Cruises and a PR perspective

Awhile before the Costa Concordia accident/incident occurred, I had commented to my in-laws that I would turn down a job offer to work for Carnival Cruise Line’s PR department. They’re a cruise family (as are we) and we’ve at various points in time talked about the “what ifs” of one of the family working for a cruise line.

Sunset over the Atlantic

One thing that’s important to me as a public relations professional is that the clients I work with make plans, conduct training and generally take action to avoid problems, instead of crossing their fingers and hoping that some PR pros and customer service staff will clean up their messes. In my opinion, as a consumer, PR girl and cruiser, there is something wrong with Carnival Cruise lines.

Check out its track record:

  • Fall 2009, the Carnival Legend ran into the Royal Caribbean Enchantment of the Seas (video)
  • April 2010, the Carnival Ecstasy “swerved” to avoid a buoy, making a mess as well as scaring and injuring passengers in the process (story)
  • July 2010, the Carnival Fascination lost power and was adrift off the coast for Florida for several hours (story)
  • November 2010, the Carnival Splendor was stranded for days due to an engine fire (story)
  • July 2011, one Carnival ship hit another Carnival ship in port. (story)
  • And the Costa Concordia tragedy this month

Google, “Carnival ship hits dock” and you get this list of mishaps where a Carnival vessel has hit a dock.

Although some incidents are not uncommon on cruise ships, including illness and people jumping from the ships, it just seems that there have been some major operational incidents with the cruise line over the past couple of years that would make me not only shy away from a job offer from them, but also a vacation with them. And I really don’t think that a 30% discount or a free cruise offered to passengers is going to make them want to stick with a company that endangered their lives.

When we (my families) cruise, we make every effort to travel intelligently and safely. I feel that those choices extend from our actions while on vacation back to our decision of which cruise line to book with.

Tendered in the beautiful Coco Cay, Bahamas

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Blogger Note (2/28/2012):

Add the Costa Allegra that was disabled and stranded by an engine fire this week to the list also.

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About Probably Rachel

PR professional and social media enthusiast, blogging about life, marriage, coffee and type 1 diabetes. You can follow me on Twitter also @ProbablyRachel

Posted on January 26, 2012, in Customer Service and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. We cruise Royal Carribean and had several people asking us how wee felt about going on a ship again in less than two months- we gave no problem with it and I can’t believe how many people were surprised with that answer.

    We trust Royal and they even jumped to it sending out emails about their own safety measures (which I’m sure you got too). And now is probably a pretty safe time to cruise with every captain on his toes and every company watching its back, making sure everything is being done absolutely properly.

    We’re getting in cruise mode- Ricky just read Cruise Confidential and keeps talking about it- if I don’t start reading it soon he’ll have told me everything in the book! http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/193236160X/ref=redir_mdp_mobile

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