Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Did Carnival Cruise Lines Do Anything Right?

It's hard to say what, if anything, Carnival Cruise Lines did right in the hours and days after the Costa Concordia ran aground and rolled on its side off the coast of Italy Jan. 13th, but the Costa Cruise subsidiary that operated the cruise ship, did a number of things correctly.

The investigations are getting underway, and the ship's captain has been held in an Italian jail since the disaster.

Beginning Saturday, Jan. 14, Costa Cruise's website carried a series of statements, including the
latest one Jan. 24 and the statements were for the most part appropriate: http://www.costacruise.com/B2C/USA/Info/concordia_statement.htm although there were a lot more questions that needed answers.

And on Jan. 16, an unidentified spokesperson, (appears to be the President) for Costa Cruise Lines appeared in a YouTube video expressing his sympathy and condolences to the victims and their families and defended the crew and its response, while implying the company would work with the investigators to determine what happened. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNqAq2bHtFc&list=PLCFEC80D99741E604&feature=plcp&context=C3ac7430FDOEgsToPDskK516ywc1gCQ4ETsdiw88e

Most of the time, that should be the only public statement from the President or CEO.  A previously identified company spokesman, who has had media training, should then be designated as the on-going spokesperson for the company.  This should be a senior executive or manager, and he or she should have gone to the scene to represent the company.

And that spokesperson should have been updating passengers, employees and the media regularly on the status of the survivors, what is being done to stabilize the ship and prevent a catastrophic environmental spill of half-a-million gallons of ship's fuel.

Answers to those questions have been few and far between. 

The ship's captain claims the company ordered him to run close to the shore for publicity purposes, and so far, I've not seen any denial from the company.  And it would be appropriate for the company to at least say it is considering the captain's future with the cruise line.

A week later, there is no sign of any reference to the ship wreck on the Carnival Cruise Line website. Carnival is the parent company of Costa Cruises.

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