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By Jay Lloyd

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The recent grounding of a major cruise ship in the Mediterranean has raised some concern among getaway cruisers.

We heard a lot of references to the Titanic after seeing the dramatic images of the Costa Concordia lying like a beached whale and hearing the horror stories of dramatic rescues and narrow escapes in bone-chilling waters (see related story).

This year also marks the centennial of the sinking of the Titanic.  It makes us rethink cruising.

But passenger ship accidents are few and far between. We don’t stop flying because of a rare plane crash.  I guess we feel we need to take planes to get where we’re going. Cruise ships, we conclude, are merely “recreational.”

My last job in the United State Coast Guard was handling radio messages from rescue ships and search planes as the opulent ocean liner Andrea Doria sank off Nantucket in 1956.   (Philadelphia mayor Richardson Dilworth was one of the survivors.)

But a couple of years later I was happily voyaging between Amsterdam and New York — by sea.  At that time it was a practical means of point-to-point travel, less costly than by air.

Fond memories of the food, the music, and the companions on that voyage certainly outweighed the cautionary ones sent by the Titanic, the Andrea Doria — and now, the Concordia.

So, don’t give up the ship if you’re planning a holiday vacation.

“Jay Lloyd’s Getaway” main page


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