SAN FRANCISCO -- As many businesses are grappling with ways to deal
with sudden blackouts during California's energy crisis, a number
of the state's cruise lines and tour operators said they are set up
to handle most emergencies -- or will be soon.
Hawaii World, a wholesaler in Livermore, Calif., has a generator
on order after a rolling blackout recently left its offices
literally in the dark.
"Luckily, we still had candles around the office from Christmas
so we had some light," said Mary Twist, president.
Because of a quirk of the company's phone system, Hawaii World's
employees could call out but could not receive phone calls. The
blackout lasted two hours during midmorning.
"We called our top-producing agents and told them what was
happening and we conducted some internal training that we had been
meaning to do for a while," said Twist.
She doesn't belive the company lost any business "because most
agents who could not get through to us figured out what happened
and called back later."
Nonetheless, Hawaii World is expecting delivery of a generator
within the next three weeks that should keep the company up and
running if the power goes out again.
Ed Jackson, president of San Francisco-based Runaway Tours, said
he's "very concerned" about the possibility of blackouts, which
have not hit his company headquarters.
"Business is so good right now that we don't need to be shut
down," he said.
But Jackson said he believes his offices are protected from
blackouts because they are located close to a hospital.
Pleasant Holidays, one the state's largest operators, based in
Westlake Village, Calif., said it can keep operations running
without interruption during blackouts because it has back-up
generators at its reservations centers.
Classic Custom Vacations in San Jose, Calif., developed a
"contingency plan, which includes a generator to keep the system
running," said Lois Shore, vice president of marketing.
"Also, we have the ability to forward the phones to our Chicago
reservations center if required. So, for Classic, it will remain
business as usual."
Crystal Cruises is "fortunate" because it is located in Century
City, which has a city-owned power company that is not suffering
from the energy shortage in the state that has afflicted the
privately owned companies, noted a Crystal spokeswoman.
Princess Cruises, in the process of moving to new headquarters
in Santa Clarita, east of Los Angeles, is protected from any power
"We're backed up 100% by emergency generators" that will keep
the telephones and computers operating, should a blackout happen,
said a spokeswoman.