After it became obvious that airplane travel was here to stay, and that a trip to Europe could be completed in 10 hours instead of five days, the cruise line companies began to shift gears from providing transportation to providing vacations. A ship voyage was already a pleasurable experience for those with the money to buy first class tickets, and so that level of luxury was easily converted to the idea of the ship as a hotel that visited different ports.
The idea really caught on after WWII, when the cruise lines got their ships back after their wartime service. Cruises to Hawaii and South America became big business. These pleasure cruises would last up to a month, in contrast to the common three and four day cruises of today.
I’m sure you have all read how the 3100 passengers on the Carnival Triumph got an unwanted four day extension of their four day Mexican cruise. This was big news in the US, and completely overshadowed what was an even worse incident on a cruise in the Canary Islands when five crew members of the Thomson Majesty were killed during a routine lifeboat drill.
I’m not qualified to comment on the safety regulations and procedures of cruise ships, but for an industry that has people talking about the accident of the Costa Concordia over a year later, it seems to me that they have some ‘splaining to do.
Does anyone beside me remember that series on The Mickey Mouse Club where Annette took a trip to Hawaii? She went on a cruise ship and I thought it was the most fun thing ever.
Several years ago a friend and I took a cruise through the Aegean as part of an educational tour of Greece. As such, we were on a small ship which held about 600 people, and I thought *that* was big. I can’t imagine being on one of those floating towns of up to 5000 people that pass for cruise ships today. Especially now.