It’s no secret that I love cruising. I talk it up as a vacation option every opportunity I get, and I’m looking forward to my next cruise just as much as my first. Sometimes things go wrong, and I have covered the infamous Norovirus here before, and I wasn’t blogging when the water pipe above our stateroom sprang a leak on Monarch of the Seas years ago.

I am not a sailor by trade or education, but I do consider myself informed in most things transportation. Cruising is certainly my preferred vacation option, but the logistics behind the ships interest me as well. I was bit by the sailing bug on the very first cruise, and things that sail captivate me, from the smallest sailboat to the largest ships whether they be a cruise liner or merchant ship. Reflecting on my curiosity about seamanship, I think the art (and the science) of navigation are the nexus of my interest. Thinking back on my flying career, the act of “flying” the airplane was fun, but the most interesting thing for me was instrument flying…navigating…and getting between two points on a map…. exploring, if you will.

With that as background, and with my very positive cruise vacation experiences in mind, I think it is important to acknowledge that sometimes bad things happen in travel, and even in cruising. While one can and should be forgiven for focusing on their vacation experience, it is worth noting that there is a lot going on behind the scenes of a technical nature on a cruise ship, the vessels are engineering marvels, and not unlike any other industrial operation, accidents happen. Wednesday, in beautiful St. Kitts, two longshoremen lost their lives as Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas was unmooring and about to depart the port. Details are a bit sketchy, and most of the news reports I’ve read do not appear to be reliable enough for me to link to here at the moment. However, something happened as the two longshoremen were assisting with the mooring lines, their boat capsized, and they did not make it. Thoughts and prayers to the families involved.

-MJ, April 5, 2014