For Ralph Santisteban, a CruiseOne franchise owner in Kendall, business picked up in September and hasnt slowed.
Its almost like we never entered a wave because weve been riding one, he said.
Santisteban said he didnt see a drop in business due to the Concordia accident but heard from customers who were shocked that such a thing could have happened.
That accident was so preventable that a lot of people didnt worry, he said.
But even seasoned veterans who realized the accident was an aberration were left with questions.
I know things can go wrong, said Carolyn Spencer Brown, editor-in-chief of the website CruiseCritic.com, referring to emergencies such as ship fires. But if you looked at the way the cruise lines handled them, the crews were trained, the crews were responsive. In this case, how did things go so wrong so fast?
Another unknown: how many would-be cruisers were discouraged from taking their first cruise.
It was more of a hit than [cruise companies] had anticipated, especially on the first-time business, said Mike Driscoll, editor of the weekly trade publication Cruise Week, which is aimed at travel agents.
Frequent cruiser Richard Armas said his reaction to the images a year ago were: Somebody messed up really bad.
Armas, 57, of Miami, said the wreck didnt make him think twice about the safety of cruising.
I live in Miami; I have a motorcycle. My chances of something happening are increased daily just living where I live, he said. I feel safer on a ship or an airplane than I do on land.
The Cruise Lines International Association, a trade group representing major cruise operators around the world, has sought to reinforce the safety message over the past year. The association launched a review that resulted in 10 safety policies that have been adopted by all members. The policies touch on a range of practices including emergency drills, bridge procedures, lifeboat operation and lifejacket storage.
The International Maritime Organization changed its International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea to require that passengers participate in emergency drills before a ship ever leaves port, rather than within the first 24 hours. Some passengers aboard Concordia had not yet taken a safety drill.
It was a strong view that we not wait until the investigation was completed, but that the industry begin work immediately to identify areas where we could find best practices, many of which a lot of our members already had in place but that went above and beyond the legal requirements, said Christine Duffy, CLIAs president and CEO.
The legal wrangling over the ordeal is far from over. A judge is expected to announce soon where there is enough evidence for a trial. And no civil lawsuits have reached a trial phase. Meanwhile, Costa has reached settlements with 70 percent of the more than 3,000 passengers who were not physically injured. They also have reached agreements with 60 percent of injured passengers and families of those who died.
Some survivors recently faced another jarring piece of news: They were told in a letter from Costa that they were not invited to attend Sundays ceremonies on Giglio, The Associated Press reported, because the day was focused on the dead, not the 4,200 passengers and crew who survived.