Carnival’s Reputation Up in Smoke?

By Matter

For all the negative publicity Carnival Cruise Lines has been receiving for its recent fire aboard Carnival Splendor, which left passengers stranded offshore for days without power, there are others pieces that are highly positive. Taking a look at the story from all sides, I’d say Carnival handled what some are a calling a “nightmare” in the best possible manner. Here’s how:

In a recent piece in PRWeek explaining how “social media emerged as a key channel for Carnival Cruise Lines in its crisis communications response,” it describes how John Heald, Carnival’s Senior Cruise Director, took to his blog while on the ship to offer updates and recounts of what was taking place. Updates were also communicated on Carnival’s various social media networks including Facebook, Twitter, and Using each of these methods not only kept family members of those on board posted on the progress of the ships return, but it provided Carnival the opportunity to accurately relay information to the public.


Traveling isn’t always smooth sailing (pun intended) but to see a crisis like the fire aboard the Splendor handled as it was, I commend Carnival and its PR team. Though not their intent, I imagine there are a few travelers that would perhaps chose them over other cruise lines now for the mere fact that they overcame a huge obstacle and still have happy customers. But of course, as Heald describes below, there will always be those who will be quick to share their less than positive experience. Let’s just hope they don’t drown out the ones who really should be heard.

“There will be those who will say this has been ‘the cruise from hell.’ However, when you see the local news reporter with the huge hair talking to Mr. Angry remember that there are many many many many more who will tell you what they have been telling me and the crew and that is that Carnival as a company have done everything they can and continue to do so to help them through this difficult situation.”