The so called “Cruise from Hell”

This  past winter break, my family decided to take a family vacation on one of the most popular cruise lines, Carnival. We took a 7 day cruise from Miami to an island in Mexico, Jamaica, and the Cayman Islands. It was definitely one of the best winter breaks I have had in a while, being a able to enjoy the hot sun in the month of December felt a little unreal! The service provided was great. Everyday there was some type of entertainment, and many different types of activities lined up. The food was great! From breakfast, to lunch, to dinner, we were offer a variety of great options! It was a definitely a vacation I would recommend to anyone!

That was MY experience in the Carnival Valor cruise ship, however many Carnival costumers will never get to say such great feedback on this company after the many different incidents that occurred this past February.

This past February, Carnival Triumph was stranded in the Gulf of Mexico for 5 days with a powerless engine. That was the result of a fire in the engine room. It left the ship with no working toilets and a damaged sewage. After the five days all passengers arrived safely to a port in Alabama and were compensated for the trouble.

The compensation consisted of a full refund for the cruise and travel expense, any expense made on the ship, an all paid for future cruise, as well as $500. Do you consider this fair? Many customers didn’t think so, as well as some critics! They believed that what these passengers went through was worth a lot more than just $500 dollars. Where and who agreed to the $500? According to Carolyn Spencer Brown, editor of, the Marketing department had the final decision. There were no other options or explanations given to the passengers.

These types of incidents affect the revenue and price of the cruise line, as well as the industry as a whole because who would want to take a cruise after hearing or going through this experience? How are managers suppose to better manage these type of situations to help prevent such catastrophe? Strategies for these kind of situations is what will help managers have a plan to be ready to deal with their clients and make sure they are satisfied. The operations strategy of how to handle catastrophes will also help on how to deal with these type of situations to be able to meet every customers needs in a well timely matter. In this case, Carnival can offer all the money possible to compensate the passengers on their experience, but at the end of the day these passengers will mainly remember how the situation was handle at that moment when they were stranded in the middle of the sea. Accidents can occur, whether you are prepared or not, and being able to meet your customer’s need in the middle of a catastrophe is what your customer will remember.

Do you think Carnival’s compensation was enough? How would you have handled it differently?