Travel agents: No effect yet from cruise debacle
The Triumph was being towed to Mobile, Alabama, Thursday amid reports of filthy conditions onboard after the ship lost power at sea due to a fire.
"As of now, cruise bookings throughout Travel Leaders Group have not been impacted and we are not seeing cancellations,'' said Kathy Gerhardt, spokeswoman for Travel Leaders, a network of independently owned and operated travel agencies in the US Gerhardt noted that the cruise industry is in the middle of "wave season,'' the six-week period each winter when cruise vacations are promoted for spring and summer travel with deals and advertising, "and our bookings to date have been very strong and robust compared to one year ago.''
Heidi Allison-Shane, a spokeswoman for CruiseCompete.com, said the website has "seen above-average quote requests as well as bookings over the last five days with very few cancellations. Prices remain the same.''
But others sounded a note of caution. "Initial reports from travel agents indicates no impact yet, but there are clear concerns that after the ship returns to Mobile and videos come out, that may turn the tide,'' said Michael Driscoll, editor of the industry newsletter Cruise Week. "No single cruise ship problem has been so vividly reported over a drawn-out period of time, other than Concordia,'' the ship that capsized off the coast of Italy in January 2012,
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