Opinion: Carnival Cruise Ship endangers passengers

 
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OPINION COLUMN BY NATASHA REEVES —

4,200 people were stranded at sea for five days on the Carnival Cruise Ship, Triumph. A fire knocked out the propulsion system, the power, the sewage and heating and air-conditioning systems. Passengers were left stranded without power, with sewage spewing into rooms and filthy and hungry as food had to be rationed until they docked on Feb. 14 in Mobile, Alab.

What adds to this injury is that the cruise ship is 14 years old and has had mechanical problems in the past. The company itself has had many problems with their ships throughout the years. On Jan. 13, during a cruise around the coast of Italy, a ship capsized due to a dangerous maneuver performed by the captain. From the incident, 25 people were killed and seven missing. In 2010, there were two different occurrences similar to the Triumph event where a fire caused power outages and mechanical malfunctions and left the cruise ships adrift for days.

Every company has blunders, but the Carnival Cruise line has faults that are too big to ignore and are downright dangerous to customers. The company was aware that the ship Triumph had problems, considering there were power problems on the same ship back in January.

The customers are filing a lawsuit stating, “Carnival knew or should have known that the vessel Triumph was likely to experience mechanical and/or engine issues because of prior similar issues.”

If this company wants to stay afloat, they will need more than a talented lawyer and public relations officer: they will need to take drastic strides towards safety for their patrons and employees.

Besides the damage caused by the ship’s mishaps, the ship was towed for five days, leaving the passengers in unsanitary and dangerous conditions. Another ship could have been sent out to rescue passengers or provide technical support. On any ship going out to sea, there should be extra supplies and possible backup generators for emergencies.

“The situation has been incredibly difficult and we’re sorry for what happened,” said Carnival CEO Gerry Cahill when he boarded the ship once it was ported to apologize to the all the guests. “Our company was founded on the idea of providing great vacations to fun-loving Americans and clearly we failed on this cruise.”

The cruise did more than just fail. It put a black mark on their company, prompted the media and individuals to investigate further in their past failures and worse, caused harm to the lives of thousands. To gain back the trust of the public and of future consumers, Carnival will not only need to give some sort of compensation that is larger than a refund to the customers they will also need to shovel out money to improve the quality of their ships systems.

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