We weren’t in the Carnival Cruise Line War Room last week but we have a few observations for anyone else is a similar predicament.
For one, owner Micky Arison and CEO Gerry Cahill decided to stay shorebirds while more than 4,000 passengers endured grim conditions and a tow to Alabama on the good ship Triumph. When Arison tweeted “We are very sorry for the difficult conditions experienced by our guests” he was attending a Miami Heat basketball game. OK, he owns the Heat but it was probably bad optics to show the obligatory care and concern from courtside.
Cahill’s statement was used in the media but it’s unclear if he assuaged any feelings: “We pride ourselves in providing our guests with a great vacation experience, and clearly we failed in this particular case.”
In light of what happened a few years ago with another Carnival ship had a fire and last year’s debacle with the Costa Concordia off the coast of Italy that killed 32, one of these leaders could have made a bold move of helicoptering to the dead-in-the-water ship, setting up an on board war room, and bringing with them a team of doctors, maintenance workers – even clergy – to make the arduous trip more comfortable. We wouldn’t normally suggest such a move for the CEO, but given the line’s history something extra might be in order.
There is no question it is extremely tough to take care of more than 4,000 “guests” on a gigantic ship that has suffered an emergency. For the most part, the weary crew was given high marks by cruisers. But while the equipment may be powerless, management was not.