There must be days when cruise ship captains envy the captains of cargo ships full of, well, who cares, as long as it can’t talk.
Because passengers who have paid for a cruise with the intent of relaxing, getting drunk or doing whatever else they please are not down with the old naval tradition of treating the captain as a supreme oceanic dictator. And increasingly, when passengers don’t get what they believe they paid for, they get mad.
Which is what happened on the Costa Europa last week. Apparently suffering from engine trouble on an Indian Ocean cruise, it missed several scheduled ports. (Is it my imagination, or has this been happening a lot lately?) Britain’s Telegraph, hewing to the national journalistic tradition of bold headlines, termed the passengers’ reaction “a mutiny.”
The mutiny sounded more like a 60s protest sit-in with chanting and, if the Telegraph’s photo is representative, bandanas. The mutineers ended up with shipboard credits of 300 euros each and a discount of 600 euros on a future cruise, which is at least more civilized than a lashing and a walk down the plank.
Much more importantly, the angry passengers started a blog to further expound on their complaints: costafailure.blogspot.com.
I wonder — if Fletcher Christian had a blog, would the mutiny on The Bounty ever have come to such a violent pass? What if he had been able to express his anger digitally, on Twitter, for example:
SailorDude: Cap’n Bligh sux. Check YouTube 4 video of latest lashing. OK GTG and swab decks again.
SailorDude: Sawdust for dinner? Again? We had that last night.
SailorDude: Can’t get to sleep Bosun’s mate snorez like a rhino.
SailorDude: @anchorsaway LOL. Can’t do that to bosun’s mate — need him to man the bosun or something.
SailorDude: CB just put crew on short rations again. I am so going to blog about this.