Carnival Cruise Line – Crisis Communication Analysis Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Overview of crisis situation at Carnival Cruise Line

The paper basically explores the issue at Carnival Cruise Lines (Carnival), which is a famous cruise ship line used for vacationing.It has been continuously enduring the crisis situation where it has failed to take the necessary action for its rectification. It is a common fact that crisis can either make or break the sustainability of a successful firm.

Therefore, it is rather obligatory on the part of the management to analyze the past events in order to overcome the issues at the firm. In the current situation, Carnival Cruise Lines has faced three major incidents.

The first one is the fire in the Splendor engine, where the ship was stranded at sea in 2010. The second issue occurred within the company that involves Costa Concordia, which crashed off the coast of Italy in 2012. Finally, one of the ships’ engines caught fire on the Triumph, which again stranded the ship in the middle of the sea (Rogers, 2013).

Carnival was launched in the year 1972 by Ted Arison. It is one of the most renowned cruise ship companies in the market. In 1987, Carnival became an IPO company where it made over $400 million.

The mission of the company is to actually take the world on vacation and it also delivers exceptional experiences through many renowned cruise brands, which are catering the needs of diverse geographic markets. The vision of the company is to consistently provide the customers with quality vacations that exceed customer expectations. 

Carnival Cruise Line communication during crisis

The current situation of crisis indicates that the company has been unable to communicate and coordinate with the general public. In the three incidents, the company was quite content to keep the information and the issues within themselves. This was one major issue, which the management of the company did not capitalize and in fact they did not involve a lot of communication to overcome the issues (Hoober, 2013).

In the initial phase, the company did not actually acknowledge their mistake. In fact, they were more committed to keep the information within the firm. The firm has actually struggled to effectively communicate with the major stakeholders about all the three issues the company faced.

The communication method used by Carnival is ineffective and their limited exposure to the social media is also a major issue. Most of the articles published by different magazines were against the company.

The leaders of the company also did not demonstrate the candor. They were not particularly concerned with the issue. The leaders were more committed to overcome the issue without making the information public. In the current situation, if the leaders issued an official statement over the crisis situation, then things would have been better and no speculations would have been made. However, the CEO resigned from his post following a chain of issues, but he still serves as the director (Chiron, 2013).

Therefore, it is quite evident that the decision making of the leaders in the crisis situation where lack of communication was the major cause was caused due to the negligence of the management.

Another major issue, which was faced by Carnival, was that it did not effectively use the media to deliver the key messages. The company did not share news with the stakeholders. This was the major issue which actually hampered the image of the company.

The management was quite content to look after the issues within it. Although in the three issues presented, the management should have come out and spoke to the stakeholders and convinced them to overcome the issue.

The company was not very committed and aligned with the communication it did with the customers or the stakeholders. In the three incidents, the company faced serious issues where the ships faced issues regarding their credibility and it actually affected the image of the firm rather negatively (Davidson, 2002).Carnival Cruise Line – Crisis Communication Analysis Case Solution

Once the situation got a bit uncontrollable, the management came up with the communication strategy where they focused on explaining the situation to the stakeholders through public messages.

The company while communicating with the customers did not involve the employees in the communication effort. This was again a drawback and an issue on part of the management and leadership of Carnival. The reason is simple, if the employees are not assured of the decision making and public dealings, then things tend to fade away and the level of mutual trust diminishes considerably (Deiner, 2013)...............................

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