Seven months after the Triumph cruise ship was left adrift in the Gulf of Mexico, the world's largest cruise company is offering a money-back guarantee to boost confidence in its business.
Carnival Cruise Lines announced Thursday a guarantee that guests will be satisfied with sailings to specific destinations, departing before April 20, 2015, or they can receive a 110% refund, plus transportation home and $100 in onboard credit.
Carnival has been investing heavily to rebuild its reputation after a fire on the Triumph ship in February stranded more than 3,000 passengers at sea for five days.
The cruise line is spending $300 million to add extra generators and upgrade fire suppression on many of its ships.
The guarantee is not the the first offered by Carnival.
But in the past, Carnival cruises paid only to return unhappy passengers to the original departure port and reimbursed them only for the value of the unused portion of the cruise.
"They are really putting their money where their mouth is," said Stewart Chiron, a cruise expert and founder of Cruiseguy.com. "They are saying they are extremely confident in their product."
The new guarantee is aimed at first-time cruise passengers who are reluctant to try Carnival because of a series of recent mishaps, including the Triumph debacle.
"Anything we can do to get people over that hurdle is a good thing,” said Carnival President and Chief Executive Gerry Cahill. "This year, with the events we went through, it's even more important.”
The guarantee includes some restrictions. For example, passengers must request the refund within 24 hours of the ship's departure from port.