Do you hear that? Yes, that is the sound of nothing. The news surrounding Royal Caribbean’s Grandeur of the Seas has died down to a whisper. FAST. Why was Carnival slaughtered in the news media regarding their ship malfunctions but RCCL was almost ‘praised’?
Unfortunately for Carnival, they were the first to suffer the experience. The industry was unchartered for how to handle such an event. They made a lot of mistakes and other cruise lines have a prime example of what NOT to do in such an emergency. Kudos to RCCL for observing Carnival’s flaws and doing everything different. They were swift in the handling of the crisis and will reap the awards of their proper actions.
Lesson number one – Act quickly. The quicker you have a solution the shorter the negativity stays in the news. Floating out at sea for many days is BAD. Getting your passengers quickly to shore with a plan in place to get them home is GOOD. Now, RCCL was ‘lucky’ their fire was not in engine like Carnival but still, they were quite speedy in their recovery.
Lesson number two – Positive press. Focus on the interviews of the people. Control or combat those who exaggerate and make the situation sound worse than it really is.
Lesson number three – Be transparent. RCCL didn’t try to hide anything. The picture of the burned ship was out there for everyone to see. When you are transparent the drama dies down and so will the press. I’m not sure
Carnival was trying to cover anything up, but when news leaked that was not in the original press release it sure made it sound that way. Will I continue to sell cruises? Absolutely. A cruise vacation has a 95% satisfaction rate and
that is my prime driver, to make sure my clients are satisfied with their vacations. 19 million people cruise in a year. About 8,000 passengers have been affected by the cruise malfunctions this year. My heart goes out to every single
one of those people. However, it’s only represents a tiny percentage of those who sail the grand seas. Happy cruising!
Dominique Barba, CTC, ECC