Friday, March 15, 2013

If It Happened to Carnival Could It Happen To Us?

Of course it could/can/will!

Just when you thought Carnival Cruise Lines was over the hump and the cruise crowd was beginning to forget about their most recent "crisis," two more of their ships made headlines within 24-hours of
each other.

About a month after an engine room fire triggered electrical failure on the Carnival Triumph, stranding thousands of passengers adrift for five days, with the anticipated negative news coverage, the Carnival Dream with about 3,000 passengers on board had "technical issues," whatever that is, and could not leave the port in St. Maarten, and a day later the Carnival Legend, with an estimated 2,000 passengers was limping slowly back to port in Tampa with mechanical problems.

The company immediately offered cash back, discounts on a future cruise and air fare to get the St. Maarten stranded passengers back home.

Carnival was already facing at least four lawsuits, including a class action lawsuit, from the Triumph debacle.

If the vaunted Carnival Cruise Line can experience these kinds of back-to-back bad-news events, why would you think your business or organization would be exempt?

It appears Carnival did learn a few things from the earlier "Triumph" problem, but apparently not enough. 

I do not profess to be an expert on cruise ship mechanicals, but three failures on three different ships in little more than three weeks, seems to raise serious questions about inspection policies and preventive maintenance. 

The Institute for Crisis Management maintains that roughly two-thirds of all business crises are preventable, and if we were consulted by the leadership of Carnival, we would encourage them to step up their preventive measures and fine-tune and polish their internal and public response procedures. 

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