Will 'Costa' disaster sink other cruises?

Carnival Corporation reports drop in bookings worldwide

Author: Isis Romero , Anchor, iromero@ksat.com
Published On: Feb 01 2012 02:05:11 AM CST
Cruise ship listing near Italy's Giglio Island

On Tuesday, emergency officials in Italy ended their underwater search for missing people in the capsized cruise ship, the "Costa Concordia." 

At least 17 people were killed and 15 are still missing after the ship ran aground more than two weeks ago.

As survivors of that disaster try to move forward, the question now is, will cruise lines be able to do the same?

Carnival Corporation, which owns the Costa Concordia, reports that bookings are down for the company worldwide.

Here locally, however, travelers are perhaps less unfazed by the recent disaster.

Local travel agent and owner of AJ Travel, Sandra Llewellyn, said customers are not forgoing their upcoming cruises, and are instead asking more questions prior to booking and boarding.

"We've been selling cruises for years, it's a fabulous value for the dollar," said Llewellyn. "We really have not noticed anything out of the norm, other than questions. That would be the only thing."

In addition, Llewellyn said most people realize the disaster was not likely caused by mother nature or the ship itself.

"Costa is a huge ship, well known company, and I think someone just decided he made a mistake and it affected the entire cruise," Llewellyn said.