I believe Holland America is also under the Carnival umbrella. We just came back from a cruise on Holland America. We have been on other cruises with them, but the first thing I noticed was a difference in the safety drill. It was done almost immediately after embarkation., as before. What they didn't do was have the passengers go to the cabin, get your life vest on, and then proceed to the lifeboat section. Instead, at the sound of the alarms (well warned) proceeded directly to the lifeboat stations indicated on your room key. They ask for silence, but didn't get it and they didn't demand it as before. There was also no roll call this time. I felt the passengers thought it was a joke. This change was probably made because either the coast guard relaxed the rules and/or passengers grumbled about it. We had a great time. It was very relaxing. I would never go during the holidays again though. Too crowded, looked like they cut back some on staff. The wait staff was literally running at dinner time.
The data recorders will no doubt show what happened, with the ship off course and such. I would wager (because I don't know) that the captain made the decision to deviate after a look at the chart and thought that the path was deep enough for his ship. However, not every rock, obstruction (wrecks) and such are charted, which is why ships are not supposed to deviate from known routes. In any case, the captain left his ship long before he should have and that is a mortal sin for an officer.
Furthermore, one look at the ship shows how much is above the waterline versus how much is below. While highly competent engineers certainly designed the ship, they took into consideration parameters that are in what I consider the "danger zone." These newer cruise ships are built to be fast and carry the maximum number of passengers with great views. Thus, all that superstructure. They also want a shallow draft to get into smaller and less developed ports. The result: reduced stability in the event of catastrophic failure. Reduced stability means the dog rolls on his back.
In my past career of sinking ships to build artificial reefs, I watched the effects of flooded compartments on all different types of ships. They turn turtle quicker than you think when there is less in the keel. The Titanic had all those heavy boilers and a deep draft and a very heavy hull, which served her passengers well as she went down. The Costa Concordia is a light hull with minimized weight to get that speed up and fuel costs down. The result is obvious.
So, while the ships are glamourous and spacious and wonders to behold, there is a price, and that price may have to be paid by passengers. It rarely happens, but when it does, oh my, quite ghastly.
Finally, having leapt from sinking vessels (intentionally), please always observe those safety drills carefully (and on airplanes, too) because it may never be needed or it might be those few moments of attention that save your life or the life of someone with you. It's hard to be careful when you're having fun, or even think about disaster when you're out there on vacation or honeymoon, but it only takes a little vigilance to take a link out of the chain of disaster and have things turn out for the better.
About six years ago we took a carnival cruise that you could embark/disembark in Aruba, there were three islands that allowed passengers to start and finish from. At the time we did comment that we were on board two days before they did the emergency drill. We thought, at the time, how odd that was as having been on two other cruises they did this within a few hours of leaving port. We thought how strange that was. Hmm, makes you not have so much confidence in the Carnival empire.
On another note, it has been written that these small cities on the water have gotten so big that there is a real concern about the safety of having so many people on board. The concerns relate to how quickly they can evacuate a ship with 4-6 thousand people on board. I think this is a valid concern.
The other noted by others is that of language-also very valid. DH loves cruising/me, not so much.
Our recent cruise on Carnival MAGIC had the drill before we left port. Thank godness, not that I think that would have made any difference on this ship as to its location/water depth etc.
i was totally impressed with the entire ship, staff, etc on our cruise.
Costa is in a heep of trouble here, which doesn't bode well for Carnival unfortunately.
God bless all that have perished, all that are helping in the town.
The captain imop will meet his maker one day.