In the wake of several recent misadventures, it was announced today all major cruise lines will end their affirmative action programs, effective immediately. Leisure industry analysts say some response was expected, but the move may be too late to reduce cancellations, at least in the short term.
Investment giant Rosencrantz & Guildenstern’s Gordon Gekko summed up the challenges ahead for the cruise lines. “Sure, it doesn’t look good right at the moment, but they will get by, they will survive. Cruises remain a solid leisure destination, but they had to do something reassuring. Our marketing research shows customers are negative on death, dysentery or fire as part of the vacation experience.”
Cruise operators were quick to deny affirmative action played any role in recent incidents. According to press releases, the big ships are so technologically advanced, most of the crew is entirely unnecessary. Affirmative action has enabled passengers to interact with colorful, memorable crew members from around the world.
Behind the scenes however, insiders admit mistakes have been made. In the case of the Costa Concordia grounding, most now agree Venice gondolier to ship’s captain was probably too much too soon. Survivors of the tragedy rejected suggestions the ships steer themselves, and some were critical of Captain Schittohno’s seamanship skills.
Ethel Thayer of Golden Pond, NH said “He was steering that boat, all high on coke. He should’ve watched his speed.” Victims of other cruises voiced similar concerns, offering that while mimes are generally entertaining, they aren’t adept at extinguishing ship fires for some reason.
While industry analysts hailed the announcement as a welcome PR step, the news affects others in a more personal way. Fresno, CA truck driver Chad Davis was saddened to learn his ship’s navigator application has been rejected. “This could’ve been a whole new start for me; I hate truck driving, especially at night. Sometimes the lights are all shining on me and I can barely see. Those cruise lines have a lot of nerve, discriminating against me just because I don’t know anything about navigation. Well, there’s nothing I can do about it. Guess I’ll just keep on trucking.”