Can Carnival Cruises Rescue its Reputation?

As you continue to watch Carnival Cruises respond to its Costa Concordia accident near Italy, you might be wondering how this company — and the cruise industry — can restore trust during this peak season when cash-strapped consumers are booking their 2012 breaks.

Given the infrequent appearances from executives at this world’s largest cruise line (whose brands include Carnival, Holland America Line, Seabourn, AIDA Cruises, Ibero Cruises, P&O Cruises Cunard, Princess Cruises, Costa), clearly Carnival’s current and future revenues are at risk unless they take action now:

  • the “how” – immediate communication by the leaders of the company on its search and rescue efforts is a must. As in any corporate crisis, it’s all about speed.
  • the “who” – fielding top executives from Costa’s parent company, Carnival Cruises, is a must as only they have measurable credibility for reassuring concerned relatives, friends, customers, employees, investors, media and other stakeholders. This is a much more effective way to retain (rebuild) trust rather than leaving it to trade bodies to speculate on why the accident happened.
  • the “what” – demonstrating the actions being taken to all stakeholders that contingency plans are in place and being implemented is the best way to reassure people that your brand can be trusted.
  • the “where” – appropriate rescue operations need to be demonstrated in online and offline media by Carnival Cruises to ensure all its partners and channels are informed and aligned with your activities. This includes travel agents, system partners (airlines, hotels, car rental companies) and others in its ecosystem.

2 responses to “Can Carnival Cruises Rescue its Reputation?

  1. Great response, Allyson! Wouldn’t you think that Carnival Cruises would have known these action items to take immediately? This tradegy brings focus on some fundamentals of modern cruise ship design and construction: the most modern electronic devices and high tech gear which are installed in these modern ships is usuless if a hull breach can sink such a ship and with such quickness. Pretty scary.

  2. This tragic disaster must have been a wake-up call to the many people who increasingly enjoy cruising and who, like me, remember taking part in the half hearted life-jacket and muster practice. Not only do Carnival Cruises need to put into place the measures which Allyson Stewart-Allen recommends, but they need to be joined by all the other cruise lines in order to reassure both their booked passengrs and those who may already be reassessing their next holiday plans.

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