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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

February 20, 2013 at 7:00 AM

Regulation of cruise-ship industry

This Sunday, Feb. 10 photo, provided by Kalin Hill, of Houston, Texas, shows passengers with makeshift tents on the the deck of the Carnival Triumph cruise ship at sea in the Gulf of Mexico. KALIN HILL / AP

The Carnival Triumph is an effective warning

The reason “there are limits to how much the Coast Guard can investigate” is most likely intentional on the part of the cruise-ship operators [“Cruise-ship industry lacks central overseer, regulations,” News, Feb. 17]. They probably don’t want that kind of heavy scrutiny. They purposely keep everything at sea, to avoid having to answer to the higher standards of the U.S. governmental agencies. I’m surprised there aren’t more incidents like the Carnival Triumph.

I went on two cruises in the early 2000s — Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean — because my husband was on a gig for a major Northwest artist. Thankfully, both cruises were smooth sailing. The only real problem I noticed was the overcrowding. They book so many people on these cruises that it’s practically standing-room only just to go into one of the swimming pools, to use the fitness center or to eat something. The only time we really had full access to all those amenities was when people left the cruise ship for the various ports of call.

Even then I worried what would happen in an emergency. My husband had walking pneumonia on the first cruise, which was diagnosed right away by the ship doctor. That ship doctor took very good care of my husband, hooking him onto IVs every night and prescribing antibiotics, but couldn’t do much more than that. But if it weren’t for that shipboard doctor, I don’t know what would’ve happened to my husband.

I do know one thing, though. After the Carnival Triumph nightmare, I will never set foot on another cruise ship again. Road trips sound better and better.

–Carol Banks Weber, Edmonds

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