Carnival To Spend Millons On Safety Program

safetyDigging deep into Carnival Corporation pockets to address the safety concerns of cruise travelers worldwide, Carnival Cruise Lines is looking to put the past behind them. Today announcing a multi-million comprehensive safety program, the cruise line that just can’t seem to get ahead of the game is taking a different approach: changing it.

This time last month in the article “Carnival Cruise Line Shake Down Begins, And That’s A Good Thing,” Gadling reported that Carnival was in the process of shaking down their ships, looking for and trying to anticipate anything that can go wrong.

“This review is very comprehensive; it will take us a little bit of time to complete it,” said Carnival President and CEO Gerry Cahill. “But you can rest assured that it is our highest priority throughout the entire organization.”

Today, the fruits of those efforts were revealed, with Cahill noting, “by applying lessons learned through our fleet-wide operational review after the Carnival Triumph fire and by taking advantage of new technologies, we have identified areas for enhancement across our operations.”Called the Operating Reliability and Guest Comfort program, the focus is deep, promising to tackle three major areas of concerns to travelers:

safetyEnhance emergency power capabilities- Each ship will have a new, emergency generator that will provide 100 percent of stateroom and public toilets, fresh water and elevators in the event of a loss of main power.

Improve the level of operating redundancies– All ships already have two separate, redundant engine rooms. But new modifications will include a reconfiguration of certain engine-related electrical components.

safetyIntroduce new fire safety technology– Fleet-wide, Carnival will invest in the newest and most technically advanced fire prevention, detection and suppression systems, upgrading the existing water mist systems.

On the guest comfort front, Carnival will expand the availability of hotel services for the comfort of its guests if a shipboard event involves the loss of main power.

Looking beyond Carnival Cruise Lines, the program will be applied to all 101 ships in the Carnival Corporation Fleet, which also includes Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Cunard Line and Seabourn.

“The overall program of enhancements across the fleet, including Carnival Cruise Lines’ ships, is expected to cost between $600 and $700 million,” said Carnival Corporation spokesperson Lanie Morgenstern in an email.

Included in the announcement was a new video featuring Cahill and Carnival Corporation chairman, Mickey Arison. Accused by the Boston Globe of paying more attention to his Miami Heat than the heat passengers on the Carnival Triumph endured without air-conditioning, Arison goes on the record, describing where safety fits into Carnival’s plans.

[Photo Credit – Carnival Corporation]

Carnival cruises to higher profit, forecasts future pricing

carnival future pricingCarnival Corporation, the world’s largest cruise company, posted an almost 30% gain in net income over last year this week, signaling smooth sailing ahead for the operator of 98 ships spanning 11 different cruise lines. During an earnings call this week, the cruise giant shed some light on a number of topics and inadvertently gave some advice for those getting ready to buy a cruise.

Last month’s would-be PR nightmare, a fire aboard nearly-new Carnival Splendor turned out OK for the line with Chairman and CEO Mickey Arison noting “We didn’t see any impact at all” on bookings after the event. Quickly moving to do right by affected guests probably helped that potential PR disaster pass. Earlier this week, a U.S.Coast Guard safety alert acknowledged it was swift action by the ship’s quick response team firefighters that extinguished the fire.

Recent booking volumes were strong and prices were higher than a year earlier. But looking ahead to next year, prices right now are higher but occupancies are lower. Carnival has high hopes for upcoming “wave season” that begins in January, a time when a whole lot of people book cruises.

Should that not happen at the rate they anticipate, should bookings not pick up pace, look for prices to drop, a sure-fire way cruise lines fill ships.

Advice? If buying a Carnival cruise, ask your travel agent about their popular Early Saver fare, guaranteed to be the lowest by the line…no matter what happens to pricing in the future.