With no air conditioning, hot running water, or hot food, passengers aboard the Carnival Splendor have been offered a refund and free future cruise. Is it enough for those who don't want a cruise?
Petty Officer 3rd Class Dylan McChord / US Navy / AP
Carnival advertises its cruise ship Splendor as the “largest ‘fun ship’ ever deployed on the West Coast.” But that fun ran out Monday when an engine fire incapacitated the ship just 14 hours into its seven-day cruise.
So as a cruise ship company, what do you offer your 3,299 customers who have gone more than two days with no air conditioning, electricity, hot running water, hot food service, or telephones, who have limited running water and bathroom facilities, and who are being towed back to port by tugboats at an average four miles per hour?
Carnival has promised a full refund for this trip, as well as a free future cruise of equal value.
What about passengers who swear off cruises – or at least Carnival – for life? Can they get something else, or even just transfer the cruise credit to a friend or relative?
“We can definitely look at this down the line,” said Carnival spokeswoman Joyce Oliva, “but right now, all we’re providing guests is a full refund … and transportation costs to get guests back home, including flights and hotel stays.”
This future free cruise is a fairly normal offer from cruise lines whose ships run into calamity, whether it's facing a hurricane or running aground, says Oivind Mathisen, editor for Cruise Industry News, an independent organization that has covered the cruise industry for the past 30 years. "Given the circumstances, they’re doing everything they should be doing."