Carnival Cruise Headed for Bankruptcy?

Carnival Cruise Headed for Bankruptcy?

Recent events have cost Carnival Cruise Lines hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Surefire lawsuits will make the losses progress into the millions.  The “Triumph” offered an experience like no other, and on one wants another.

An early end to the Carnival Dream’s seven-day sailing, which was scheduled to return to Port Canaveral on Saturday, fell a month after the fire-crippled Carnival Triumph reached land after days at sea. Its arrival, and stories of miserable experiences on board, made international headlines.

“If it weren’t for Triumph, this just simply would not have received the attention it did,” said Mike Driscoll, editor of the weekly trade publication Cruise Week. “I think that’s the issue confronting Carnival Cruise Lines right now — they’re really under a microscope.”

A reported generator problem forced the “Dream” to stay docked and make arrangements for the 4,363 passengers, 1,370 crew members to be flown back to Orlando, or their final destination.  There was no back-up generator.

All aboard were safe and comfortable, Carnival said via a statement. The company said it would start flying passengers home to Orlando or their final destination Friday morning on scheduled and chartered flights. Late Thursday, the company said singer Jon Secada would give a surprise performance for the guests. Once all the customers are off the ship, the Dream will sail back to Port Canaveral under its own power, a spokeswoman said. The March 16 sailing will be cancelled.

Passengers will receive a refund equal to the cost of three days aboard ship and a discount on a future cruise.

Sen.“Jay” Rockefeller, D-WVa. and chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, on Thursday sent a letter to Carnival Corp. Chairman and CEO Micky Arison questioning the company’s safety record in light of the Triumph, Dream and dozens of other incidents with parent company-owned ships since 2008.

“I am deeply troubled by this incident, but I cannot say I am surprised by it,” Rockefeller wrote about the Triumph. “This is merely one in a long string of serious and troubling incidents involving your cruise ships.”

I am not in any way an expert on the methodology of cruise ship management.  But recent problems with Carnival suggest an inferior maintenance system is in place.

Whatever the reason, Carnival has suffered a devastating public relations event.  The costs of these two recent events, coupled with the capsizing of the “Costa Concordia”, will cause future passengers to reconsider their plans.

One of the items on my personal “bucket list” has been to be onboard a Caribbean cruise.  Maybe I’ll just drive to the California coast and spend a week at a safe and secure beach front hotel.

James Turnage

Columnist-The Guardian Express

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