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Posts Tagged ‘Carnival’

Another Cruise Industry #PRFail?


Planning a cruise? You may or may not receive attentive customer service on social media.

While the latest skirmish with bad experiences hasn’t made the sort of headlines created by last year’s series of Carnival “challenges”, it did earn coverage on legal specialist Jim Walker’s Cruise Law News blog. And it gives us an opportunity to compare corporate crisis communications at three of the top cruise lines.

Royal Caribbean, Princess and Carnival all had ships unable to re-enter or leave port after an oil spill last weekend, but they went about addressing the problem in different ways.

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Yet Another Disaster for Carnival

Carnival TriumphOK, this isn’t funny anymore. Yesterday the Carnival Triumph — the very same cruise ship that tempted many journalists to turn the phrase “poop deck” into a horrible pun — broke loose from a dock near Mobile, Alabama, and knocked two people into the Mobile River. One of the men is still missing. Thankfully, no passengers were aboard and all staffers have been accounted for.

The ship drifted for several hours before being returned to its dock position and surrounded by tugboats for good measure. The cause of this incident was “hurricane-force winds” in the gulf that had nothing to do with Carnival — but of course that doesn’t matter a whole lot to the public.

We honestly don’t know what Carnival can do to combat the cascade of bad news beyond what it’s already done: issuing sincere public apologies, offering refunds to everyone involved and getting ready to defend itself from a class-action lawsuit. Last month New York Senator Chuck Schumer proposed a “bill of rights” for cruise passengers that would give them more power in the case of such technical failures and require every ship to have both a backup power source and a team trained in emergency response.

We have a strong suspicion that the cruise industry doesn’t like Schumer’s proposal. But it’s not like they have any other options at this point.

Epic PR Fail, Part 2: Carnival Triumph Images Emerge

Things just keep getting worse for Carnival Cruise Lines today, don’t they? Here are a couple of wow-level updates from the Associated Press:

Now we hear that passengers probably won’t be able to leave the ship until the “wee hours Friday morning.

And we know Carnival‘s PR team is going to love these images. They’re wishing the smartphone had never been invented:

Courtesy of the Associated Press and passenger Kalin Hill

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The World’s Greatest Brands: 2013 Edition

StarbucksNike Just Do It Welcome back, dear readers! We hope everyone had a great holiday and survived the crazy season in one piece despite hectic travel schedules, extended visits with the in-laws and borderline alcoholism.

The first of the many, many stories we accumulated over the break is an interesting one: a list of 2013’s 27 “World Champions” of the global branding game, brought to us by Citi and Business Insider.

According to Citi, these 27 brands have beaten all others when it comes to creating “significant and enduring business models over the long term”–and we covered quite a few of them in 2012. Our thoughts on some of the winners after the jump:

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Corporate Execs in the Hot Seat, Getting Burned

Photo: Pier Paolo Cito/AP

Smells like bacon? Oh, that’s just the aroma of corporate leaders getting burned by bad press, crisis situations, and business downturns. It’s not anything new necessarily, but three’s a trend so why not take a closer look at three recent cases, shall we?

First we have the case of the quiet CEO — Mickey Arison, CEO of Carnival, which owns the Costa Concordia, the ship that ran aground off the coast of Italy on January 13 killing, at last count, 13 people. Pier Luigi Foschi, CEO of Costa Crociere SpA, Carnival’s Italian arm, has been speaking publicly, mostly to blame the captain, Francesco Schettino, who, with his ability to trip and fall to safety, is the luckiest mariner in the history of sea travel.

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Cruise Company Execs Respond to Costa Concordia Tragedy

The Costa Concordia, off the coast of Tuscany. Photo: News Pictures / Rex Features

The saga of the Costa Concordia cruise ship that ran aground off the Italian coast continues to unfold, step by step, on a worldwide stage. Media reports, photos, passenger videos, and an audio of the captain have all documented what went wrong from a safety standpoint.

The company’s initial crisis communications response has been mainly reactive. (You can view video and gather info about the company’s response on its website.) Company leadership in Italy have held two press conferences to respond to the tragedy. The cruise line is owned by Carnival, and its CEO has spoken about the accident as well, although from here in the U.S.

“Whenever there are fatalities and serious injuries, it’s important for the most senior leadership to be visible,” Bloomberg quotes Ogilvy PR‘s Peter Hirsch, who spoke with them about the issue.

The cruise line is also facing other issues. And while this is a unique tragedy, the issue of crisis communications, even in the most dire of situations, has been discussed by the PR industry in the past.

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No More Warm Beer. Stranded Carnival Cruise Reaches Land

Tugboats pull the Carnival Splendor to San Diego Bay. Photo: AP/Dennis Poroy

The 4,500 people aboard the Carnival Splendor have reached land, bringing a craptastic vacation to an end.

“It was gross when the toilets weren’t working. What can you do? There were a lot of people getting smashed off warm beer,” one passenger, Chris Harlen, told the AP. Fun times.

The ship had originally been heading to the Mexican Riviera. But an engine room fire cut the power, which also cut the air conditioning, ended trips to the pool, and made hot food impossible. Passengers and crew were stranded for three days.

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