The Agony of the Ecstasy

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The Carnival cruise ship Ecstasy, based out of Galveston, was in the news again today:

Cruise ship guests recalled Thursday their wild ride when the captain of the Carnival Ecstasy made an emergency maneuver to avoid an adrift buoy, causing the ship to list to one side.

Guests and equipment went flying, and 60 people sought treatment at the ship's infirmary after the 12:55 p.m. Wednesday incident. All passengers and crew were accounted for, Carnival Cruise Lines spokeswoman Jennifer de la Cruz said.

The ship listed for about a minute, disembarking passengers told The Daily News on Thursday.

Dictionary.com defines "list" as "to incline to one side." Well now, that doesn't sound so b...

[Dr. Neel] Shah was having lunch with his family when the incident happened. "The boat actually tilted about 35 to 40 degrees so we could actually see water rising up to the windows of the eighth floor," Shah said. "As soon as the boat tilted, everyone started screaming, there was glass flying everywhere. People fell on the floor."

Whoa. That's totally Poseidon Adventure, and not the crappy remake either.

Thing is, this isn't the first time the Ecstasy has made headlines.

First, in July of 1998, the freaking thing caught fire, with some passengers claiming the crew was slow to react to the blaze, thought to have been caused by a welding torch in a laundry room. Because when I have a little welding to do, I always do it around as much flammable lint as possible.

Then there was the matter of those nude cruises in early 2003.The less said about those, the better. Please seek out a licensed sensitivity trainer.

Closer to my heart was the so-called "cruise to nowhere," which my wife and I were actually on. The propulsion system failed on the way back from Cozumel, and it took the ship an extra 12 hours to make port. Even worse, the Ecstasy boarded a new shipload of passengers and departed almost immediately after we disembarked. The ship ended up limping into Progreso, Mexico for repairs before returning ignominiously to Galveston.

And some pointed to an injury aboard the Ecstasy in 2005 as an example of the dicey nature of shipboard health care.

And now, a runaway buoy. I'm not superstitious, but looking at the ship's history, maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea to see if Father Karras is making house calls.

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