The U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan dropped off 60,000 pounds of food and water, including Pop Tarts, Spam, granola bars, sandwich meats, and paper plates. Passengers reportedly ate hot dog salads and mayo sandwiches.
Reaction from passengers was mixed, as some complained it was like “camping on the ocean,” and another called it the “honeymoon cruise from hell”, while others described Carnival as “doing the best job they could with the resources they had” and said “the crew was great.”
Carnival’s CEO described the incident as the worst in the company’s 35-year history. In a classy (and strategic) move, Carnival CEO Gerry Cahill met the ship at the San Diego dock.
Carnival Cruises is refunding their tickets, providing a free future cruise, and paying for transportation costs. They additionally provided free drinks, usage of satellite phones to call loved ones, and live music on board. Travel industry experts say the compensation is “one of the better ones you will see.” A financial analyst who follows Carnival’s stock does not expect Carnival to take a big financial hit following the incident.
This incident at sea undoubtedly had potential to end disastrously, but with the aid of the government, cooperation among employees, and strategic moves from Carnival, it appears likely the cruise line will not suffer major damage to its reputation. They apologized, acted quickly, and did their best to make the passengers as comfortable as possible in a tough situation. The crew of the Splendor deserves much of the credit, as their professionalism and good spirits kept the passengers calm and made the best of an unusual situation. While one passenger was transported to the hospital upon arrival in San Diego, all passengers were safe and reported no serious effects. Carnival handled this well and appears poised to deal with future issues in an effective manner.