Carnival Corp. has fantastic news for those passengers who didn’t die on the Costa Concordia last week when it drove hard aground and capsized off the cost of Italy: You can get 30% off future cruises if you continue to spend your recreation money with Carnival.
Sound a little insensitive? That's only the beginning. Since the shipwreck, the company and its Costa Cruises subsidiary have shown insensitivity, poor judgment, incompetence and possibly negligence. That's a lot to pack into a week.
Read on for more detail from BigBadBiz...
Carnival Corp. has fantastic news for those passengers who didn’t die on the Costa Concordia last week when it drove hard aground and capsized off the coast of Italy: You can get 30% off future cruises if you continue to spend your recreation money with Carnival.
According to a report in the New York Daily News:
“The company is not only going to refund everybody, but they will offer a 30% discount on future cruises if they want to stay loyal to the company,” said a spokesman for Costa Cruises, a subsidiary of industry leader Carnival Cruise Lines.
First, Costa/Carnival ought stop making it sound like it’s doing customers a favor by offering to refund their money. Nobody got anywhere near what they paid for. With 6 exciting ports of call scheduled, the cruise was only a few hours old when it ended. Had it originated in the U.S. that would be just enough time for your luggage to show up and to get the mandatory lifeboat drill over with. Fortunately, they’re a little less hurried in Italy; the muster drill – required to take place within the first 24 hours of a cruise – was scheduled for Day 2, which gave passengers that little bit of extra time to get their drunk on before taking a dip.
Second, here’s a rule of thumb for the cruise industry: If they’re still diving for bodies, it’s too soon to start talking about discounts on future adventures.
Third, what highly compensated executive at Carnival signed off on the idea of bribing traumatized victims for their loyalty?
So instead, surviving passengers plan on suing the cruise line for $160,000 apiece in a class action suit that ultimately could be valued at more than $500 million – a bit less than it cost to build the 6-year-old Costa Concordia itself.
Meanwhile, Carnival’s crisis management continues to founder. While the ship’s captain, Francesco Schettino, hasn’t helped himself through his own behavior, the cruise company sold him out completely before the investigation has even had a chance to heat up – neglecting the question of who’s responsible for putting a supposedly ill-suited and erratic performer in charge of a 952-foot behemoth carrying at least 5,200 souls.
Predictably, Schettino is responding by charging that the company told him to make a close pass of the island where the shipwreck occurred.
Wherever the blame ultimately lands, Costa Cruises’ own CEO has already admitted that such “tourist navigation” is routine.
While the well-heeled were volleying blame on the Lido deck, investigators were struggling to draw information from the ship's “black box.” The data recorder was allegedly reported to be on the fritz two weeks before the accident and hadn't been repaired. However, the allegation comes form Schettino himself – a man who claims to have tripped off the deck of his foundering ship only to land upright and uninjured in a conveniently placed lifeboat; so who knows what to believe.
In positive news, someone in the marketing department was on the ball – striking every mention of the Costa Concordia from the fleet listing at the Costa Cruises website.
But that’s where the clear thinking seems to end. At a time when the company most needs to convey trustworthiness, it’s been caught telling a pointless lie. Passengers who have future bookings on the Costa Concordia are being told that their reservations will be served by a brand new ship – the Costa neoRomantica. According to The Independent of London, it’s actually a refitted and renamed 20-year-old Costa Romantica. What's the point of that obfuscation?
If any passengers actually show up, perhaps they should be offered a 30% loyalty bribe too. And a lifeboat drill.
An extra tidbit found on Wikipedia: At the Costa Concordia’s christening, the champagne bottle failed to break – a sign of bad luck, for which the vintner was probably blamed.