Can Carnival's reputation stay afloat? - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Can Carnival's reputation stay afloat?

Passengers were flown home from their last stop in Saint Maarten after the Carnival cruise ship “Dream” experienced mechanical problems earlier this week. Passengers were flown home from their last stop in Saint Maarten after the Carnival cruise ship “Dream” experienced mechanical problems earlier this week.

Triumph, Dream and Legend.

Their names hold high hopes of a great vacation for passengers. But it's been anything but for thousands of people trading their dream vacation for life vests and dry land.

Clay Ingram with AAA has had calls about the cruise line but he said the recent news isn't forcing people to cancel.

"It really is a rare occurrence and more people that are traveling understand that and don't let that affect their travel plans," said Ingram.

He said people joke about Carnival's recent misfortune but it's not stopping them from planning a vacation.

"We've not had anyone change their plans, change to a different cruise line or anything like that. People are still booking cruises," said Ingram.

So how does Carnival Cruise come out of this while still holding a strong following?

Luckie Public Relations Director Brian Pia said there's still hope.

"They key is identifying what the problem is and so these are maintenance problems. It's possible, pure speculation that management may be telling maintenance to cut corners to save money," said Pia.

If that's the case, Pia said both maintenance and management need to get on the same page. He said another big pull the company needs to take is communication.

"Anytime you're in a crisis like this it's really important to provide ongoing information. If I were calling the shots in this situation I would be contacting the passengers every 20 minutes," Pia said.

While cruises are still booking, Pia said it's not going to be an overnight turn for Carnival Cruise Ship's reputation.

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