Steph Curtin, Cruise Development Manager of bonvoyage.co.uk, had the following to say about the Concordia Memorial:
“The Costa Concordia tragedy thrust the cruise industry into the media spotlight, with many saying it would be difficult for it to recover. Almost instantly safety procedures were reviewed by all of the major cruise lines and across the year they were changed where necessary, with the most notable improvement being that a muster drill must take place before the ship sails. I think the fact that cruise lines have treated the tragedy as a high priority and have re-examined and reinforced safety regulations on board has quickly helped to rebuild confidence in cruise holidays.
Many experienced cruisers would probably say it hasn’t put them off from taking a cruise but that they now have a new-found respect for safety procedures and perhaps pay more attention to them than before.
As a travel agency, I felt that we were given the right support from the cruise lines which enabled us to reassure our customers about their concerns, and they made the right decision in acting quickly and with a united front when providing information on the new safety procedures. Last year was without doubt a challenging year, for travel agents as well as the cruise lines, but I think the fact that the number of UK cruisers increased yet again last year is proof that the industry can recover and cruise holidays will continue to be popular in 2013.”