OK, it’s not a cruise line executive climbing a tree to rescue a kitten, but the recent cooperation between Carnival Cruise Lines and Norwegian Cruise Line to get a handful of nonflying Carnival Dream passengers back to Florida is still pretty neat.
Here’s the scoop.
A few weeks back when Carnival Dream ran into problems with its emergency backup generator, which left it unable to sail back to Florida with passengers, the cruise line had to make arrangements for about 3,600 passengers onboard. Almost all were fine with flying back.
But some 30 others were not. Whether scared of flying or medically unable to fly, these passengers could not or would not get on a plane to return to the United States. So Carnival needed to think outside the box.
As it turned out another cruise ship, Norwegian Sun, was heading from St. Maarten to Miami right around the time Carnival was trying to get passengers to Orlando. We can only guess how the conversation between Gerry Cahill, Carnival’s CEO, and Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian’s CEO, went (or whether they actually spoke with each other at all), but when all was said and done, Norwegian happily welcomed Carnival’s passengers onboard for the three-night trip back to Florida.
“They had a range of staterooms (balcony, oceanview, etc) depending on what was available,” AnneMarie Matthews, vice president of public relations for Norwegian, told Cruise Critic. “Carnival covered the cost, and a representative from Carnival’s Care Team traveled with them.”
While neither Norwegian nor Carnival would comment on exactly how much was paid, Carnival spokesman Vance Gulliksen did say the line covered the cabin costs as well as gratuities for crew.
In a statement to Cruise Critic, Carnival expressed its gratitude to Norwegian for the cooperation and support the line provided.
But Norwegian might end up with more than just a little extra pocket change. According to Matthews, feedback from the guests “was very positive.”
“Guests like having a range of dining options and had a great time onboard. They were also very appreciative to us for taking them back to Florida so they didn’t have to fly.”
Cruise Critic member floridagal062 was one of these passengers.
“I will say the food was better on Sun, as well as great service. The people were so nice to us on that ship and very accommodating,” she wrote as part of a post about her Carnival Dream/Norewegian Sun experience.
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