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Topics: norway, Pirates

Sunday, 6 November 2005

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Fjord, Norway -- According to a spokesperson for competitor Norwegian Cruise Lines, a highly publicized attack by pirates against the Carnival Cruise ship "Spirit" was "almost certainly staged" for the entertainment of the passengers. According to the unnamed source at NCL , "Las Vegas has Treasure Island," Disney has "Pirates of the Caribbean," and now Carnival has apparently choreographed "Attack at Dawn," apparently referring to the fact that most of the ship's passengers were still fast asleep in their rooms, err, berths, when the faux pirates staged their "attack."

Piracy along the 1800 mile Somalian coastline is reportedly common, with several ships per month getting commandeered or robbed. But this "attack" represents the first time a dozen numbskulls in a pair of inflatable dingys all dressed up like Johnny Depp have attempted to take on a 10,000 ton cruise ship. RPG's fired at the ship's hull simply bounced off the inch thick steel plating, and wildy sprayed machine gun fire, great for effect, had little effect on anything but open portholes and wooden lifeboats.

Bruce Notsogood, an overpaid, underworked mouthpiece for Carnival Corporation, vehemently denied the attack was staged, insisting the pirates were real, despite the fact that the cruise ship's captain simply rang bells for "full speed ahead" and outran the dingies, after deciding against a ramming move against smaller and more maneuverable craft.
According to one Spirit crew member, "Crossing the T" was also considered by captain Al Hazelwood, but lacking any forward guns or oil to dump, it would have offered little strategic advantage. "We next considered calling in air support, but the nearest US Carrier was more than 1700 miles away, and they're probably not accustomed to getting calls from cruise lines for airstrikes. Unless, of course, you're sailing in the Gulf of Tonkin.

Carnival Crew members, sporting smart designer-labeled bulletproof vests and tighty whitey fatigues, mounted a pair of 40mm pom-pom guns and let the "attackers" have it, although one passenger thought it "strange" that the guns weren't ejecting any spent brass, according to Roger Whittaker, of Whittaker California. Besides," adds Whittaker, "The crew might as well have tossed deck furniture at those idiots, the poop deck towering more than 200' above them. Anything weighing over 20kg would have gone right through the bottom of their dinky dingies, sinking them immediately.

Deboring Nastyson, president of the Carnival cruise line denied hiring unemployed Somali actors and paying them sub-union wages for the fifth failed attack on the fifth Carnival cruise ship in five days to sail past Mombasa. "We can't help it if Somalian pirates are utterly stupid and keep attacking ships they have no chance whatsoever of boarding or commandeering.

As the two 25-foot inflatable boats approached the liner crew members reportedly sank one with a small caliber pellet gun, yelling out "Splash one inflatable!" and hi-fiving each other, at which point the other inflatable turned tail. "Funny, adds Whittaker, they were the first pirates I've ever seen wearing Coast-Guard approved life vests beneath their bandoliers."

Elbow Lard, of Seattle, sent an email claiming that her daughter spotted the pirates out of their window, err, porthole, with a brass telescope. "One had a hook instead of a hand, and several of them had eye patches. They certainly looked like Pirates of the Carribean, even though we were sailing in the Indian Ocean, where one would expect savages wearing chaps, headdresses and riding war ponys, or at least jet skis.

Reportedly three rocket-propelled grenades hit the ship, Lard wrote. "The captain then put the pedal to the metal and made those suckers eat our wake."

The vessel's 151 otherwise bored and overfed passengers had sailed from Alexandria, Egypt sixteen days earlier, and had been promised the "adventure of a lifetime." Unfortunately most passengers were still sleeping off hangovers from the midnight buffet and open bar when the "pirates" attacked at 6 a.m. The attack was reportedly scheduled for 10 a.m. when most passengers would be on deck enjoying bloody Marys, but apparently the Somalian actors were without timekeeping pieces, or the ability to properly read them.

According to an unnamed "Industry Official" Norwegian Cruise Lines plans to counter Carnivals "Pirates" marketing strategy with a "Gilligan's Island" scenario in which a signal fire is first spotted, and then survivors of a shipwreck are rescued from a deserted island. The rescue will reportedly include a rich curmudgeon and his wife, a pompous b-rate actress, a professor, an overweight captain and his goofball first mate.

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