windstar Cruises for European cruises aboard its luxury sailing yachts. Called Sail & Stay and on sale until April 27, it also includes two free nights at a hotel for before or after the cruise. (Discounted fares start around $3,000 per person for a 7-day cruise, including the free hotel stay.)
The Carnival Triumph, meanwhile, continues to be an ill-fated ship. Towed to a shipyard in Mobile, Ala., for extensive repairs after the stranding, the Triumph broke loose from its moorings Wednesday in very strong winds and drifted into a cargo ship, sustaining a large gash in the hull. In the same fierce winds, a guard shack at the shipyard was blown into the water, and one of the two guards who was in the shack was still missing Thursday morning, reported the Associated Press.