Carnival Triumph debacle taking toll on cruise industry

The public’s perception of the cruise industry is plummeting like, well, a sinking ship.

The industry’s image has been battered by a series of mishaps, most recently the crisis on the Carnival Triumph, which lost power and was set adrift in the Gulf of Mexico in February.


Surveys by Harris Interactive show that the public’s perception of the quality and their trust in the cruise industry has continued to decline, even months after the Triumph disaster.

The lower scores extends to all the top cruise companies, not just Carnival, the surveys shows.


“These most recent findings, coupled with reports of heavily discounted pricing on Carnival cruises, indicate that the industry as a whole, as well as the Carnival brand specifically, may still be facing rough seas,” said Deana Percassi, vice president of Harris Poll Insights.

Carnival’s quality perception rating has dropped 28% since a survey taken before the Triumph mishap, while the score for all seven of the world’s largest cruise lines dropped an average of 13%, according to the survey.

The public’s trust score for Carnival dropped 26% since before the February crisis, while the average score dropped 12% for all seven of the top cruise lines.

Perhaps the most crucial public rating -- the intent to buy a cruise ticket -- dropped 20% for Carnival and 11% for all seven major cruise lines since before the Triumph debacle, the survey found.


In hopes of repairing its image, Carnival announced plans in April to spend $300 million to add an extra generator in each ship and upgrade fire-suppression systems to prevent the kinds of malfunctions that hobbled the Triumph.


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