The news this morning is full of stories like this one, with passengers on the Carnival Triumph calling it a “floating hell” over the past five days since a fire disabled the ship. One passenger (as of this morning) has already filed a lawsuit over the experience.
I read three or four stories in an attempt to understand exactly what was so “hellish” about this cruise. It appears to me that at their very worst, conditions on the Carnival Triumph were considerably better than conditions at their very best on the USS Long Beach, the U.S. Navy ship that I served four years on.
Now mind you, I'm not saying that I think the Carnival cruise lines are blameless (on this question I really have no idea). I believe those passengers are fully entitled to compensation for their ruined vacations.
But “hell ship”?
If conditions had really been as awful as the news reports of returning passengers imply, then there would be numerous passengers in the hospital (or the morgue). Instead, the passengers are going home, safe and sound. Uncomfortable? I'm sure. Unpleasant? Quite likely. Hellish? I don't think so.
Buck up, Americans. You're making us look like coddled sissies to the rest of the world...