Travel agents optimistic about future of cruises

DENHAM SPRINGS, LA (WAFB) - Local travel agents don't think this latest cruise ship glitch will hurt business.

An onboard fire turned a four-day cruise into eight days stranded at sea with little to no electricity. Late Thursday night, exhausted passengers of the Carnival Triumph finally made it back to the shores of the us.

"They came in last week and booked and were supposed to be on that ship, and at the last minute changed to a seven-day cruise...still out of Galveston. But it was on the Magic instead of the Triumph," said Kristie Gros with Geauxing Places Travel Agency in Denham Springs.

She says while there's noise that people are swearing off cruises now, fears will soon go away.

"The phones start ringing, and people start...'Oh no, what are we supposed to do. What about the cruise that we had booked.' But it's initial panic, then everybody kind of stops and takes a deep breath," said Gros.

Connie Faust, who's also a travel agent at Geauxing Places, has a Carnival cruise planned for the first week of March. Faust says she's not worried at all, but instead says she feels even safer.

"When something happens like this, the cruise companies, airlines or whatever really crack down and make sure everything is right," said Faust.

Faust says everyone else in her group is just plain excited and they can't wait to get on board.

"I've learned from over the years of traveling that you kind of got to just roll with the punches," said Faust. " It's hard sometimes, but you just kind of have to go on and make the best of it."

Gros says it's too soon to know whether the Triumph disaster will affect cruise prices. He says it all depends on how vacationers respond in the long-run.

Gros tells 9News their company did end up having a connection to the Triumph. Four of their clients were on the Carnival Elation. That's one of the ships that dropped off food and supplies to the stranded Triumph.

Copyright 2013 WAFB. All rights reserved.