Peacock’s Hell of a Cruise is an eye-opener as well as a reminder of what Covid-19 was like during the winter of 2020 when no one was aware of what would happen next. At just 78 minutes with credits, it keeps the main focus in their early days in which it just seemed another virus that no one really took seriously until it was too late.
It’s one thing to watch a movie like Contagion and Outbreak and be relieved that it’s only a movie, it’s another to watch it unfold before your very eyes. That might be why some of the people on the cruises didn’t take it too seriously because they didn’t think it would happen to them. And the worst part is the people on the cruise ships had no where to go when things really went bad. If a child’s biggest fear is being stuck at a school during a bad storm, than an adult’s biggest fear should be being stuck in an enclosed space thousands of miles from home.
As one person puts it, they were in a four-by-three meters cabin for days. At the same time, people complained about not being able to eat at restaurants. Imagine being a family of four in a small ship cabin where there’s little room to manuever. They have video of themselves trying to keep their spirits up as they discuss they eat their meals standing up and try to remain active. But as they look out port, they see people in hazmat suits setting up tents on the docks.
Like most Hollywood movies, everything sets out just great as people talk aobut booking cabins on the Diamond Princess cruise ship and actually being thrilled about celebrating the Chinese New Year only to see it not happen as the news of the Covid-19 disease begins to make headlines. At first, they say it’s just some people would be missing from the normal daily activities and then everyone realized they were stranded. Offering cell phone video footage in addition to talking head interviews and archival footage of news reports, it’s a creepy look at the fact that no one knew what the hell was going on or what the hell was going to happen.
The documentary also focuses on the Costa Luminosa which took a transatlantic route while the Princess was in the South Pacific. On the ships, even though passengers were confined to their cabins, they still got food and meals from the staff and the interactions really didn’t do much to stop the spread. As many people say, you just can’t quarentine when you’re on a cruise ship. I’ve heard someone say that cruises are like being in Wal-Mart the weekend before Christmas. I’ve known people who had better experiences say they didn’t bother getting in the swimming pools.
The cruise lines didn’t need this. This was coming after many people were already skeptical of cruise ships following the 2012 capsizing of the Costa Concordia off the coast of the Giglio Islands in the Tyrrhenian Sea. There was also the Carnival Triumph loses its power in the winter of 2013 leading the poopdeck to actually be a place where people had to use buckets to relieve themselves when the toilets stopped working. But still some of those interviewed say they would go again while others say they would never. I guess it’s like the scene in The World According to Garp where the plane hits the house while they house-hunting. What are the odds it’ll happen again?
To say Carnival didn’t need these problems in 2020 is an understatement. But certain people boarding the Costa Luminosa, which set sail after the Princess, were having flu-like symptoms regardless of Covid beginning to be a huge health concern in February and March of that year. Sadly, part of the reason some people said they still went on the cruise was there were no refunds. But what should also make you very upset is how the cruise ships will fly the flags of other countries where the minimum wage is worse than in America so they don’t have to pay crew a decent wage. You can’t not think of how they looked those of lower class from reaching the decks in the 1997 movie Titanic while the ship was sinking.
Even worse, when they begin to finally start evacuating people, they still didn’t take the best precautions and still had people who had symptoms around other people for many hours. And of course, we get images of Donald Trump and how his administration messed it up by saying people should remain on the ship to keep our numbers down. The documentary will make you a little more angry after all the problems we’ve had since 2020. And even if people are saying we’re getting more used to it, Covid-19 is still a problem.
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