Wreck in Italy doesn't slow cruise sales

Posted February 3, 2012
Updated February 4, 2012

The deadly wreck of the Costa Concordia off the Italian island of Giglio is not keeping Triangle travelers off the high seas. Although Carnival Cruise Lines, the Concordia's parent company, reported a recent 15 percent dip in bookings, other lines are expecting to see another boom in 2012.

According to AAA Carolinas, about 15 million people took cruises in 2010 and that number is expected to be even larger once 2011 figures are totaled. 

Early spring is the prime season for travelers to consider a cruise, said Jodi Woolard, of AAA Vacations. "There are five leisure agents here in this office, and I would say, average, at least 20 cruises booked last month for each of them," she said.

Ann, a traveler who did not want to give her last name, is planning a Mediterranean cruise to celebrate 30 years of marriage. She said the recent wreck never swayed her plans. 

"I wouldn't let one bad experience that (was) someone's negligence keep me from all the wonderful cruises that are out there to go on," she said. 

Anne, who was hoping the recent bad news for the industry would mean a deal for her, was disappointed. "No bargains to be found, I've looked," she said.

Ultimately, cruising will be better as a result of lessons learned. "If you really think about it now, all the cruise lines are going to be under more scrutiny," Woolard said.

She advised bargain-hunters to book early, saying last-minute cruise deals are no longer the best bet.


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