Buzz has improved for Carnival Cruise Lines more than any other U.S. brand, according to the YouGov BrandIndex mid-year 2014 Buzz Rankings Report.

The consumer perception research service measured buzz, or net sentiment, for January through June of 2014 by asking survey respondents this question: “If you’ve heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?”

The result for Carnival, -4.4, indicated that slightly more people had heard negative things than positive. But the result was a major improvement compared to the score of -23.6 a year earlier.

“No company has made greater strides in perception than Carnival after a series of cruise ship mishaps in the first quarter of 2013,” the BrandIndex report said.

In a press release Thursday, Doral-based Carnival attributed the improvement to initiatives including a best price guarantee for shore excursions; a vacation guarantee that promises guests can get a 110 percent refund and free transportation home if they are unhappy with their cruise during the first 24 hours; a new concert series and programming in partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises.

“We have worked very hard at Carnival over the past year to bring fresh programming and innovation to our ships while maintaining consistently smooth operational performance and the results of this latest BrandIndex data is a gratifying acknowledgment of those efforts,” Carnival Cruise Lines president and CEO Gerry Cahill said in a statement. ___

Photo Credit: A small boat from the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Vigorous patrols near the cruise ship Carnival Triumph in the Gulf of Mexico on February 11, 2013. U.S. Coast Guard/Reuters