Triumph And Adversity: How Would You Reduce Stress On A Stranded Cruise Ship? (Part 1)

by Doc Orman, M.D.

Triumph And Adversity Part 1On Sunday, February 10th, 2013, 4200 passengers and crew became stranded on a Carnival cruise ship named Triumph in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico.  The ship had departed from Galveston, Texas on Thursday, February 7th for what began as a routine pleasure trip to ports in the Caribbean.

However, on the morning of February 10th, a fire broke out in the engine room, leaving the Triumph and her 4200 inhabitants stalled in the Gulf, without power, running water, or air conditioning.

What ensued, according to many passengers featured in media reports, was “five days of sheer hell.”

My Previous “I Have A Dream” Post

Interestingly, six months before this happened (on August 10, 2012) I published my “I Have A Dream” post on this blog, where I shared my desire to design and deliver a stress course that would be coupled with a nice vacation.

“What if you could go on vacation and not only have a peaceful, enjoyable and relaxing time, but also learn something really useful that could help you deal with your stress long after your vacation has ended?… ”

I announced then that I have a dream to someday create a new type of vacation program, where you not only de-stress by going away and having a carefree good time, but you come back empowered to deal more effectively with any type of stress in your life…once your vacation is over.

Little Did I Know…

I also mentioned in that post that someday I wanted to conduct such a course on a cruise ship:.

“I would create an educational program so that everything that happens can be used to help people learn how to masterfully deal with stress.”

Of course, I was envisioning a course that would teach people how to deal with all the common, minor stuff that happens during the course of any vacation: luggage being lost, money or other belongings being stolen, reservations getting switched or otherwise mixed-up, getting sick, learning about new problems occurring at home…you all know the drill.

I was thinking it would be great to have an hour a day to spend with the same group of vacationers, where we could use such common stressful occurrences to highlight key principles for dealing with them elegantly.

Can You Imagine If My First Course Was On The Triumph?

OMG!   What if I had been hired to conduct my first such course on that stricken cruise ship Triumph?  Can you imagine what it would have been like to try to deal with adverse events of that magnitude?

Don’t get me wrong…it could be done, assuming you could get most of the people in the course together in one place amid all the chaos.  This is because the type of course I have in mind would be designed so that ANYTHING that happened…big or small…could be used effectively for learning purposes.

So image you were hired to be a stress coach on this stranded, smelly, sweaty cruise ship during the days between  February 10th through February 14th, 2013. What would you have taught people in your stress class to help them triumph over adversity…if you pardon the pun?

Would the key principles about dealing with stress in this situation be any different than the principles people would need to bring to bear to deal with other lesser stressful problems in their lives, either on a normal cruise or once they returned home?

To my way of thinking, the basic principles for understanding and dealing with stress are the same for both major and minor adversities. Sure it’s unlikely the 4200 people on that ill-fated cruise will experience those same exact circumstances again in their lifetimes.  But this probably won’t be the last time they will be similarly challenged.

While it may look like the circumstances producing stress on vacation are so very different from the circumstances you encounter at home (and they may be), the root causes of any stress you experience…large or small…are pretty much the same.

In my next two blog posts this week, I’ll focus on several of the key principles I would have highlighted, had I been teaching a stress course during the ill-fated recent voyage of the Triumph.

By the way, many passengers and crew managed to cope with the Triumph ordeal in very positive and effective ways, and they probably used some of the key principles I would endorse.  But they generally aren’t the people you hear about or read about in the media reports, which tend to focus mainly on people who coped very poorly and who therefore were the most emotionally and demonstrably distraught.  This captures a larger media audience, but it doesn’t promote successful coping skills.

Special FREE Download Gift!

Free Downloadable Four-Book Stress Relief Library

To get your own complete download of this entire four-book Stress Relief Secrets REVEALED library, go to and download it right now. Also, when you get these four PDF e-books on your computer, don’t just let them sit there! Don’t promise yourself that you’ll eventually get around to reading them later. That usually doesn’t work, and it’s very likely you will never, ever get around to reading them. And the information they contain is way too valuable and useful for you to miss out on any of it.

Once you do download these four e-books, I’m going to send you an email every day, for the next seven days, to support you in reading them all.

Go to right now and submit your best email address. Then, you’ll get an email asking you to confirm your intentions. When this email arrives (if you don’t see it within 10-15 minutes, check your spam folder), please click on the highlighted link and you’ll go directly to the download page, where all four e-books can be downloaded as one composite .zip file.

Best wishes and happy reading (and learning)!

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