No doubt about it, Carnival is sailing in some treacherous waters. On the heels of last month's "Triumph" debacle, two new ship problems are raising some serious questions about the cruise giant.
Karen Post is a branding expert. She knows as well as anyone when it comes to public opinion, perception is reality.
"They're getting a lot of negative news coverage, which you and I know stays around for 100 years, so it's not a good situation," she said.
Just days ago, the Carnival Dream reported a problem with its emergency generator. It is stuck in St. Maarten, and while its passengers say they've been taken care of, they're having to fly back home while the ship stays behind.
At the same time, the Carnival ship Legend is limping back to Tampa. Theirs is reportedly a problem with its propulsion system. It was on the last leg of a Caribbean cruise, and it is skipping a stop at the Grand Cayman Islands so it can make its scheduled return home this weekend.
Passengers are fine but the ship will need some work. It is a unique way for one local mother's son to spend his honeymoon, of all things
"Pretty much ship bound, which isn't too bad, and they're fortunate they haven't lost any amenities," said Tonya Esparza.
Fortunately for Carnival, neither of these two incidents were nearly as bad as what happened to the Triumph last month. It was stuck in the Gulf of Mexico for days after a fire in the engine room left it powerless.
Carnival has compensated passengers on all three of its recent problematic voyages. It is also launching a review of its fleet following the Triumph disaster.
Still, its image as the "fun ships" is taking it a hit, making it seem more like "flub ships" lately.
"What Carnival's got to do is be transparent. When they mess up, admit they've made mistakes and show the public they've found solutions," Post said.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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