We were at a press conference with Carnival Cruise president Bob Dickinson aboard the new Elation. It was more than a week after the announcement of Carnival Corp.'s purchase of Cunard. The story had made TV and radio broadcasts as well as headlines in the trade press, daily newspapers, newsweeklies and business magazines. Surely no one in the travel industry or the travel press had not heard the news. So Insider thought. The first 10 minutes of the session were taken up with Dickinson's fielding questions about Carnival's intentions for Cunard. Then came a plaintive voice from the back of the room. "Have I missed something here?" one of the reporters called out. "Are you guys buying Cunard?" This is the stuff of reporters' nightmares, and we can only imagine that as everyone in the room turned to see who asked the question, the poor fellow must've felt like crawling into the proverbial hole -- or perhaps vaulting over the rail of the lido deck.

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