Quantum of the Seas There came a point during the inaugural festivities aboard the Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas last night when I couldn’t help laughing.

The cruise line portrayed a gigantic (digital) American flag on the cruise ship’s massive screens. The crowd of travel agents, cruise bloggers, quasi-celebrities and Bon Jovi tribute band went wild.

The Royal

This week has been a public relations disaster for the cruise lines and the travel industry.

A Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) crew member from the Norwegian Pearl was gunned down in Roatan after he walked off the ship to call his wife and check on his child back in the Philippines (suspect photo below right).

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is beginning a two-day meeting today in Washington D.C. regarding the topic of passenger safety aboard cruise ships. The meeting was requested and largely organized by the Cruise Line International Association (CLIA), the trade group for the cruise lines, to showcase the cruise industry.

Participating in the meeting will

This weekend saw the epic failure of Royal Caribbean’s corporate communications department after two of its cruise ships, the Adventure of the Seas and the Navigator of the Seas, encountered difficulties returning to their respective ports. 

The Adventure of the Seas encountered propulsion problems last week and, eventually, a total failure on Saturday night,

Last week the public was transfixed on the incredible spectacle of the "parbuckling" project which, at a cost of $800,000,000 and rising, finally but successfully righted the capsized Costa Concordia in the port of Giglio.  

The major news networks offered live streaming video of the event. Social media, especially Twitter, provided non-stop, second-by-second updates

One of the interesting things about social media is that there are numerous services which track "what’s tending now." Certain applications can also track words or phrases which are dominating the news.

I like to use TweetDeck as well as Monitter to follow trends involving the cruise industry.

"Carnival cruise" has been trending all week

I have always wondered how the cruise industry PR people do it.  

They face non-stop bad cruise news. The Splendor fire. The Concordia deaths. The Allegra fire.  The Triumph fire.  Plus another 10 cruise ship fires, 50 norovirus outbreaks and more shipboard rapes than you can count in just 3 years.

Yet, the cruise

This weekend I clicked on Royal Caribbean’s website to read the cruise line president’s "Why Not?" blog which is on the cruise line website called the "Nation of Why Not." 

Royal Caribbean's Nation of Why Not?Believe it or not, I like reading what cruise line CEO’s write about.   It’s interesting to me to see the disconnect between the usually mundane things the cruise