Sunday, February 17, 2013

Carnival Triumph Was a Disaster

What a week! The story of Carnival ship Triumph losing all power and creating a nightmare for all on board is absolutely incredible.

How is it possible for a company that sells 'experiences' disguised as 'vacations' to have absolutely no back up plans for losing all the power on board? Triumph lost power on Sunday due to a fire and all power was lost. Even power to critical systems, like navigation, sanitation, and emergency systems.

Over 4,200 passengers and crew were left in their own filth for 5 days without working bathrooms, without running water and with a very poorly designed food distribution system. It is not conceivable for a person to pay money expecting the experience of a lifetime and get the trauma of a lifetime.

Many think that Carnival did the best they could but I believe they did nothing to prepare for such an event. You expect the best and prepare for the worst but in cruising one expects that the preparation part totally belongs to the cruise line. If I pay money to prepare for the worst then what expectations can I have?

The business model of the cruise industry has to change to reflect the reality that catastrophic failures do happen and they need to have serious contingency in place to be able to better insulate passengers and crew from preventable (and, in the case of fire in the engine room, not very rare) events. 

I have never been on a cruise before and I will never go on a cruise. I would rather depend on loosely distributed systems for my security and well being than a singularly controlled web of systems (mostly when there is no redundancy built in).

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