Make us your home page

Still cruising: Passengers at Tampa port eagerly board ship

TAMPA — Even as Carnival Cruise Lines continues to experience failures with its ships, families, friends and couples gathered Thursday to board a Carnival cruise in Tampa.

As the Carnival Paradise prepared to depart from the Tampa Port Authority for a four-day cruise to Cozumel, passengers were a little apprehensive but largely unafraid.

Hundreds of miles away, the cruise line began preparing to fly passengers from the Carnival Dream home after the ship lost power and got stuck in St. Maarten. It's the latest stumble by Carnival. Last month, a power failure left the Carnival Triumph stranded in the Gulf of Mexico for several days.

In Tampa, Carnival Paradise passengers Jenna White and Liza Howard said the cruise line's past missteps did not concern them partly because they've been stuck on a cruise ship before.

White, a 27-year-old social worker, and Howard, a 24-year-old elementary school teacher, were on a Carnival cruise in 2010 when they got delayed on their return to Tampa because of choppy weather and sea conditions.

Howard said they were stuck at sea from early morning until about 6 p.m. Yet the conditions were far less serious than no power or unusable toilets. The cruise staff battled boredom and offered bingo or music to try and keep passengers entertained.

"At the time, I was like, 'I just want to go home and see my dogs,'" Howard said.

Despite her experience and recent problems with Carnival cruises, White said she's not worried about troubles on this trip.

"Since something like that happened, I'm feeling like they'll be extra careful," she said.

Ruthie Soroka, 69, said she also wasn't afraid of anything happening on the cruise. Soroka, who is retired, imagines more fun in the sun with her son, grandchild and other family.

"I don't worry," Soroka said.

Russell Chernugel, a 26-year-old insurance agent, said he's heard the stories about Carnival cruises but isn't letting them deter his trip. "I have an escape route off," he said, joking.

Chernugel knows he "could get stranded at sea," but thinks "there's zero chance" that will happen.

"I'm trying not to think about it," he said.

Still cruising: Passengers at Tampa port eagerly board ship 03/14/13 [Last modified: Thursday, March 14, 2013 3:52pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Hurricane Irma thrashed Tampa Bay homes sales in September

    Real Estate

    Hurricane Irma not only downed thousands of trees throughout the Tampa Bay area: It also sent home sales plunging in September.

    This home on Tampa's Davis Islands home sold in September for $5.2 million, making it the priciest sale of the month in the Tampa Bay area.
[Courtesy of Judson Brady Photography]
  2. Florida unemployment rate drops despite huge loss of jobs

    Economic Development

    Florida lost a whopping 127,400 jobs last month as Hurricane Irma swept through, according to state figures released Friday.

    Florida's unemployment rate dropped from 4 percent in August to 3.8 percent in September. Pictured is 
Shantia Blackmon (left),from St. Petersburg, talking with Jocelyn Kelley from North Carolina at a Pinellas Schools County Job Fair in June. | [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  3. Hooper: Jean Chatzky chats about the intersection of wealth, health

    Personal Finance

    Public safety officials can readily identify a city's most dangerous intersections.

    Personal finance adviser Jean Chatzky is one of several high profile speakers on the slate for the Women's Conference of Florida in Tampa next week. [Handout photo]
  4. Trigaux: Amid wealth inequality, is middle class losing habit of giving to charities?


    In the slow economic recovery since the nasty recession a decade ago, researchers are wondering if the hard times back then broke middle class America's habit of charitable giving.

    Dr. Kiran Patel and his wife and fellow doctor Pallavi Patel rank among the most generous philanthropists in the Tampa Bay area in recent decades. Their most recent giving: a $200 million pledge, consisting of a $50 million gift to Nova Southeastern University, plus $150 million to buy and build a Nova-affiliated medical education complex in Clearwater. The Patels also have given considerable sums to the University of South Florida and area hospitals. In this 2014 photo, the couple pose for pictures on the green carpet prior to a 15th International Indian Film Academy Awards event in Tampa. [Times file photo]
  5. Tampa Bay's Top 100 Workplaces deadline extended to Nov. 17


    Think you work at one of the best places in Tampa Bay? You've got a little more time to make a pitch.

    Penny Hoarder and Gregory, Sharer & Stuart were among those at an event in Tampa last May honoring winners of the Tampa Bay Times Top Workplaces awards. Nominations are now open for this year.  
[OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]