Thursday, May 16, 2019

May 16 Royal Princess Accident Update

I thought I'd update you on what's been happening on the Royal Princess these last few days since the tragic float plane accident in Ketchikan. If you missed my previous update, you can find it here.
  • We've now finished all three ports of Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway. We have Glacier Bay coming up today, College Fjord tomorrow, and then the cruise will end in Whittier on Saturday.
  • Most guests have now returned to enjoying their time aboard and ashore. The mood of the ship has lightened as people are going about their vacation. 
  • This incident has made many stop and think about the fragility of life. For the first day or two we overheard comments reflecting those internal struggles. As our cruise has progressed, those types of conversations have diminished. As passengers continue to learn more about the latest crash findings we're finding more people shifting their conversations to highly speculative talk about the details of the accident itself.
  • I continue to avoid the news, read anything online about the accident, or engage anyone in any conversation about it. We've had to pick up and leave an area more than once to distance ourselves from inappropriate comments. I understand people grieve in different ways, but in some cases I'm seeing it as more gossip and less grieving. One of the Encouraging Words Project notes I left yesterday said spread love everywhere you go. I found those words to be difficult to live by when a lady in the elevator shared some unsolicited and insensitive comments with me about the victims. While we no longer have family members of the victims onboard, I still find some of these comments and conversations to be disrespectful to them.
  • I have received many emails from people around the world expressing kind and supportive words. I do so appreciate them. I've also heard from people who have flown with the pilots and planes involved in the accidents. While they might not be currently aboard the ship, there are many people out there whose hearts are breaking over this incident.
  • So you know, I have been contacted by the media about the accident after they discovered my blog updates. I certainly don't want to be part of any perceived hysteria or drama over another cruise ship "disaster" so I told them all basically the same thing -  I'd be more than happy to answer any questions they may have via email and they were welcome to share blog update information for their reporting, but I was not interested in being on TV or having my voice part of a newscast. That ended any interest they had in my participation. While I'm more than happy to share a factual account, if they want someone looking for their 15 minutes of fame they are looking in the wrong place.
  • And most important of all...Personnel on this ship have gone above and beyond to make guests feel safe, validated, and supported. It has been extremely difficult for ship personnel. They too are wrestling with fragility of life thoughts, yet every day they put on a brave face to make sure guest needs are met first. Kudos to their professionalism, words of wisdom, and authenticity. Please keep them in your thoughts, too. While passengers will go home and resume their regular lives, this incident will imprint on the souls of the cruise staff. 
On a side note, thank you for allowing me to share my experiences with the tragic events aboard the Royal Princess. I will continue to blog throughout my trips, but hope I won't ever have to report on something so devastating again. I do apologize for getting a bit more opinionated in this update. As much as I like to be encouraging and supportive and think you should spread love everywhere you go, I sometimes find it hard when some of those around me seem to be doing quite the opposite. 

Stay safe, stay healthy, and take care of yourselves and each other,