Carnival spends $300M to erase 'poop cruise' debacle
The cruise line is investing to upgrade every ship in its fleet, hoping to burnish its post-Triumph image.
How do you come back from a disaster like the "poop cruise," the Triumph voyage earlier this year that stranded 3,000 passengers for five days after an engine fire?
The upgrades come after Carnival, which controls 50% of the cruise market, slashed rates in the immediate aftermath of the Triumph disaster. The company at one point offered a Caribbean cruise at cut-rate prices, offering berths for as little as $38 a night.
But low pricing apparently wasn't quite enough to convince consumers to book trips on the cruise line. Carnival, which oversees 10 cruise line brands including Carnival and Princess Cruises, last month said chief executive Micky Arison was stepping down as advance bookings continued to run lower than last year.
"I don't want to go through that again, and I don't want our guests to go through that," Gerry Cahill, the chief executive of the Carnival Cruise Lines unit, told the Times of the Triumph disaster, which led to overflowing toilets and food shortages.
So, what will passengers see for the $300 million? Most of work will be behind the scenes and is geared toward helping avoid similar disasters. Carnival's 24 cruise ships will receive upgraded onboard fire-detection and -extinguishing systems, as well as secondary emergency diesel generators.
The line will also boost ad spending by 40% in the fall and roll out new ads featuring passengers talking about how much fun they had, the Times notes.
Carnival has its work cut out for it: Only 4% of April respondents to an E-Poll Market Research survey said the company could be described as trustworthy, down from 9% in 2011.
The spending might be one way to help boost confidence of would-be seafarers. Or as Gerry Philpott, president and chief executive of E-Poll, told the Times: "Unless Carnival promotes satisfaction guaranteed, they are going to have a difficult time getting new users."
Follow Aimee Picchi on Twitter at @aimeepicchi.
Well, they had that coming, didn't they?
My wife bought a Holland America cruise at a charity auction. I didn't want to go as the last cruise I went on was with Uncle Sam's cruise lines to SE Asia. I did and had a lot better time than I though I would. Food was good, drinks were ok and the optional sidetrips were worthwhile also. I'd go on Holland America again but not any others.
Spend a little more and take a liner that truly cares about it's passengers and not the CEO's bonus!
Bonus's ...the scurge of corporate America! No wonder we cannot get ahead. There isn't any money left in the coffers at the end of the day!
So why don't they also install a redundant system for unforeseen failures, like a larger holding tank for the toilets, more macerators (where they are permitted) more food and water, more generators to run the systems including the AC, a secondary power plant with props in the middle or slightly forward of the stern to slowly motor into a port. Those of us in the midwest would never go out in dangerous waters without a backup engine, extras provisions and life jackets, and water enabled SOS/GPS system.
There are many features they could add that would allow passengers to be comfortable for a long period of time, even weeks, thus avoiding the embarrassment of their latest debacles. Yes, it would cost them the space of a few berths, and maybe some extra weight, but look at the damage done without these features.
And this isn't directed just at Carnival. These measures should be adopted by the entire shipping industry, including commercial carriers.
For my parents fiftieth wedding anniversary my siblings and I took them on a ten day cruise to Bermuda through Royal Caribbean. We got them a cabin with a deck and all the trimmings. It was the first time any of went on a cruise. We all had a very good time. We took side trips. We went to the shows. We shopped and did some gambling. My parents and sisters loved the buffet while my brother and I preferred a sit down meal.
We had a few glitches when we had a little bit of rough weather and could not use the pool that day. Other than that we had a very enjoyable time. My parents sixtieth wedding anniversary is coming up next year and we would like to take than on another cruise with the same cruise line on one of their new ships.
I have traveled by plane, car, train, and boat and you can always experience horror stories no matter which way you travel. You can also have good times and make good memories. You just have to choose which way to travel is the best way for you.
sell THAT for $38. i dare ya.
I'll never, ever cruise Carnival. I started cruising in the 70's when most ships only carried 600-800 passengers. That was perfect - enough people to have fun without long lines, no chairs at the pool etc. Of course they didn't have rock climbing, surfing, et al, but I 'd rather experience sailing than all that junk! The ships looked and felt like seaworthy vessels, not floating blocks and the pools were open to the horizon, not enclosed or surrounded by "stuff". I read that Viking is going to build two sea going vessels with 800 passenger capacity, now those are ships I'd love to sail on.
First and only monolithic ship I sailed on was Princess from San Juan to NYC with over 3,000 passengers. We hit a tropical storm off Hatteras with 67 mph sustained winds, 40' waves. The promenade deck doors blew off, we were confined to our bunks an entire day, were a day late arriving in NYC. Relieved me of my desire sail the Atlantic, or at least the graveyard of the Atlantic - Hatteras. The huge waves pounding sounded like the steel was being ripped off the hull and the Golden Princess rolled so much we spent half the time with feet over head.
Well at least we can say they are making an effort. Clearly they got lax and the recent failures and the public's exodus was a good dose of cold water to wake them up. Time will tell if it pays off.
Hopefully it works and they learn their lesson and resume their focus on offering a good product not solely the bottomline. I always wonder how the execs think that cutting corners will make you money? Yeah, short term, but as we see here, longterm, it cost them! That's the problem with society today, to much short term thinking.
Anyways I digress, wife and I went on cruise for honeymoon and we had a blast and I would go again, 5yrs ago on the Carnival Legend. Face it, a cruise is not for everyone and like any trip of this nature do your homework ahead of time and know what to expect. Talking to others that have been is also a good idea to learn some pointers.
One thing I don't think I would like though is to be on some of these newer even larger ships. The worst part was that you start to have to many people plain and simple. There are only so many amenities on board and when you get to port the influx is huge. Other than that, that was the only real thing I didn't like.
I think its time
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