The cruise industry survived the recession about as well as could be expected and was well positioned for 2012, or so we thought.
Alas, those expectations changed on Jan. 13 when the Costa Concordia ended up where it is.
In terms of the industry's image in the media, things looked to be going from bad to worse last week when a fire on the Costa Allegra left the ship adrift and without power in the Indian Ocean.
Then an armed gunman robbed a group of Carnival passengers on a shore excursion near Puerto Vallarta, and Argentina decided to turn away Princess and P&O vessels as part of its on-again cold war with Great Britain over the status of the Falkland Islands.
That's more than enough bad news for one six-week stretch, which means it's time for travel professionals to take comfort in, of all things, statistics.
Statistically, these remain random and unconnected events that do not alter the industry's stellar safety record or its value proposition. Facts alone won't always get consumers back into their comfort zones, but they can help.