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Carnival CEO boards Triumph about four days too late

Feb 15, 2013 12:50 am

Skift Take

Carnival’s tin-eared response to this crisis will be a “what not to do” case-study for PR agencies for years to come. It’s CEO should have been working the tug boats in the Caribbean rather than phoning it in from the comfort of home.

— Jason Clampet

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Carnival Cruise Lines’ Chief Executive Officer boarded the Triumph cruise liner after the crippled vessel reached port today to apologize to passengers who endured a four-day ordeal.

“The most important thing for me right now is to go on board and apologize in person,” Gerald Cahill, president and CEO of the Carnival Corp. unit, said at a press conference in Mobile, Alabama. “Thats what I’m going to do right now.”

Passengers complained of sickness as basic functions like sewage disposal broke down aboard the stricken liner and guests had to wait in long lines for food. Cahill defended the crew and said they did everything they could after the Feb. 10 fire that knocked out electricity on the ship.

“I know it has been very trying for our guests,” Cahill said. “But I can tell you our crew worked tirelessly. I appreciate the patience of our guests and their ability to cope with the situation. I know the conditions onboard were poor and I want to apologize again to our guests.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Margaret Newkirk in Atlanta at To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at

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