It's worth repeating that Carnival's contract of carriage reads the cruise line, "Makes absolutely no guarantee for safe passage, a seaworthy vessel, adequate and wholesome food, and sanitary and safe living conditions.”
Carnival's challenges with maintenance issues can't help but be made even more challenging by the bargain-basement prices they charge passengers to cruise with them. At some "cheap" starts affecting performance.
Carnival's defense that its repairs went beyond what was necessary was unfortunately undermined by the subsequent failure and its second-worst disaster in two years (the other being the Costa Concordia if you are keeping score).
The good news is that the Triumph didn't hit anything on the way out of port. But it's a long way to the Bahamas.
Passengers give up most of their rights when they buy a ticket and sign the contract of carriage, so it's difficult to see how they will prevail. Unless all they're after is more bad press for the accident-prone Carnival.
After the latest event you almost want to feel sorry for Carnival. Almost.
The next stop for the Carnival Triumph is Freeport, The Bahamas, where it will go into drydock for hopefully the final fixes before the ship returns to commercial service.
Carnival caved to intense pressure from Washington and its decision to reimburse the government for the Carnival Triumph and Carnival Splendor rescues could serve as a precedent. Carnival and other cruise lines could be getting bills in the mail from the U.S. Treasury for future incidents.
Carnival was initially strident in its refusal to admit they should pony up for the frequent aid it requires from the U.S. Coast Guard and Navy. Looks like the outcry finally got through to them.
Carnival Corp. didn't make any concessions in its letter to Senator Rockefeller, arguing that the cruise industry already pays plenty of taxes. Don't expect Carnival to reimburse the U.S. government for its costs in the Triumph incident, although the amount of money would be puny for a corporation of Carnival's size.