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There’s Got To Be A Morning After

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Carnival Splendor

You undoubtedly have heard the news reports.  Carnival Splendor, with 3299 passengers on board, is adrift at sea after a fire early Monday morning in one of the engine rooms. Fortunately, no one was hurt, but it left the ship dead in the water.  The crew was able to restore power to some critical systems, but basic hotel functions remain inoperative.  Passengers are without air conditioning, hot water, hot food, or working toilets.

The US Navy has delivered 70,000 pound of food to the ship and it is being reported that the first tug boat has reached the ship’s position.  Current plans call for Carnival Splendor to proceed under tow to San Diego, with an anticpated arrival by late Thursday.  If sufficient speed cannot be maintained, Carival may revert to the original plan and have the ship towed to Ensenada.  The November 14th cruise from Long Beach has been cancelled.

Early reports indicated that Carnival Cruise Lines was going to refund the cost of the cruise plus transportation costs to its unlucky passengers.  When first reading these reports, an old Peggy Lee song played in my mind – “Is that all there is?”  Subsequent reports have amended Carnival’s response to include credit for a future cruise of equal value.  That’s more like it.

Late last year, I expressed my views on the importance of a company’s response to the unexpected.  Mr. Murphy knew whereof he spoke.  It will be interesting to hear what the passengers have to say, not only about the situation on board Carnival Splendor, but also about the process of getting them home.  Carnival has some choppy days ahead.

As an aside, I was amused by a headline I read in The Independent:

“British passengers survive cruise ship fire”

Well, true enough, I guess.  There was a fire and they did survive.  But, seriously, doesn’t it strike you as just a teensy bit overwrought?

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