The Costa Concordia cruise ship disaster fueled not only significant coverage by international newspapers and cable news programs, but also spawned an unprecedented look at the cruise industry by part-time bloggers and recreational twitter & facebook users.
I use a Twitter application called "TweetDeck" (photo below left) where I follow certain terms like "Costa Concordia" and hashtags like #Costa to stay ahead of this latest cruise disaster story. The number of posts about the Costa crash has been phenomenal since the Friday the 13th of January disaster. There remains a steady stream of links - particularly from Italy which remains fascinated by the drama created by Captain Schettino and his spectacular destruction of the $500 million Costa cruise ship.
The coverage of the Costa incident has spilled over into larger issues.
Professional journalists and small-time bloggers have now taken a closer, and harsher, look at the cruise industry as a whole.
Recent cruise events have given the media a lot to consider. For an industry who likes to claim that disasters, deaths, crimes and sickness on cruise ships are "rare," a mind-boggling number of mishaps and bad press have placed cruise lines in an unfavorable light just this year alone.
Just take a moment and look at our archive of stories from last month here.
Multiple rapes, molestation of children, suicides, over-boards, deaths, medical malpractice, a grounding of an Italian cruise ship (not the Concordia), NBC and ABC 20/20 cruise exposes which infuriated cruise fans and travel agents, tons of bad press from the New York Times to this modest blog, plus five norovirus outbreaks in the first five weeks of the year, and you have an never ending public relations disaster for the cruise line folks.
The readership of Cruise Law News has exploded in the last month. Our motto is everything the cruise lines don't want you to know. So we know that when bad things happen on cruise ships and the industry tries to cover-everything-up, we see the most first time readers stumbling across our blog trying to find some basic facts and real insight.
The Google Analytics people tell us that over 175,000 people read over 515,000 pages of our little blog in the last 30 days.
That's a lot more people visiting us than fans of any cruise president's blog or the cruise industry's blog by a long shot.