What to learn from the carnival cruise poop deckOver 4,000 passengers are still stuck on the Carnival Triumph which should be docking shortly. It’s already being called the “poop deck” on social media due to less than sanitary conditions aboard.

Carnival Cruise Lines had already stated passengers would receive a full credit for the cruise plus transportation expenses and a future cruise credit equal to the amount paid for the Triumph voyage. The real PR nightmare didn’t come from the delay into port or lack of electricity directly, but the lack of food and all the indirect ways electricity effected the cruise ship including deteriorating sanitary conditions. How could they have avoided a bad situation from getting worse?

In a statement late on Wednesday, Carnival Cruise Lines President and Chief Executive Gerry Cahill said the company had decided to add further payment of $500 per person to help compensate passengers for “very challenging circumstances” aboard the ship. I believe these are very generous solutions for Carnival to offer their passengers and I applaud them. However, could  the situation have bee  

The standard offer for resolution in contractual disputes is to put the parties back where they started prior to the contract. If taken to court a resolution agreement likely would include the payment of a resolution amount equal to the costs incurred for the ticket, transportation, etc.

According to many, Carnival has gone further than what is reasonable in rewarding the passengers for their inconvenience. However, how to avoid this situation or how to have a back up plan-Plan B-in place should now be the focus. Carnival is refunding the cost of the trip, absorbing the transportation expenses, and offering $500 per person as well. It’s more than enough.

Because Carnival owns and operates more cruise ships than any other company the possible occurrence of these events is greater than other cruise operators. Carnival needs another set of eyes. They need innovative solutions that address the ‘what if?’ and ‘what’s next?’ given their historical issues.

Should Carnival create a Plan B? Yes. For example, they could investigate freeze dried rations and other ‘survival’ items that would permit passengers to be provided with food, remain warm and feel safe while the ship is incapacitated. We have to remember that 3,143 passengers and 1,086 crew would require lots of manually operated toilets, freeze dried food and water distillation stills. The ship is almost 900 feet long. Don’t you think they could find a way to store these ‘what if’ solutions on board? Many of us have been on smaller boats that have manual toilets. Certainly a ship this large could provide them for the ‘what’s next’ issue that the loss electricity created.

Hopefully Carnival and other hospitality companies can learn from this event. Acts of God, mechanical failures, and accidents are going to happen. No one can forecast when they will occur, but we can have a Plan B and C and D…for the inevitable. What is your idea to avoid such an event in your own company?

Shift Happens and we all have to plan for it… not be surprised by it.