Cruise ship publicity: fuelling the flames or smoke and mirrors?

//Cruise ship publicity: fuelling the flames or smoke and mirrors?

Royal Caribbean must have been delighted that their coup in getting Mail on Sunday travel editor Frank Barrett on board Oasis of the Seas a week before the rest of the British media resulted in three lavish pages in the paper’s travel section.
The cruise line has been cranking up the publicity machine for the biggest cruise ship in the world and has been rewarded with the headline “S.S. Stupendous.” Barrett, not known as a huge fan of cruise holidays, appears to have finally woken up to the facts that many of us realised some time ago – that cruises are great fun and provide exceptional value for money.
He is pictured sitting at a grand piano in one of Oasis’s huge loft suites, and in answer to people who think that cruising is too posh or too expensive, writes: “Cruise prices generally include all meals and all entertainment. They represent one of the best all-inclusive deals in the holiday business.” Spot on, Frank. Welcome to the club at last.
But RCI will have been less pleased when they turned to the paper’s main news section, where there’s a full page story which claims that just 16 ships, burning heavy bunker fuel, will create as much pollution as all the cars in the world.
The article refers specifically to container ships, tankers and cross-channel ferries, but most cruise ships, even the newest and most efficient, use similar fuel.
The highly-charged piece concludes: “The super-ships are rogues of the high seas, operating under pollution standards long-since banished on land; warming the planet and killing its inhabitants.”
Over at the Sunday Times, their travel section ignores Oasis altogether, despite the acres of advertising space taken up in its pages by cruise companies and travel agents.
Instead it dredges up a two-week-old story about an American study which claims inadequate cleaning of public lavatories on cruise ships is responsible for the spread of norovirus, the so-called winter vomiting disease. Outbreaks of the disease at sea have to be notified, by international law, whereas outbreaks in schools, hospitals and old people’s homes, usually go unreported.
There is one simple answer – and it isn’t the anti-bacterial hand gels which are provided at hospital entrances and in cruise ship restaurants. If everyone washed their hands thoroughly after using the lavatory, the problem would be eradicated.
Right. Sunday morning gripes over. I’m off to pack for my flight to Florida and Oasis of the Seas. Be back here with more news later in the week.

By | 2009-11-22T10:45:00+00:00 22 November 2009|Cruise Gossip|1 Comment

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

One Comment

  1. Patrick Teeling 23 November 2009 at 3:36 pm - Reply

    Cap’n Greybeard – We want a DETAILED report of your experience on the Zip-line, and the method you used to clean your shorts! Best wishes cruising!

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