Oil spill could ruin cruise vacations

By John Bachman - bio | email
Posted by Rachel Leigh - email

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - It's still anyone's guess what kind of impact the spill will have on our environment in Florida.

But if the oil makes it to the South Florida waters, it could spell trouble for thousands of vacationers thinking about taking a cruise.

Travel agents and travelers are some of the people watching and waiting to see what is going to happen with all that oil.

A local travel agent says this is just another reason why you might want to protect yourself if you are taking the trip of a lifetime. "We've been watching it all day, everyday, for any kind of updated news," said Michael Reich, owner of Master Travel and Cruise.

He's waiting to see where all that oil is going. His travel agency specializes in cruises which, right now, remains unaffected. Emphasis on right now. "I think, if a week from now, if I had a crystal ball, hopefully, we won't see a different scenario, but I'm afraid we may," Reich said.

If the spill continues and the oil slick grows, Reich says, cruise operators may be forced to shuffle ports. Even if the oil doesn't make it to South Florida, we still may see the impact in our local ports and cruise terminals.

For the last week, Reich and his wife have been calling customers keeping them updated. "We have people going out of Galveston, we have people going out of Mobile," he said.

He also says this disaster; although man made, serves as another good example of something that can sink your travel plans and cost you money. That's why, he says, it's always a good idea to buy travel insurance. "So, I would say to people, 'Why take that chance?" said Reich.

In the meantime, he hopes all his customers cruises will depart as planned, but he's still keeping an eye on the oil.

Now, if the oil does get into any ports, it would obviously affect more than just cruises but shipping, too.

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