Carnival Cruise Lines: Why Carnival Should Be Saying, “We Are Carnival Cruise Lines”

Recently you’ve probably read or heard about the major incident on the Carnival Triumph ship.  Just the other day the US Coast Guard issued a report tying that problem to a leak in a fuel line aboard the Carnival Triumph.  It is one of the many ships that Carnival Cruise Lines owns around the world.  I went to the website and actually found a link that shows how many lines Carnival actually owns.  Here they are:

  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Princess Cruise Lines
  • Cunard Line
  • Holland America Lines
  • Costa Cruises
  • Seabourn

It is quite an impressive list of cruise lines with global scope.  With the Costa Cruises incident involving Costa Concordia off Italy last year it might be easy to say that the company is plagued by disasters.  However, that would be a simplification given the scope of their worldwide operations.  Rather, in the light of the Triumph incident something came out that the company should be taking advantage of.

It seems to me that no matter how bad the situation became aboard the Carnival Triumph there was one shining light.  That was the performance of the crew during the incident.  Universally, every news video report that followed the incident showed passengers praising the performance of the crew.

Many passengers pointed to the efforts of the crew to make the situation on board the Triumph better.

When I check the site however I see some things that are missing and that are present.  These things speak to both what Carnival needs to do and who they are.

Firstly, one of the initial things that I do when I visit any new website is look at the “About Us” page.  That should give me a strong sense of the company mission and management.  In the case of Carnival both items are missing.  I have no idea who their management staff are, nor their mission and value statement.   When I went to their Investor Relations web page I did find some interesting information including more cruise lines that they own.  So, I’d highly recommend that their webmaster or digital media director update their website.  Here are the additional lines that they own:

  • P&O Cruises
  • P&O Cruises Australia
  • Aida Cruises
  • Ibero Cruceros

Secondly, I found something quite interesting.  Carnival Cruise has a tremendous sense of community.  They have two direct links on their website pointing to Carnival’s philanthropic efforts:

St Jude Children’s Research Hospital ®:

(that link needs to be shortened!)

In fact, they have reached $2.7 Million in contributions for their goal of $3.0 Million.

Carnival Foundation:    (link again!)

That webpage notes:

As one of South Florida’s largest employers, Carnival Cruise Lines believes that being a member of a community means giving something back. As such, the company and its employees support a variety of charitable and arts-related organizations.

Carnival’s support is coordinated through the Carnival Foundation, which oversees the company’s myriad of philanthropic efforts, as well as its employee-driven service group, the “Friends Uniting Neighbors (F.U.N.) Team.”

Although Carnival’s contributions are wide-ranging, the company primarily focuses on organizations that are based in South Florida, where the company is headquartered, and in its homeport communities throughout the U.S.

During times of crisis, Carnival works closely with various national and international relief organizations, coordinating corporate and employee donations for emergencies such as hurricanes in the U.S. and Caribbean.

Shipboard personnel also do their part to help our communities, participating in beach clean ups and donating their time and talent to orphanages and children’s charities throughout the Caribbean and other regions.

In the past five years alone, Carnival and its employees have contributed more than $30 million in financial contributions and in-kind donations to a variety of local and national charities. Following the example set forth by Carnival’s founder, the late Ted Arison, and continued by his son Micky, chairman and CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines’ parent company, Carnival Corporation & plc, Carnival and its employees endeavor to make South Florida and its other homeport communities better places to live and work.

Thirdly, let’s get back to the Carnival crew on the Triumph.  If Carnival Cruise is planning there next media campaign it ought to be centered on their skilled crews.  Create an “interview” style commercial with a conversational tone and let the crews tell their story.  That type of ad campaign worked wonders for New York Presbyterian Hospital  with their ad campaign last year featuring patients telling their treatment stories.                  Story of young Heather McNamara

Perhaps Carnival might even be able to pair up a crew member with a guest for an uplifting story.

Fourth, Carnival is definitely going to have to come up with a better operations’ plan for the next ship borne incident.  Here are some things that they can do:

  1. Create a “standby” cruise ship that can be put to sea immediately in given regions where Carnival serves.  That may be costly but it could bring in valuable customer rapport from both past and prospective cruise clients.  Given the global scope of Carnival’s operations this is no small task but it may have to be an operational necessity.
  2. Create an operational system for every ship that can easily transport passengers from one ship to another with ease.  Again, an operational challenge given the varying ages and physical conditions of passengers.  Carnival Cruise should be engaging engineering consultants and specialized companies like who have vast experience in creating mechanical systems.   Carnival needs to take a “can do” attitude and work with the right partner(s) to get this done.
  3. Create back up energy systems for critical areas of the ship like kitchen galleys, elevators, and medical rooms.  Look into solar energy options for each ship that can store energy and be ready to deliver on a moment’s notice.
  4. Look into purely hydraulic systems that can operate critical equipment in emergencies.

Fifth, I’d recommend moving the Carnival Cruise Video Center from the bottom of the Home Page to an actual video box on the top part of the Home Page – “above the fold”.  It seems like there are a healthy number of videos for the company but they are buried in the website.  I’d move them to the Home Page.  Currently, the upper portion of the Home Page seems very sales oriented; too much like an auto dealership.  There is a great opportunity to use the Carnival Home Page as an interface tool with past, current, and prospective passengers.  I believe that would create a richer experience for both Carnival and people.

Truth & Reality here:  I have never been on a cruise, do not work for Carnival Cruises, nor hold stock in the organization.

If you intend to leave a comment in any LinkedIn Group or Facebook, please copy and paste your comment to my original blog so we can keep the conversation going.

Regards – Dom

Dominic J. Frúges


Cell & Primary: 732-684-4029