Carnival Splendor: Time for a Spamcation?

You plan in advance for a vacation, sometimes months, sometimes years. You arrange time off with work, pet sitting for your pets, and save up the extra cash to have a good time. I don’t think in a million years anyone expects to have a vacation where it turns into a nightmare. This week the passengers on the Carnival Splendor did just that.

In this 2008 file photo released by Carnival Cruise Lines, the cruise ship Carnival Splendor arrives in Dover, England. Carnival Cruise Lines/Andy Newman/File/AP Photo

When the fire broke out and the ship lost power, I am sure each and every one of those passengers thought it was a temporary issue. I am sure the couples and the friends traveling together found a way to deal with it by either playing cards, engaging in the activities that the crew organized for them, or enjoying the free booze (albeit warm booze) in the bars. But what about the children, the disabled, or the elderly? I have yet to hear a story from any of these passengers. How did the parents keep the kids entertained on a cruise ship that smelled of rotting food and non-functional toilets?

We hear stories of the Navy delivering Spam to the cruise ship, but what I find interesting is Carnival’s denial that Spam was served.

A Navy Seahawk helicopter from the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier carries supplies towards the Carnival Splendor cruise ship during relief operations Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2010, in waters off Mexico’s Baja Penninsula. (AP Photo)

First Carnival didn’t even bother to address the concerns of those who posted on FaceBook or Twitter and when they did post a comment, it was information that was over 12 hours old. They could have propped an intern up at a computer and told him/her to respond to the posts and to utilize social media to their advantage. Instead, they ignored those reaching out to them for a response and then denied serving Spam. That’s it? A honeymoon couple from California stated on the news this morning that they had cereal and salads the first two days and then suddenly meat of some kind appeared. You can’t fool people and you can’t underestimate people’s intelligence. It’s insulting.

Carnival has offered passengers a refund and a free cruise. The average person has only so many vacation days per year. How do they suppose they will be able to take this free cruise? Do you think that when they get those vacation days and they are thinking of a vacation that they will think of Carnival first?