Reflections and Perceptions

Greetings friends and family,

The rest of the story, despite what you may have read, goes like this.

I have yet to receive my luggage, house and car keys, white linen clothes and beautiful long white silk shirt … And more. I say ” it’s still on the ship”, like, it’s on the cruise even though I came home. Lol

I don’t want to understate the deep sadness of the loss of life of the men who worked on the Insignia that day when I saw her last. I am so sorry for the families and friends, co workers and the world … That this loss of human life surely is. A sad story.

I do want to say that for passengers, travellers and by-standers, we all have a choice as to how we perceive any given circumstance. I have heard, read about and been questioned on how it was the day of the fire on our fine cruise ship, and subsequently.

My story is this. Oceania cruises is a hero. I knew it, since I cruised with them four years ago. I feel it more strongly now. They treat their guests with extra special care.

I watched crew and staff try to give passengers that which they asked for … To get on the ship, to get off the ship, for medications and other items from the ship. I witnessed the emergency whistle and sounds the day we were all removed from the ship.

The staff and crew needed to be free to do what they must in an emergency, what they have practiced and drilled to do. Go to their stations and follow the direction of the very well trained and experienced ship officials. Once the needs of the passengers are met there are other chores to be completed.

Should the fire have happened when we were out at sea, or, should we have been a much bigger vessel with thousands of passengers instead of only six hundred and fifty, the story might have been very different in the telling.

I am, we all are, fortunate that our experience was as it was: Plenty of updates as details changed, extra bottles of water and fresh fruit provided, bathroom facilities and snacks for those wanting something to eat; The president of the company flew to the airport to greet us all as we boarded and flew to Miami; Oceania representatives were out in full force at the Miami airport and hotels as we arrived there. It was done for us. No need to ask … Everything was provided. Well rehearsed and carried out in our time of need.

I can’t say enough about the treatment I personally have received from this cruiseline. I will never hesitate to travel with them and recommend others to do the same.

As a travel agent I need to know I can confidently offer the best product there is to people who trust me with their hard earned vacation dollars. It is my ‘job’ to ensure I make the best suggestions and not to disappoint or mislead.

I escorted a group of 8 women, including myself, to the Caribbean. Some had never cruised before. Many people I would meet on this trip I had never met previously. I feel they all came home with a little taste of why Oceania is a cruise above the rest.

My “perspective” in the time of crisis and also, on a daily basis, was to offer my skills and strengths to as many people as possible. That day and evening, I walked around offering my positive thoughts, my phrases of well wishing and comments of how people were doing so well.

We all had and continue to have the same choice to make every day, and each precious moment within each day.

I called the cruiseline when I got safely home to thank them and offer some assistance with regard to how my luggage will be sent to me and my travel partner.

I tell everyone I talk to about the great job the crew and staff did to ensure my comfort and care.

I want you, my friends and family, to know the truth, despite what you might read to the contrary.

Thanks for reading and believing that travel dreams do come true.

Happiest of holidays,

Pamela

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