Carnival Ordeal Could Have Spillover Effects For Other Cruise Lines

The tugs Resolve Pioneer and Dabhol tow and steer the 893-foot Carnival Triumph cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico. [U.S. Coast Guard photo by Ensign Chris Shivock.]
The ordeal is over for passengers of the Carnival Triumph, but the troubles for Carnival Cruise Lines may be only beginning.

Partha Krishnamurthy teaches marketing and entrepreneurship at the University of Houston’s Bauer College of Business. One of his special interests is brand management  — in particular, the challenges a company faces when its product is at the center of a disaster or accident.

Krishamurthy says, in his experience, the case of the Carnival Triumph is unprecedented.

“Most product failures are not visual in nature, in the sense that as the damage is happening to the product experience, that millions of people tune in, and there are cameras parked in front, and so on and so forth. As a result of which, I think this is a product failure that people vicariously experience because they are seeing it happen in front of their eyes.”

Krishamurthy says Carnival, and the cruise line industry as a whole, will probably lose business as a result of the round-the-clock coverage of conditions on the Triumph. But he expects these effects will be short-lived.

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Andrew Schneider

Business Reporter

Andrew Schneider joined KUHF in January 2011, after more than a decade as a print reporter for The Kiplinger Letter...