Spam Cruise Docks Safely in San Diego Harbor

Courtesy of Jae C. Hong/AP

Carnival cruise ship The Splendor made headlines this week as an engine room fire left the vessel without enough power to continue on the cruise – let alone get back to land. The Splendor lost almost all power 500 miles off the coast of San Diego and 50 miles from Mexico. Tugboats pulled the ship to the San Diego shore, landing four days after the fire occured on Monday. The 3,300 passengers and crew had no hot water, air conditioning, or regular meals during that time. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the fire.

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.

Courtesy of Sandy Hoffaker/USA Today

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4 Responses to Spam Cruise Docks Safely in San Diego Harbor

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Spam Cruise Docks Safely in San Diego Harbor | The Fosbury Flop --

  2. Nina Akerley says:

    Great blog post! We’ve been talking about this non-stop at work in my PR department. We are curious about how much the rest of the cruise industry hates Carnival right now. Any insights on overal industry fallout after this incident?

    The Fosbury Flop is fantastic! Keep up the great work :)

    • rosemaryalavery says:

      Thanks Nina! I haven’t seen anything in the news from other cruise lines responding, but I will keep you posted if I do. It seems to me, given the situation, Carnival did the best they could do, and the fire could not have been predicted. You have a great bog as well!

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