Thursday, September 18, 2008

From the different perspectives department:

Last week, Carnival Ecstasy left Galveston as Hurricane Ike was headed toward the port. The storm caused both a change of itinerary, to stay away from it, and delayed the return, first while the storm passed and then because the port was closed due to damage. While Carnival worked to find an alternate port for the ship, it went to New Orleans and disembarked passengers who wanted to fly home, and others stayed aboard the ship and ended the odyssey yesterday when the ship arrived in Houston.

Aboard the cruise was a group of 30 from the Wichita Falls Board of Commerce and Industry. (The group does different outings and is called "Just for Fun.") With the hurricane coming only four decided to cancel.

The group has now all returned home, and Tuesday the local news media began carrying the first interviews. It's interesting how they have entirely divergent perspectives. Two articles interview different people from the group, but they have entirely different outlooks. The first was in the local newspaper, the Times Record News. The person interviewed for that one seems to have a very balanced view that understands the situation and is accepting it in a very matter-of-fact manner. The second story is from the Texomas website (an outlet from a combination of three Wichita Falls TV stations) and quotes a gentleman, part of the same group, who enjoyed the company, but isn't at all happy with the way things were handled by Carnival.

These demonstrate why you shouldn't just accept one posting on a bulletin board or one article you read as speaking for the group. (How often have you seen someone say, "Everyone was complaining about it.")

For the record, contrary to what the second article says, it is safer to take the ship out when a hurricane is approaching since it doesn't sail through the hurricane, but rather stays far away from the strongest winds. Carnival was offering full refunds to passengers who asked for them, on the day of sailing, once the storm's path toward Galveston became clear.