Well there certainly is a lot to talk about this time. Firstly this website was hacked. To quote my webmaster the following happened
A delightful organized Terrorist Hacker Group called The Great Team out of Libya targeted your site because of its Jewish and Israeli association and because it is on wordpress. WordPress is the favorite platform for hackers since it’s so common. They hacked through the security we already had in place on your site and got access to yours and all of our other hosted sites…it’s been a fun few days working through the mess they made for us – b****rds!
My thanks to Deborah Stotland for getting the website up and running again.
More importantly is the terrible accident that occurred to the Costa Concordia. It is becoming more apparent everyday that the captain was to blame. I have catered on many cruises on many different cruise lines including Costa. I have believed for many years that the cruise ships are much too large. This doesn’t mean that the size makes them unsafe. I feel and know from experience that the crew is insufficiently experienced to deal in an emergency. Let me give u an example. We were leaving Civitecchia, the same port that the ill-fated Costa ship left from and we were on our way to Malta. At about 11pm the general emergency alarm sounded. I was in my cabin having just left the kosher galley. I thought it was a false alarm straight away as no announcements were made over the PA system. Five minutes later the general alarm system went off again. Still no announcements. I watched the television and there were just the regular programs. At about midnight I went to bed. At half past one the Captain came on the PA and thanked everybody who had come to their muster stations and that they should return to their cabins.
The next morning we were in port. I was at the Hotel Managers daily 10.00 a.m. meeting when the general emergency alarm sounded. The Hotel manager phoned the bridge but there was no response. The HM said quickly get everybody to their emergency stations as the captain is doing a test. I ran to my galley where my staff was happily cooking away.
I told them to quickly get to their stations, which, of course, they did.
Later I was to find out that the night before when the GEA was sounded some of the crew instead of helping to shepherd the passengers, ran to their cabins, took their money and ran to their boat stations. After the Captain completed the test on the day after the fiasco he took all the crew and staff into the theatre and read them the riot act.
Nobody can tell how any of us would act in a situation such as occurred on the Costa Concordia, but the Chef who was onboard with us on the aforementioned cruise told me that he trusted none of the crew to react the way they were trained. It was up to the officers to ensure that procedures are carried out correctly. It all comes from the top and unfortunately on the Costa ship the man literally at the helm failed on every count.
My son was with me on a Costa ship acting as Mashgiach (kashrut supervisor); he went to the boat drill. Later he told me that the announcements were made in 7 languages. “If we had to wait for the announcement to come in English the ship would already have floundered” How prescient he was.
As you know I cater on the Crystal Serenity. It is a comparatively small super luxury craft. I have worked with the crew on this ship and have every confidence that they, led by their Captain would rise to the occasion if any emergency, small or large arose.