Saturday, February 11, 2012

Surviving The Costa Concordia Disaster

Editor's Note: March 1, 2012
This post was picked up by ABC News. We gave segment producer Andy Field permission to use sound bites from any and all of our exclusive video interviews. CNN also contacted the Sharmas for an interview. This week Sameer and Divya Sharma were invited to Washington, D.C. to testify at a House Committee Hearing on cruise ship safety. Blogs are influential and we are incredibly proud to have helped bring their story to light.

Many local wine-lovers know the Sharma family as the owners/operators of Grapevine Traveler, famous for their fine wines, popular wine tastings and craft beer destination shopping. What you may not know is that they are survivors of the recent Costa Concordia cruise ship tragedy. We spent an evening at their shop where they gave TBF an exclusive video interview about their experience. Many of our readers are avid travelers and cruise ships are famous for their bountiful dining experiences. Lots of people find the food one of the biggest attractions for cruise tours so this will be especially interesting for those travel by cruise line, or are even thinking about it.

We have interspersed our interview segments with actual news reports to fill in some of the background information, which all fell into place as they spoke. A few things the news reports didn't emphasize: it was the middle of the night (everything took place in total darkness) and no one on the crew ever took charge directing people into lifeboats and assuring that women and children went first. Their lifeboat was so overcrowded it was barely moving as the massive ship loomed over them, seemingly ready to tip over on top of them.

A disaster is often a life-changing experience. Here is what Sameer and Divya Sharma had to say.

Grapevine Travelers
18 High Street
Medford, MA 02155
Telephone: 781.396.8463

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