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Will cruise mess impact travel plans?

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Will cruise mess impact travel plans?
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As horror stories of the conditions on the disabled cruise ship "Triumph" reach travelers on dry land, will this affect the future popularity of cruises? Our Tamara Lindstrom caught up with an industry insider to find out.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Oppressive heat and seeping sewage, no power and little food. Tales from passengers escaping the ill-fated Triumph cruise ship leave little to the imagination as passengers in Syracuse prepare to embark on adventures of their own.

"Aruba, Dominican Republic, Curacao and Grand Turk. I'm just excited for vacation," Stephanie Klosek said.

Despite the stories of deplorable conditions and days listing at sea with nothing to do, people we spoke with said that wouldn't stop them from signing up for a cruise.

"The days of the Titanic are long gone. Those things are going to happen. It's part of life. I could get killed walking across the street or my plane could go down on the way to London. But it's not like it's a higher risk than staying home and driving around the city," Mark Person said.

Travel agents say the debacle has raised questions from customers, but travelers have shown a buoyant outlook.

"Yes, people called. But I have to tell you, there are ten million people who travel on cruise ships every year from the U.S. So thankfully, we haven't had anybody called concerned enough to want to change their travel plans," said Jennine Lombardi, AAA Easter Region Travel Director.

Lombardi says travelers should take into account factors like the age of a ship and always carry a passport when leaving the U.S., even though they're not required on many international cruises.

Carnival reports 900 passengers on the Triumph did not have passports, one factor that led to the decision to tow the ship back to Alabama.

Lombardi said, "Because not everybody on board had passports, they would have had problems if they docked in Mexico."

And while Lombardi says cruises are still a great vacation option, those headed onto the deep blue sea might still have the slightest sinking feeling.
"I just hope it doesn't happen to me," Klosek said.

While travel agents haven't yet seen a drop in cruise bookings, Carnival's stock has fallen more than four percent this week.

The NTSB is investigating the fire that caused the power failure on the ship.

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